What's the easiest soft fruit to grow?
Strawberries are an easy soft fruit to grow, especially if you’re new to growing. These sweet, juicy berries are delicious fresh from the plant, mixed through an Eton mess or cooked down into a tasty jam. Choose our ‘Full Season Collection’ to extend your strawberry cropping season and get a great range of berry sizes and flavours.
Autumn fruiting raspberries are another easy option for small gardens. These heavy cropping berries require no support. A simple winter prune at the end of the season keeps them healthy and productive. Dwarf soft fruits like raspberry ‘Summer Lovers Patio Red’ are designed to produce a bountiful crop of juicy berries in containers whilst staying nicely compact.
Rhubarb can be an excellent choice for novice fruit growers. The vibrant red stems are the best ingredients for homemade cobbler or a delicious crumble. Simply keep your plants moist and make sure to only take a couple of stems per crown to keep your rhubarb healthy for next year’s crop.
Growing soft fruit in pots
Lots of soft fruit bushes such as gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and raspberries do very well in pots. Planted one bush per pot, all you need to do is refresh the top layer of compost every year and keep on top of regular watering, especially during the warmer months. Place your potted soft fruit in a sheltered position where it receives plenty of sun.
It’s a good idea to grow your blueberries in pots with ericaceous (slightly acidic) compost. Blueberry plants prefer to have their roots in acidic soil, which is much easier to provide in a pot rather than attempting to change the pH of the soil. Place your blueberries somewhere you can enjoy their lovely spring flowers and fiery autumn foliage.
How to grow strawberries
Strawberry plants grow best in a fertile, well drained soil with plenty of organic matter mixed through. Mature plants produce runners from their base. Simply peg these clones in place to root or plant the plantlets into their own pots. Replace your original plants with these free extra plants every three years to keep production up.
For eye-catching pink blooms plant popular strawberry ‘Toscana’, a fantastic choice for balcony pots or a hanging basket. For a deep red fruit perfect for preserves and wines, choose the early season strawberry 'Honeoye'. Hang strawberry hanging baskets where the dangling fruit are within easy reach for simple summer snacking.
How to grow raspberries
Grow raspberry plants in a fertile, well drained soil in a sheltered, sunny spot. If you have a smaller outdoor space or want to plant into pots, choose a dwarf patio variety or an autumn fruiting variety such as raspberry 'Joan J' or ‘Autumn Treasure’.
Summer fruiting raspberries (floricanes) fruit in the second year after planting on old stems, and are typically larger bushes with big fruits from early to late summer. Autumn fruiting raspberries (primocanes) crop on new stems from late summer to autumn and are more compact. Prune floricanes after fruiting finishes in the summer, and prune primocanes in late winter.