Tag Archives: growing your own

Growing Your Own Berries & Currants

Growing Your Own Berries & Currants


  1. What about a Gooseberry or two…

Gooseberries are one of the earliest fruits of the year. They’re so easy to grow. They aren’t fussy and each plant offers a very generous supply of fruit.

Three popular varieties:

  • ‘Invicta’ – green, heavy cropping, resistant to mildew
  • ‘Hinnonmaki Red’ – very flavoursome red fruit, hardy plant, doesn’t mind the cold and again provides a big crop and is resistant to mildew
  • ‘Hinnonmaki Yellow’ – produces large scented yellow fruits, resistant to mildew 


Plant gooseberry plants in Autumn or Winter. Allow 1 metre (3 feet) between each plant. Note an established plant (bush) in a good year can produce up to 4.5kg of fruit (10lb in old money) so you shouldn’t need space for more than 1 or 2 plants to provide you with more than enough.

Gooseberry bushes aren’t fussy; in fact they are very tolerant and will tolerate partial shade. They do like moisture retentive soil.

Mulch annually and prune annually (in autumn).


  1. Strawberries…a firm family favourite.

A freshly picked strawberry, warm from the sun is just too tempting to ignore. They really are one of the kitchen garden favourites.

Three popular varieties:

  • Honeoye’ produces a very deep red, full flavour fruit and it comes early in the season so having two or three plants among your crop allows you to spoil yourself for longer!
  • Cambridge Favourite’ truly is a favourite and it fruits in mid season and is a bountiful producer.
  • Florence’ is a late variety but importantly, a very prolific producer with very rich, sweet fruits. It also has a good resistance to disease.



Prepare your soil well and plant in the Spring placing each plant 30cms (12 inches) apart. The crown of the plant should be level with the soil surface.

Ten plants should produce 4.5kg (10lbs) of fruit. Mulch the plants with straw to keep the fruit away from the soil.

Pick your strawberries as they ripen. If you leave them on the plant too long they will spoil.

Strawberry beds are recommended to remain in situ for 3 years and then be re-planted in a different place.

Grey mould can affect the plants if conditions are too wet but watering in the morning instead of the evening can reduce this risk.


  1. Raspberries…delicious in so many ways.

Growing your own raspberries is a simple pleasure. Gardening doesn’t get much easier than this.

You can plant the canes pretty much anyway; a long row (or two if you have the space), a short row, along an edge, against a wall…you name it.  Twelve plants will give you a row of 4 – 5 meters (16 feet). Plant the canes approximately 25cm apart.

Raspberries should be planted in Autumn or early Winter however you can plant at any time although the soil should be moist.  Buy your plants as bare-root canes. Harvesting time is Summer and Autumn.

Two popular varieties:

  • Autumn Bliss’ is one of the popular raspberries and it’s been around for a very long time. It’s a traditional favourite, grows to a height of 1.5m, doesn’t need a support and is very disease resistant. Needless to say it fruits in Autumn…
  • Glen Ample’ is a high yielding summer fruiting variety with lovely flavour and the bonus is that it fruits over a longer than usual period of time.



Plant them in water retentive ground – somewhere without risk of drying out but they mustn’t become water-logged.

Choose a position that’s in part shade avoiding the sun, if possible, in the hottest part of the day during the height of summer.

Do not plant autumn and summer fruiting raspberries near each other. They have different pruning needs and may well become mixed up.


To check availability of any of the listed varieties before you visit please call us on 01392 876281.

Potatoes- what on earth?

Potatoes – what on earth?

We often hear the phrase ‘Earthing up’ whilst speaking about potatoes, especially around this time of the year. It is much simpler and more useful than it may sound!

Earthing up

Earthing up or ridging as it is sometimes known, is simply drawing up soil into a ridge above the row of planted potatoes. You can do this as soon as foliage emerges above the surface.


  •  it protects the early foliage from any frost damage.
  •  it blocks light from reaching the tubers which can have the adverse effect of turning the tubers green and making them inedible. To make sure this is always happening, we recommend earthing up in stages.
  • finally, the piled up soil can help to lock in moisture which allows the tubers to ‘swell’ and grow.

 For container potatoes

Maybe you have decided to grow potatoes in sacks or containers, if so the process of earthing up still applies- simply add layers of compost in stages as the stems begin to grow. Carry on until you reach the top of the container. A good heap of about 8 inches / 20-cm should be enough.

Don’t rush

After all your efforts with earthing up, don’t give in to the temptation of harvesting your crops too early. For early potatoes be sure to wait until the flowers are completely out and for the main crop variety you can hold back until the foliage begins to turn yellow.