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Novice - Advice For Growing Fruit?

(5 Posts)
storybrooke Fri 15-May-15 21:54:00


Any advice would be seriously appreciated! We have a south facing, rectangle shaped garden, bordered sides and rockery/half compost heap at the back with the rest grassed. The borders seem to be dry, clay mix soil but the back (which is partial sun, mostly shaded from the shed) is great from the compost heap.

I've got a couple of shrubs and climbers I'm determined to dig out of the sides and the back has mostly weeds and some flowers which will be dug out and rocks removed. My plan was to literally dig everything out (roots are making the shrubs/bushes incredibly hard) and plant fruit with a little veg patch (I'll probably just prepare the soil and raised bed for it this year and start planting next spring).

The plan was to plant strawberries in pots on the borders (Oops me and my wee man started-pic), then in the soil raspberries on one side and blackberries on the other.

Being a total novice when it comes to anything green, I'm unsure if I have any shot of that working? Shall I border the sides and raise the bed adding and mixing compost to improve soil? Is there a place I can get the actual plant rather than canes as tried that the other year but didn't work? I'm not really concerned with the raspberries/blackberries spreading across the borders as my kids would eat them all day and assuming if the strawberries take they're in pots so wouldn't affect them? You think that'd be a lot of work or are they pretty hardy and self sufficient? Sorry for the questions!

Thanks smile

Shannaratiger Sun 17-May-15 11:59:53

Watching with interest. Weedkillered the garden - mass of weeds. Dh has just bright a couple of strawberry plants from tescos and they r sitting on the windowsill being watered and looking at me. - any suggestions?

shovetheholly Mon 18-May-15 08:42:30

If you're veg growing, come join the allotment thread! Lots of great advice from some very experienced people in there.

There are basically two ways of doing this. You could do an allotment-style garden, or you could plant fruit and veg ornamentally, alongside other non-edible plants, which will look more attractive but be less high-yielding. Things like rainbow chard and runner beans and kale are genuinely beautiful plants, and look smashing in a flower garden.

If you opt for an allotment-style garden, I would consider doing several raised beds. You do not want them too wide - ideally, you should be able to reach to the middle from either side for ease of care/weeding/picking of produce, so anything above 1.2m wide will be a struggle. The idea with raised beds is that you improve the soil so that you can actually grow more in a small area than you would in the whole of the larger area. Have a think about doing 4 or 5 beds and establishing a rotation - ideally, you want to be moving your crops each year, because different kinds of veg like different conditions, and it helps to move them from bed to bed.

Raspberries and currants and gooseberries are pretty low maintenance - you plonk them in, stake them, and prune them once a year, and that's about it. Raspberries in particular like moisture and shade, though, so think about the best spot in your lovely, sunny south-facing garden for them!

storybrooke Tue 19-May-15 10:41:38

I will thanks, been stalking that thread for a few days! I'm aiming towards a real mix so not sure if it'll work but a little play area for the kids (1 and 2), muddy section and a little plot to begin with for me and some fruit bushes and maybe a tree and the rest lawn. Garden isn't huge either. Its a bit depressing looking out on the garden just now as it's pretty overwhelming and I have so many ideas but not a whole lot of time.

Thankfully though if I can get everything dug out and the raspberries planted at least thats a start!

shovetheholly Tue 19-May-15 11:05:45

It does feel overwhelming at the start when everything needs doing. I think most of us on this forum have been there! But you can and will do it! The thing that you'll hear from everyone is that it is eminently doable if you break it up into manageable chunks and just work a bit at a time. It's a cliche, but it's true. You'll be amazed what you can achieve in even a small space - I am sure a play space, some fruit and some borders will look lovely!

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