Co-op Extension 2013 small fruit plant salePublished 9:15am Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Pick up any health magazine these days and you can’t help but read about the health benefits from eating fresh berries. Fortunately many of these healthy fruits can be grown in your backyard.
In 2013 your local Cooperative Extension Center is selling varieties of blueberry, strawberry and raspberry plants.
Rabbiteye Blueberries are the best adapted type of blueberry for Polk County. They are more tolerant of different soil types, plus they are more drought and heat resistant. Ten plants should furnish enough fruit for a family of four. Climax, Premier, Tifblue, Onslow and Powder Blue, are the varieties available for sale. Don’t forget at least two different varieties are needed to ensure adequate pollination. When transplanting your blueberries set them 6 feet apart.
The types of strawberries available are considered matted-row plants. These plants are not grown on plastic like lots of commercial berries of today. Matted-row strawberries are planted 2 feet apart in rows 4 feet apart. Normally, 100 plants are enough to supply the typical family of fruit. Available in 2013 are Earliglow and Galletta strawberries. Both are flavorful, just perfect for the home garden. ‘Galletta’ is a recent release from NC State University.
In 2013, for the third year, the extension office will offer red raspberry plants for local gardeners. The two varieties chosen are Josephine and Nantahala, two cultivars selected for our area. Both are everbearing raspberries, meaning they will bear fruit at two different times (June / Sept) during the growing season. ‘Nantahala’ is also a recent release from NC State University. These plants will come bare-root so prepare your planting area before the plants are delivered in March.
Orders for small fruit plants began on Jan. 3. For more information, contact the Polk County Extension Center at 828-894-8218 or drop by the center at 4 Courthouse Square in Columbus.
Proceeds from the plant sale are used in the local extension program.
– article submitted by Sarah Gottfried