Small Fruits Planting Guides

Planting Blueberries

Plants should be spaced 5'-6' apart (unless you would like a hedge, then 2' ). Dig a hole more than twice as wide and deep as their root systems. Mix in soil amendment such as Gardner & Bloome Acid Planting Mix with your existing soil 50 - 50 for moisture retention and nutrition (do not use manure, it is too alkaline, or mushroom compost, it is lifeless and too salty). Put a small amount of soil mixture in the bottom of the hole. Spread the roots over the soil mound then fill hole with remaining soil. Water thoroughly to settle the soil and remove any air pockets around the roots; add more soil as needed. We recommend that you ammend your soil with a fertilizer.

Place about 2" of mulch, such as Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Compost on the top of the soil to keep weeds down and moisture in (but keep the mulch away from the crown of the plant) By removing flowers in the first two seasons, your plant growth will be much stronger, and your berries will be more plentiful and larger the following years.

Planting Raspberries and Blackberries

Raspberries and blackberries like full sun, well-drained and loamy soil, and should be spaced 2' to 3' apart for raspberries and 6' apart for blackberries when planting. Roots should be kept moist until planting by covering with moistened soil or sawdust. Carefully prune off any broken tips on the roots. Dig a hole twice the size of the root system. With the soil from the hole, mix one-third soil amendment such as Gardner & Bloome Harvest Supreme or Soil Building Compost for moisture retention and nutrition. (For raspberries, planting on a mound may be best, as they need excellent drainage.) Place a small amount of soil mixture in the hole so the plant will be the same depth it was in the growing field Set the plant in the hole on top of the soil, spreading the roots out. Sprinkle one application of Mycorrhiza (MY-CO-RIZE-AH) Inoculant, over the roots for strong root development. Fill in the rest of the hole with the remaining soil mixture. Water in thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots and remove any air pockets. After planting, prune raspberry and blackberry canes back to 4"-6" above the soil. By cutting the tops back, your transplants will have a much better survival rate and you should also experience better growth as a result. Mix Gardener & Bloome Fertilizer into the top three inches of soil around the root zone of each plant. Avoid over-watering—it will lead to root rot. Raspberries benefit from a high organic content in the soil—work compost into the soil along your rows annually.

Planting Strawberries

  1. Strawberries require a sunny location and well-drained, acidic soil. Plant on flat ground if the soil drains well, on a mound if the soil is heavy or poorly drained. Containers work well for smaller harvests or limited garden space.
  2. Plant in rows with the crown above the soil level (or the crown will rot) and the roots 1/4" beneath the soil (so they do not dry out). Do not prune roots when planting—the baby plant will need the energy stored there to grow into a healthy, mature plant.
  3. Mulching between rows prevents weeds, keeps moisture in and the berries clean.
  4. Fertilize June bearers twice a year—very lightly when growth begins and again more heavily, after fruiting.
  5. Ever-bearing types prefer consistent light feedings.
  6. Over-feeding of either type in spring leads to excessive plant growth and soft fruit and fruit rot!
  7. Pinch off all runners to get large plants with smaller yields of big berries; let runners grow 7-10" apart for heavy yields of smaller berries. When plants have produced enough offsets, pinch off additional runners.
  8. Crowding leads to diseases and lower yields of poorer quality fruit.
  9. Remove runners as needed, and remove older plants every few years and replace with new plants or offsets.

Grape Planting & Care Guide

  • Grapes do best in full sun and sandy, highly organic soil. Risk of root rot if planted in heavy clay soil, or at best, grow lots of leaves and few grapes.
  • Incorporate Gardner & Bloome Harvest Supreme or Soil Building Compost in amounts up to 50% of the original soil from the hole.
  • Space both American and European grapes about 10' apart in rows about 8'apart.
  • Place a mound of soil mixture in the hole. Place the grape plant on the mound, spreading the roots over the mound.
  • Sprinkle one application of Mycorrhiza (MY-CO-RIZE-AH) Inoculant, over the roots for strong root development.
  • Fill in the rest of the hole with the remaining soil mixture.
  • Water in thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots and obliterate any air pockets.
  • Select the strongest cane and prune it back to 2 buds. Prune away all other canes growth.
  • Grapes require little fertilizer. Use Gardener & Bloome Fertilizer in early spring only.
  • Grapes require heavy pruning to produce fruit. Please refer to a reference book on pruning your grapes or our information guide as there are different methods used.