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17 September 2014
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how to be a gardener - The complete online guide

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7 - Growing fruit
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To get the best strawberries, put in newly bought plants every three years.

To get the heaviest crop the following year, plant strawberries in late summer to early autumn. But don’t plant where strawberries have been in the past three years.

Strawberries grow best in a warm, sunny spot, and need well-drained soil. They are not keen on chalky soil.
Water regularly while the fruits are developing, and place straw or strawberry mats beneath them for protection.
Remove runners - stems with baby plants on them - as they appear.
There are two sorts of raspberries: summer fruiting, which give a huge crop in a short time in summer, and autumn fruiting, which crop more sedately from high summer until the first frosts
Raspberries need a sheltered, sunny spot and rich but well-drained soil. Plant the dormant canes in autumn or early winter and cut down to 15cm (6in), so that in the first year all the energy goes into establishing a good root system and canes for the following year. Before planting, put up a support that you can tie them to.
In spring apply a thick mulch of well-rotted manure and tie the canes to the wires as they grow.
For summer fruiting varieties, cut canes that have fruited back to ground level in late winter, and tie in the new ones 10cm (4in) apart. For autumn fruiting varieties, cut the canes back to ground level.
Black currantsCurrants
There are black, red, and white currants. They all fruit in mid-summer, need protection against wind and will tolerate some shade, but protect blackcurrants from spring frosts. They don’t do well on very acid soil, unless you add lime.
Plant new bushes in late autumn into rich, moisture retentive soil, at about 1.2m to 1.5m (4ft to 5ft) apart. After planting prune all the branches to the lowest bud to encourage strong growth.
In spring apply a fertiliser high in nitrogen and potassium, and mulch with well-rotted organic matter.
They all need regular pruning to keep fruit yields high. With mature bushes, prune out about a third of it each year. Cut out the oldest wood so that it encourages new vigour resulting in strong new growth which carries fruit the following year.
7. The productive garden

Setting up your plot
Growing vegetables
Growing fruit
 Soft fruit
 Tree fruit
The kitchen diary
Greenhouse growing
The herb garden
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