The Art of Growing Berries

Keys to Thriving Berries!

Blueberries, Raspberries,  and Triple Crown Thornless Berry.

Soils do better if prepared early, it’s easier to supplement your soil in early spring.

BLUEBERRIES (a challenging plant)Blueberry

  • Needs Acidic soil: either naturally occurring, or supplemented with peat moss
    • Member Note: Alternatives products for unsustainable peat moss:
      • Coconut Coir. A by-product of the coconut industry.
      • Pine Sawdust or Bark
      • Composted Manure or Leaves
  • 2 or more plants of similar bloom time needed for pollination
  • Regular moisture
  • Don’t allow plants to dry out
  • Shallow roots appreciates mulching
  • Fertilized with acidic fertilizer start early in the season
    • Twice in spring, once again when blooming
  • Provide afternoon shade in the Summer
  • Prune out any non-budding branches, dead Wood or Crowded branches
  • Netting may be a good idea


  • Don’t like wet feet, but needs moistureraspberry
  • Water twice a week, then move to three times a week when above 85F
  • Does better with drip watering, fruit can get moldy if too wet
  • Fertilizing: Start with a 10-10-10 to grow canes, then switch to 5-10-10 if plants are growing large. Note: Use less nitrogen for more fruit production.
  • Needs conscious pruning, fruit grows on 2 year growth, (floricanes) unless  developing a first and second year everbearing system.
    • Cut out old canes after 2-year fruit
    • For young producers, cut every year to allow sun to reach plants.
  • Needs 6-8 hours Sun
    • Member Note: Intense afternoon sun can wilt plants and burn fruit

TRIPLE CROWN THORNLESS BERRY (Blackberry/Marionberry Cross)Triple Crown Thornless Blackberry

  • Will grow in many places, like blackberries
  • Non-Invasive, semi-erect vines
  • Have a choice of cutting canes when they reach 7-8 feet, or letting them grow and propagating tips into ground or container
  • Needs a trellis system to keep vines and berries off the ground
  • Fertilize at blossom time,
  • Water more when fruiting
  • Pick when the large dark berries come off easily, large globules
  • Prune out second-year canes after they fruit
    • You can do this in the fall

By Joel Heller, Guest Speaker AGC Meeting March 6th, 2017