The Q&A Archives: Growing Berries

Question: We are landscaping our yard and I would love to grow berries, specifically blueberries or boysenberries. Is this possible to do in my zone (9)? And if so, how many seasons will it take for them to bear fruit?

Answer: Boysenberries are a natural in your gardening region. You can expect to harvest a few berries the first season, but the plants won't set a full crop until they've become established in your garden. Give them 2-3 years and you'll have a bounty of berries. Blueberries will present more of a challenge in your region. Rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei) can be grown in Southern California, so choose 'Sharpblue', 'Bluebell', 'Southland' or 'Tifblue'. Sharpblue is the only cultivar that's self-fertile. The others need cross-pollination so you'll need to plant two different cultivars in order to get berries. The plants are fast-growing and should begin to develop fruit by their third year.

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