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Choosing those right berries

If you are looking to save some money on your food bills, increase the amount and variety of fruits you and your family eat, or are just looking to add interest to your landscape, incorporating berries into your landscape makes simple sense. Berries are often easier to maintain that fruit trees, and almost every loves the fresh taste of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. One of the most sought after berries to plant seems to be the blueberry.

Unfortunately, blueberries are not for everyone. Blueberries need to grow in very acidic soil because they need high levels of iron, which is only available at lower pH levels. If you are looking for a berry bush that does well in average soil, consider trying the honeyberry or edible blue honeysuckle. This berry is a pale to dark, blue oblong fruit. The flavor is described as blueberry with black currant and black raspberry overtones. It seems the flavor is somewhat dependent on the level of polyphenols (antioxidants) and the soil types. They are certainly better well-ripened. The Russian types can be harvested all at one picking while the Japanese-area types tend to ripen over an extended time and are later by ten to fifteen days.

Honeyberries are very hardy. All they need is well-drained soil, a little protection from winds, and moderate rainfall. Cold hardiness is not an issue and the flowers are known to survive at 19F. They require very little, if any, fertilizing.

They do require cross pollination so be sure you get two varieties. Some pair up better than others, so ask about this when you are purchasing plants. Both plants need pollen from another plant to be productive and set fruit. One of your plants may not have as good fruit since the pollinator varieties are sometimes chosen because their pollen works better on the good variety. But fruit from both plants will be edible.

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