Friday, July 11, 2014

Tips for Growing Berry Shrubs in Small Spaces from Fall Creek Farm & Nursery

Fresh blueberries and raspberries have never been easier to grow. With new BrazelBerries, all that is needed is a sunny spot big enough for a container. Patios, decks, front steps and urban balconies are perfect choices.

These revolutionary berry shrubs are changing where fruit is grown. They’re as decorative as they are tasty, offering compact, gorgeous foliage for any small outdoor space. And, all BrazelBerries are self-pollinating, so only one bush is needed to produce fruit.

Why are BrazelBerries different? “They’ve been selected to be simple to grow, beautiful in landscapes, and delicious to eat,” says berry expert Amelie Brazelton Aust, a second-generation owner at Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, whose family’s breeding program has been focused on finding berry plants for the home gardener for more than two decades.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, blueberry consumption grew more than 500 percent from 1980-2010. Growing edibles is the perfect way to stay healthy, and anyone from young urbanites to seasoned gardeners can grow BrazelBerries. Raspberry Shortcake is a dwarf- raspberry perfect for children; it’s thornless and needs no trellising. This innovative variety makes it possible for the first time to bring raspberries up on the patio.

Aust suggests following these tips for bushes that will flourish in containers season after season.

Raspberries don’t get any easier or more compact!

BrazelBerries Raspberry Shortcake, a thornless dwarf raspberry that grows to be 2-3 feet tall and produces mid-summer fruit, has a sweet, traditional raspberry flavor. Grow in zones 5-9.

  • Grows best in neutral soil; any balanced potting mix is fine
  • Plant in full sun in a large container (at least 14 inches in diameter) with a drainage hole. Six hours of sun per day is ideal.
  • Feed in early and late spring with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Tip: If Raspberry Shortcake starts to yellow in the summer, a balanced liquid fertilizer will help perk it up in addition to lots of water. In intense heat, partial shade in the late afternoon will help to prevent heat stress.
  • Prune out only the dead canes with no new growth at soil level in early spring.
These BrazelBerries blueberries are delicious and beautiful, offering year round appeal.

Peach Sorbet blueberry is a four-season showstopper that grows 1½ - 2 feet tall. In the spring, leaves range from peach to pink, orange to emerald green and white, bell-shaped flowers yield abundant mid-summer healthy, sweet fruit. In most cooler climates, Peach Sorbet™ foliage turns a rich purple through the winter. Grow in zones 5-10.

Jelly Bean blueberry may be small but it’s prolific, producing a bumper-crop of large, sweet jelly-scented fruit. Brilliant green foliage emerges in spring, which gives way to darker greens with red hues throughout the summer and fall. Grow in zones 4 – 8.

Blueberry Glaze blueberry looks like a boxwood, but with nutrient-rich black berries. It grows 2 – 3 feet tall. The white tinged with pink spring flowers contrast nicely with the deep green foliage. Small, mid-summer berries have intense flavor, much like wild blueberries, and they pack a healthful punch with their antioxidant-rich qualities. Grow in zones 5 - 8.

  • All BrazelBerries blueberries grow best in acid soil. (A rhododendron/azalea formulation is perfect.) Incorporate some peat moss if available.
  • Plant them in full sun in a large container (at least 14 inches in diameter) with a drainage hole.
  • Feed in early and late spring with a granular or liquid acid fertilizer. Rhododendron/Azalea blends are perfect.
  • Prune, once fruiting is complete. Remove canes that have fruited, leaving new canes to fruit the following season.

Tip: Protect BrazelBerries from frost damage by placing an insulated plant cover over them the afternoon before a freeze. Move the plants during extreme cold spells to an unheated garage or put up against a building with a thick layer of mulch all around them to protect them from cold. Mesh netting saves berries from birds and squirrels.

Try These Berry Containers Ideas
  1. Plant in multiple pots and use as a mini hedge to front a wall fountain.
  2. Showcase as a specimen near a doorway or to line steps.
  3. Top an outdoor table for easy snacking.
Best There Is
“As a garden editor for Southern Living for 10 years, I tested many plants for container use. No fruit is more reliable, compact, or plentiful than BrazelBerries,” says Rebecca Bull Reed, horticulturist.

For more information or to find a BrazelBerries retailer, go to

Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Inc. is the world’s leading blueberry breeding and nursery stock company. From their state-of-the art growing facilities in Oregon, Fall Creek specializes in variety development and the propagation, production and global distribution of blueberry nursery stock. They work with the leading fruit companies, nursery stock growers and retailers to bring consumers the very best that blueberries offer.


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