Troubleshooting Your Berry Growing Pitfalls

Berry Growing Tips to Navigate Common Pitfalls

Most berry plants are heralded as being relatively hardy and easy to grow for amateur gardeners, but those of us who have been berry growing for any period of time know that certain berry harvests are not as plentiful as they should be. If your berry plants aren't producing what they should, take some time to troubleshoot the possible causes of the reduced yield so that you can improve your crop the following season. Here are some common berry growing problems, and tips for overcoming them.

Cane Berries (Raspberries, Blackberries)

Cane berry plants need to be pruned regularly in order to maximize the yield. At the end of each growing season, you should cut back the canes that produced berries that year, leaving the other canes, which will produce berries the following year. If you don't cut back the old canes, the plant will put too much effort into maintaining growth that is unproductive.

You must also pay particular attention to the varieties of cane berry plants that you plant near to each other. Some varieties are not as disease-resistant as they are bred to be when placed near other varieties.

Generally, a knowledgeable salesperson should be able to guide you in your choice of varieties and planting arrangements. If you find that your plants are particularly prone to disease, then evaluate your planting arrangements and consider relocating plants that are interfering with each other's health.

Blueberries

Of the commonly grown berry plants, blueberries are perhaps the most finicky about their soil requirements. They need a lower pH soil (around 5.0 - 5.5), so a pH test is in order if your plants are not thriving.

There are natural and chemical products that can be added to your soil to bring the parameters in line with what your blueberries need. Organic matter will also improve the soil and allow your berry plants to thrive and produce fruitful yields.

Strawberries

Because of their proximity to the ground, strawberries are prone to fungal infections that affect both the plant and the fruit. If you see white spots/patches on either the leaves or the berries, use a topical anti-fungal spray designed to treat strawberry blight.

Also, make sure that you are not over-watering your strawberries (creating too moist of an environment) and that they are getting enough sun (which kills fungi).

Regardless of the type of berry plant that you are growing, these basic berry growing troubleshooting techniques can help ensure that your problematic berry plants will improve their yields in the future, and increase your success as a berry gardener!

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