For this project, you will need:
- Acid Loving Plant and Berry Mix
- Urban Garden Container Mix (depending on the variety)
- Acid Loving Plant and Berry Fertilizer
- Biosol Compost with Peat, Seaweed and Shrimp
Do you love smoothies? How about adding a little colour to your healthy snacks? Why not grow berries in containers! Homegrown tomatoes are wonderful, but berries all summer long are divine! Unlike vegetables and fine herbs, berry plants are perennials, meaning they don’t need replanting every year, and they require minimal maintenance. Trimming them and adding compost in the spring will guarantee a successful venture.
What to grow: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries… what else?
As is true for many other container-grown fruits and vegetables, it is preferable to select smaller berry plants. The classics are obvious: strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, but there are others to discover including black currants, haskaps and kiwis. For other varieties that can be grown in containers, refer to our Berries: what varieties are best suited for container growing? article.
What is the best soil to use for growing berries?
Did you know that most berry varieties prefer a slightly acidic pH (between 5.5 and 6), while others, like blueberry, require an even more acidic pH? Here is a table to help you identify the needs of the different berry plant varieties.
How to grow them
Select a container with a drainage hole (or drill a hole in the bottom of a solid container). Make sure your container is big enough to accommodate plant growth and to effectively protect the roots over the winter.
- Pour 2.5 cm (1 in.) Biosol Compost into the bottom of the container. This will give the roots an energy boost halfway through the season.
- Add the plants and position them so that their crowns are 1.25 cm (1/2 in.) from the top edge.
- Fill the container with the appropriate soil mix (see table above) up to the plant crowns, and pack lightly.
- Top with a sprinkling of Acid Loving Plant and Berry Fertilizer. Water!
- Every 3 to 4 weeks, add Acid Loving Plant and Berry Fertilizer for a healthy yield all season.
- If you plan to be away for a few days, water your plants generously and place them out of direct sunlight. For more details on watering tips, refer to our How to water your plants efficiently during heat waves
How to protect your fruit trees in winter
Fruit trees are perennials that are very well-adapted to short summers and long, cold winters. Here are 2 easy winter maintenance tips:
Move and insulate the container
As winter approaches, place your containers against a wall where they are out of the wind. Cover them with winter protection to insulate them well. We recommend using burlap or geotextile insulation. For even better protection, use a snow fence that is taller and wider than the container, and wind it around so there is enough space at the top of the container to add dead leaves or mulch as a natural insulator.
Move your containers indoors
A slightly heated garage is another great option for protecting your fruit trees from harsh winter weather. Lighting is not required. Simply place the containers out of frost’s way and add water occasionally.