The Strawberry Patch and other Berry Good Ideas

In the beautiful book Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Kimmerer, she explains how the North American Indigenous cultures call strawberries Heartberries and have an Origin Story based around its arrival.  They certainly so look like hearts, once it’s pointed out to you, and certainly have the flavour to win one over!  Growing berries can be a very simple way of engaging with home fruits; they are simple to plant, cheap to buy, easy to grow and delicious to eat…and they can be great to get the kids involved with and even get them to plant their own patch.

What you need:

  • 5-6 hours sun
  • raised beds, mounded furrows, pots, baskets or strawberry bags
  • add manure and compost before planting
  • follow the spacing details on the label to ensure good airflow
  • remove spent fruit to they don’t harbour disease
  • protect ripening fruits from birds
  • mulch with straw or lucerne to keep fruit clean and off the ground

Strawberries are quite ornamental as well as edible.  Their pretty foliage and dainty white and pink flowers and even red flowers are prolific, and the fruits that follow are hard to resist.

Other berries worth trying in warmer areas include blueberries, elderberries, mulberries, the native midgen berries and the thornless varieties of blackberry and their hybrids.  Only bother with raspberries, currants and gooseberries if you get a cold winter, as they need this to set fruit.

Berries are of course one of the best known super foods which you can read more about growing here.