Drink Magazine

Fruit Garden

By Alip @alisonpikeGD

Growing Blueberries

I had always planned on having a kitchen garden at my place with a good supply of fruit and vegetables for the family to eat.  I managed this year to build and plant one veg bed.  My neighbor kindly gave me some plugs he had going spare of cabbage, purple sprouting and leeks, so I popped them in……Well life goes on and one thing has become very apparent is that I don’t have time to grow vegetables (well not cabbage and purple sprouting!).  They have been sorely neglected and have provided a lovely breakfast, lunch and dinner for the caterpillars.  The leeks will hopefully be my saving grace but the conclusion is the same vegetable growing is going on a back burner.

On a more positive note….. fruit.  Now this is far less demanding and I can realistically achieve a good harvest without having to spend hours of time fussing over the plants.  So recently I have been researching the various varieties available and I have finally made my mind up.  Here’s what I’ve gone for…..

‘Glen Ample’ - (mid summer fruiting, Jul-Aug) high yielding, large tasty fruits, good fresh and freezes well if they last that long!
‘Glen Moy’ – (early summer fruiting, Jun-Jul) good crop of medium sized fruit, good flavor.
‘Joan J’ – (autumn fruiting, Jul-Oct) heavy crop of large fruits, flavor and yeild are both supposed to be better than ‘Autumn Bliss’….I’ll let you know.
‘Polka’ – (autumn fruiting, Jul-Oct) good fresh flavor and lasts well, there is also the possibly of two crops in a year.  In late spring/early summer on previous years canes and then again in autumn on canes produced that year.

‘Rovada’ – (Jul-Aug) good crop from a single bush over a long fruiting period.

‘Chandler’ - (Aug-Sep) berries are supposed to be massive and it produces huge quantities.
‘Earliblue’ – (Jul) as the name suggests this one crops early, large, light blue, sweet berries.
‘Toro’, ‘Bonifacy’, ‘Rubel’ – I’ve had these three for a couple of years, they were sent as alternates to the original plants I ordered and I am beginning to doubt the suppliers labeling/description.  That aside we had a good crop off all the bushes this year and I am still picking off ‘Bonifacy’ (it is supposed to have an early to mid cropping time, you can see why I’m beginning to doubt the suppliers accuracy!)

‘Ben Connan’ – heavy cropping, small bush that will produce fruit over a long cropping period.  Good rich flavor.

‘Captivator’ – thornless bush (I have pruned enough gooseberries in my time and had my arms shredded!). Purplish-red berries, delicious flavor making them perfect for eating straight of the bush.

So there you have it….my fruit garden should be arriving on my doorstep in mid November.  This will give me plenty of time of get on with preparing the ground and organising supports for the raspberries.  Very exciting!!

If you’ve grown any of these varieties I’d love to know what yo think of them.

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