One of my favourite childhood memories is of gathering enough blackberries to make a blackberry and apple crumble – the best dessert in the world!
All berries are power packed super foods. Blackberries are high in vitamin C and anti-oxidants and really do help to keep your body healthy. Blackberry leaves, as well as the fruits, have been used medicinally for many years. Blackberry leaf tea is sold commercially as a tonic and pick-me-up – organic fresh leaves from your garden could be even better!
A small cup of fresh blackberry leaf tea every day will help build the immune system and in turn help prevent colds and flu bugs.
There are thornless varieties available now that you can grow in a small back garden. Grab this updated edition of Growing Blackberries – I’ve included the best dessert recipe too 🙂
How to Grow Blackberries
Download from your favourite retailer on our Mini Guides page
Because raspberries are a soft fruit, they don’t travel well and are therefore often expensive to buy – A good reason to grow this delicious and healthy fruit at home.
There are many many different varieties of raspberry which can be grown easily in many regions. In fact, in some regions and in the right environment, raspberry plants can become intrusive. Although, with each plant producing up to 100 berries, intrusive could be worthwhile.
Raspberries contain significant amounts of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and come in red, black and even golden varieties.
Choose a variety or varieties that grow well in your region -check in your local Garden centre or supplier for the varieties they sell – they’re probably the best to go for. Choose healthy looking canes with well-developed roots.
Alternatively, ask a raspberry growing neighbour if they can spare a cane or two to get you going. Every year, raspberry plants will produce new canes and over a few years you could have a whole patch of raspberries that cost nothing to start!
Download this growing guide to help you get the most from your plants (there are a couple of easy raspberry recipes too)
How to Grow Raspberries
Listed on our Mini Guides page.
There are thousands of different cultivars of apple and pears.
Generally the best ones to grow at home are those already growing in your region. It’s sometimes worth trying something special but best do the research first so you know how to care for your tree before you start.
With so many different cultivars available, there are inevitably many different types of apples and pears;
dessert, cider, cooking, crisp and green, soft and red and various combinations. Some are sweeter than others, some are juicier.
Make sure you know what type you like to eat before you buy your tree. If you enjoy making fruit pies, grow a ‘cooking’ apple or pear if it grows well in your region.
Quick checklist before you buy: (taken from ‘How to Grow Apples & Pears’, details below.)
-Check pollination requirements
-Look at planting and pruning instructions
-Make sure the bark and roots are healthy and undamaged before buying
-Consider the potential size of your tree.
Apples and pears can be bought as ‘cordons’ that stay small but crop well. They are ideal for a small space and can be grown successfully against a south facing wall or fence.
Small bush varieties are suitable for a slightly larger garden and if you have an acre or two, you could always go for the full-sized versions.
Grab this updated edition of ‘How to Grow Apples and Pears’ so you can get the best from your trees;
Listed on our Mini Guides page.