It is easy to grow your own seasonal berries, either in your garden against a wire support, or try this ‘Berry Barrel’ project. By combining three different berry varieties you can have a mixture of fruit types which will harvest over a longer period, all from the one ‘Berry Barrel’.
You will need:
1 Half barrel (or a very large outdoor plastic or ceramic pot)
1 Wire frame (available via incredible edibles® at your local garden centre)
3 'Thornless Jewel’ Berry Plants (or alternatives for a themed barrel of your choice see below)
120 litres of good quality potting mix
10 litres of bark mulch to cover barrel surface
Place your barrel or large pot in a sunny, sheltered location. Remember the barrel will be heavy so plan ahead for the right position.
Cut several drainage holes in the bottom of your barrel.
Secure your wire frame inside the barrel or pot as shown. A variety of supports can be used. The frame shown is made for incredible edibles®. Visit www.edible.co.nz for suppliers.
Once you add the potting mix the wire structure should stay nicely in place
Fill to around 15cm from the top of the pot with your potting mix, ensuring you choose a top quality mix e.g. Daltons Garden Mix.
Choose three climbing berries (also sometimes referred to as brambles) either of one variety e.g. ‘Thornless Jewel™’ or a themed Barrel:
Mixed Berry Barrel - Choose one of each:
‘Thornless Jewel™’: New thornless delicious sweet boysenberry fruit.
Loganberry: A sweet intriguing cross with soft red sweet fruit, also thornless.
Blackberry ‘Black Satin’: The traditional blackberry flavour on a plant with no thorns.
Raspberry Barrel - Choose three different colours of Raspberry:
Aspiring™: The traditional red fruit from November to April.
Ivory™: Delicate golden fruit from November to April.
Ebony™: Rich black fruit in summer.
Remove from their pots and place your three berries, one per ‘leg’ of your support as shown and wind the stems up and around the support.
Top up your mix to level with the soil surface of your plants.
Water thoroughly, i.e. until water runs freely from the bottom of the barrel.
Dress the surface of your berry barrel with your bark mulch to protect the shallow roots of the berry plants and retain moisture.
Delicious harvested berries can be used in fruit salads, to cover a decadent pavlova, a cheesecake, or simply serve fresh with cream for an easy vitamin-packed dessert.
Regional suitability: This project can be grown from Kaitaia to Bluff.