Small Fruits in your Garden
Adding fruits to your garden gets easier every year and recently the emphasis has been to grow fruits in containers. We stopped by Portland Nursery on Stark Street (503-231-5050) to see some of the different varieties they have in stock that are great for the small garden or even in a container.
Ken, the assistant manager at the Stark Street store, walked Judy through some of the plants he thought would be great for our area.
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First we saw the ‘Welcome’ variety of the gooseberry. This one supposedly is a less thorny variety but we are not convinced! Ken then pulled out a couple of raspberries. Not all raspberries are red and these are definitely berries of a different color. ‘Anne’ is a golden colored variety and the ‘Black Cap’ variety is a totally different type of berry and if pruned correctly can produce a huge crop of darker colored berries.
Ken then pulled out a grape variety, the Pinot Noir ‘Dijon clone 667’ wine grape. This one will have the wine maker in your family happy. It is disease resistant and produces one of the finest varieties of wine grapes available. When choosing a grape you need to remember that they are a vine and will need a little bit of room to grow.
You will also have to figure out whether you want a table or a wine grape. Grapes should also be cut back pretty far this time of year. If it is warm you may notice that the cuts will ‘bleed’. Don’t worry, this is a natural thing and they will stop after a while. Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow in a container and Ken told us that now is the time to buy and plant them. Buying them now will let you get a lot with out spending a ton of money and you will have the choice of many different varieties.
Finally, we talked about blueberries and the new dwarf varieties that are now available. Blueberries love acidic soils so they may not be a good choice around other fruits. They will be right at home around azaleas and rhodies, and other acid lovers. There were 2 taller varieties that he featured and 2 shorter varieties. The taller of the varieties included the ‘Sunshine Blue’ and ‘Northsky’. The shorter of the varieties included ‘Top Hat’ and the unique variety of ‘Augustifolia’. These shorter varieties also make great landscape plants.
Other plants you can consider are kiwi, olives, and Pawpaw’s. Check out the selection at either Portland Nursery location or your local independent garden center.
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