Small fruits carrying attractive traits for local home gardeners

Published 9:14 am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Small fruits that are overlooked by local gardeners are the strawberry, blueberry and raspberry. All three have valuable qualities as fruiting plants, and blueberries and strawberries have attractive traits that make them useful in the home landscape.

Strawberries can become a dense matted groundcover in sunny areas at home. Gardeners with a spot along a drive or walkway would benefit from having some plants covering a bare area. The fruit is not only delicious, but it also is rather attractive when seen on the plants ripening.

The informal blueberry plant growth makes them ideal for an open spreading hedge. In addition to having their delicious blueberries in summer, the rabbiteye blueberries also have attractive autumn foliage. They are well suited for Polk County since they prefer acid type soils, which of course is the condition of Polk’s native soil.

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Raspberries on the other hand are great to have since fresh raspberries are so difficult to obtain. Plant them in a sunny location that has access to water during our summer droughts.

If anyone is in need of plants of either strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, the Polk County Extension Center is taking orders from local residents until mid-March. The local extension center is located in the courthouse square in Columbus. For more information call 828-894-8218.

– article submitted by Sarah Gottfried