We can grow great berries in the Cariboo. They just love our climate and we have a lot of native Saskatoon berry bushes. Growing wild, they are really easy to pick and taste fantastic in pies! Saskatoon jelly is also a big favourite. Here’s some information about the different kinds of berries we grow.
We have a large Raspberry bed – each year, suckers grow out of the ground from the raspberry canes already there. I just pull the ones I don’t want, keep the ones I do want and try to maintain some kind of order in this bed.
By mid-September, the raspberries are coming to an end. We’ve got lots of raspberries in the freezer – come late Fall, we will probably start a batch of Raspberry Saskatoon berry wine. It is the best homemade wine we have made, hands down.
Soon I will have to get in the Berry bed and clean up the strawberries. I get in there probably 3 times a season to pull the runners and weed the bed. I have a lot of sawdust laid down as a mulch, and it has helped a lot to keep the weeds down.
The strawberries in one of our beds have done really well this year. The other beds need rejuvenation and I just didn’t get around to it this year. This will be a regret, for sure.
What I should have done is make sure I clip off all the rooted runners and get them growing in another strawberry bed. I also should have pulled and tossed the oldest plants we have.
If I had done these things, we would have had a lot of berries. However, one bed did really well and I will have to be satisfied with that.
Look at the size of these Strawberries, they are huge.
A big bowl full of big berries.
Apparently, I didn’t bring a large enough bowl!
Here’s a good picking and the results – 2 3/4 pounds! I’ll be making jam with most of these. The rest we will eat fresh.
Strawberries are quite easy to grow, although to keep your bed going year after year, some maintenance needs to be done. It’s easier to keep track of if you have several separate beds of plants. We have four separate beds, but you can just have two separated areas to keep track of which plants are older.
That way, you can easily tell which are the oldest plants. When you want to have more plants, always take the runners off your newest plants. Remove all the flowers off your runners that first year to let the plant put its energy into the roots. This will pay off the following year, as you will get much larger berries.
Take any 3 or 4 year old plants and toss them. You will be able to have a really good berry harvest if you just keep using the baby runners from the newest plants. These will bear fruit the following year.
You can also take some of the small plants and plant those extra strawberry plants in containers. Group a few planters on your patio or deck.