Create an Edible Landscape by Growing Small Fruits


Valerie BoeseCreate an edible landscape, plant small fruits. Adding small fruits to your landscape is pretty easy to do. You simply need sufficient space, with full sun. Small fruits do not need a lot of space to grow, so they are pretty easy to incorporate into your landscape. Most berries are pretty hardy and can tolerate cold in the winter and heat in summer. The best part, you get to pick your own fresh fruit, which tastes out of this world.

Our Nebraska climate conditions can be as cold as 15 below in the winter, like it was yesterday, with highs in the 90s in the summer, yet we successfully grow many small fruits. My family grows honeyberries, service berries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, aronia berry and grapes on our small acreage. By growing several different types of berries, you can enjoy fresh fruit, from beginning of summer to end of fall.

Growing grapes in your backyard is easy to do! 

Growing grapes in your backyard is easy.

We grow honeyberries and service berries, which are similar to blueberries. Our honeyberries ripen first of May. Honeyberries are a small conical shaped berry that do not need acidic soil to grow in, where blueberries do need acidic soil to grow. I have tried to grow blueberries, many times, and after about third year they die out, due to my soil not being acidic enough. I have tried to make the soil acidic, with amendments to the soil, but have not had good luck. The service berry, also called June berry or Saskatoon, is a great tasting small black round berry that and tastes and looks like a blueberry, but does not need the soil to be acidic. An attractive looking ornamental bush, it grows similar in size to a lilac bush, with nice fall color. Both honeyberries and service berries are good alternatives to blueberries.

Strawberries ripen around the first of June. There are two types of strawberries: June bearer and ever bearer. There are many of both varieties to choose from. We grow June bearers because the berries are larger and your crop will be much larger than the ever bearer type strawberry. The ever bearer strawberry does not bear fruit all summer as the name might imply; its bearing season is about 10 days longer than the June bearer.

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