The Fruits of Your Labor

Growing small fruits such as raspberries, blueberries, grapes, blackberries or gooseberries are often overlooked as a sustainable addition to your garden.  Most varieties do well here in Colorado but often require certain growing conditions for the different berries.

Raspberries, Blackberries and Boysenberries
  • Ever-bearing or Fall-bearing raspberries seem best-suited for the Front Range, according to tests conducted by Colorado State University.
  • Creek Side Gardens offers many varieties of Raspberries, Blackberries and Boysenberry. Consider growing a variety of types.
  • New canes are produced from the soil patch each spring which will bear fruit early.
  • Cut the first-year canes in half in the fall. They will bear fruit the following year, later in the season.
  • All need trellis’ and produce more fruit on second year canes.
  • Boysenberries, Blackberries and Raspberries need full sun, avoid windy areas as the heat can dehydrate the canes.
  • Loamy, sandy well-draining soil is best and slightly acidic for both types of berries. Colorado clay soil is not desirable so be sure to properly amend your berry patch area.  A good berry patch may last 10-15 years.  Well worth the effort!
  • Grapes need full sun, well-draining soil, adequate nutrients and water just like the other berry varieties. A trellis, pergola, etc. is desirable for vining.
  • Pruning grape vines at the right time and right stage is important to the growth of the vine. Start pruning in the 3rd Pruning allows vines to get enough sunlight for the grapes to ripen. Expect grape harvests in August or September, depending on the variety.

Who Knew!

Different grapes for different things.

Table grapes

  • used for fresh eating. Most popular are seedless grapes. Varieties include Himrod, Interlaken, Canadice, St. Theresa, and Reliance.

Juice and jelly grapes

  • popular varieties; Concord, Valiant, Niagra, and St. Croix.
  • Blueberries need full sun and require acidic soil. Soil is a key component of a successful plant. Plant directly into peat moss.
  • For successful growing in Colorado, leave them in a pot on the patio or add lots of peatmoss to the garden bed to lower the pH.
  • Plant two or more varieties for successful pollination.
  • Blueberries won’t have much fruit the first 2 to 3 years, but a bigger harvest is coming at about 4-5 years. Reaching full size in 8-10 years.
  • Blueberries are very susceptible to harsh Colorado winters.  Protect from wind and cold by covering with a weighted barrel or tie up the branches in layers of burlap. Each winter, prune out old, weak and dead wood.
  • Sort of a funny looking fruit with its translucent green appearance.  Gooseberries are delicious cooked in pies or jam. A tart berry that isn’t as desirable fresh.
  • They’re easy to grow, and just a single bush will reward you with masses of berries for up to 15 years.
  • Grow gooseberries in moist but free-draining, fertile soil, in full sun.
  • Prune gooseberry bushes annually to maintain a ‘goblet’ shape and mulch in autumn