planting fruit - Knowledgebase Question

Question by jstreet766
February 8, 2010
I have a small enclosed patio and it is the only area I am allowed to plant(association rules) but I will be selling and moving to a new home with land to plant fruits-vegetables. Can I start blueberries, raspberries, blackberries in containers now then transplant 3-4 years later? If so are some varieties better than others? I'm a certified nursery associate (zone 5) and would love to pass the information on at my clinics.

Answer from NGA
February 8, 2010


Most tree fruits and small fruits adapt well to container growing. Since you plan to keep yours in a container for 3-4 years, I'd suggest starting them out in 5-gallon containers so you won't need to repot them before you plant them in the ground. Both raspberries and blackberries are brambles, and they will send out new shoots and grow lots of roots over a period of 3-4 years so you may need to divide them when you plant them in the ground. Just cut through the root mass. As long as each division has both roots and stems attached, they will develop into a stand-alone plant.

Here are the best performers for your growing region:
Blue Crop - Zone 3-7, Mid season bearer, consistent producer, disease resistant and high quality. Very large berries, good flavor, best when fresh, freezes well. Grows 4-6'.

Blue Ray - Zone 3-7, Mid season producer, high quality powder blue berries excellent for dessert. Burgundy foliage in fall. Upright growing habit to 5' high.

Jersey - Zone 3-7, It's a favorite of home gardeners, easy to grow. Ripens latein the season, small to medium berries very sweet in flavor. Excellent for baking, reliable producer year after year. Grows 4-5' tall.

Northland- Zone 4-7, This blueberry is a hybrid growing only 3-4' with very limber branches. Fruit is medium to small having excellent wild berry flavor, great for pies and eating.

Patriot - Zone 3-7, Ripens early with tight clusters of very large berries. Excellent flavor for fresh eating or deserts. High producer with green foliage in summer, fiery orange in fall. Grows 4-6' tall.

You will need two different varieties for cross-pollination.

Boyne Red Raspberry: A Canadian development in 1960, Boyne is a medium to large red fruit with aromatic flavor. Vigorous, evect and sturdy canes are very productive and hardy. Excellent berry for canning, freezing and dessert.

Heritage Red Raspberry: Zone 4-8. An everbearing variety with vigorous upright canes. Produces large, firm, bright red berries. Good quality and flavor. First fruit mid-July, second crop early September.

Latham Red Raspberry: Zone 3-8. Unsurpassed in vigor and hardiness. Produces good sized berries over long period. Excellent flavor for pies, jam, jelly and dessert.

Black Hawk Black Raspberry: Zone 3-8. Best all purpose black raspberry, the best choice for canning. Disease resistant and produces large, firm ebony berries that hold their shape. This berry has been successfully grown in Canada.

Bristol Black Raspberry: A 1934 New York introduction, fruit is large with attractive glossy skin. Excellent quality, flavor and ripens mid season. Canes are hardy and vigorous, berries are great for pies, jam or jelly or simply eating fresh.

Cumberland Black Raspberry: Zone 3-8. Most popular black raspberry. Upright plants sets loads of large ebony fruits with great flavor and few seeds. This berry has been successfully grown in Canada.

Fall Gold Raspberry: Zone 4-9. Very prolific. Produces two crops, one in July, the second in September. Large golden berries are sweet as honey and very juicy. Excellent for desserts, jam and jelly.

Royalty Raspberry: A hybrid cross of black and red raspberries, producing large rich full-flavored purple fruit. High quality, insect resistant, hardy, and very adaptable. Unsurpassed for jam, jelly, and pies. Ripens mid-season

Darrow Blackberry: Zone 3-8. Berries measure 1" long and 3/4" wide, are attractive, firm, juicy and have honey sweet, true blackberry flavor. Excellent for all purposes. Plants are hardy, rust resistant and produce well at an early age.

Stenulson Blackberry: Zone: 3-7. Plants are very hardy and productive year after year for us. Berries are large, plump, juicy and very flavorful. Excellent for pies, jelly and wine. No disease problems have been observed.

Best wishes with your container garden!

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