Wokingham garden centre offers grow your own tips (and you don’t need a garden)

It's possible to grow strawberries and other fruits in pots rather than in a garden

What could be tastier than delicious juicy fruit picked straight from your garden?

Squire’s Garden Centres says it has seen a big increase in the number of people wanting to grow fruit at home this year, with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrants all being popular choices.

As well as the great taste, growing your own fruit also has environmental benefits – you know where your food has come from, there’s no need to visit the supermarket, no plastic packaging and you’ll be eating seasonal produce with zero fruit miles.

Most fruit can be grown in pots, so very little space is needed to give you delicious fruit and berries all summer long. Growing fruit in containers also means that you can control the growing conditions, positioning the plant to give it optimal sun or shade.

Most fruit trees like free draining soil, so planting in a pot ensures that they’ll have plenty of drainage. And in winter you can move delicate plants away from frost, perhaps putting them into a greenhouse or garage.

Berry bushes grow very successfully in pots, so they are ideal for small gardens and patios. Try:

Blueberries – They are acid-loving plants so need an ericaceous compost. Keep them well-watered as they are thirsty plants. They need sun and some shade.

Strawberries – Brilliant for first-time gardeners as they are so easy to grow. There are lots of varieties to choose from to give you juicy fruit all summer long.

Blackcurrant – Easy to grow, they like a rich John Innes compost, and will reward you with berries in mid-summer that are rich in Vitamin C.

Raspberries – Raspberry plants will give you fruit from mid-summer through to autumn. For best results plant in a sunny position in well drained soil. If you don’t nibble them all straight away, they freeze well.

Blackberry – Grow in a sunny position, although they can tolerate some shade. Will produce berries from mid-summer onwards.

How to Grow Your Own Juicy Berries

Prepare your pots

For bush fruits like blueberry and blackcurrant, use a pot slightly larger than the roots. Strawberries can be grown in pots, window boxes or hanging baskets, and a large pot or trough is ideal for raspberries.

Choose a compost

Choose peat-free or reduced-peat compost. Blackcurrants and raspberries like a rich John Innes compost, while strawberries will thrive is a multi-purpose compost. Blueberries are acid-loving plants, so they need an ericaceous compost.

Water and feed

Growing fruit in pots is great as you can control the amount of water that they need. Give plants a good soak when you plant them into pots. Water daily in hot weather and make sure the soil never dries out.

Protect your fruit

Birds love summer fruit too. Protect your plants with a layer of fine netting, secured tightly to avoid birds being trapped inside.

Enjoy your harvest

Harvest your fruit when it feels soft and ripe, and comes away from the plant easily.

For more, visit www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk

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