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13 messages
27/02/2014 at 12:52

I was wondering if anyone knows if it's ok to plant spring bulbs amongst my fruit bushes. I intend to plant blackcurrants, redcurrants, raspberries and thornless blackberries in raised beds (easier than trying to fight with my heavy clay soil) but don't like the idea of all that earth sitting bare and boring for so long. I figured that some snowdrops, crocus, dafs etc... would bring some colour to the area and (hopefully) go some way to deterring the neighbours cat from messing there. Although there is some info online about companion planting, I can't seem to find any info about planting bulbs with fruit. Any input would be gratefully received. I'm pretty new to this gardening lark, and although I'm not especially good at it, I'm certainly enthusiastic  

27/02/2014 at 13:08

I have daffs planted in my blueberry bed and strawberries along the front edge of my black and redcurrant bed.

You just need to make sure the bulbs aren't right in the roots of your fruit bushes but further out under their canopy where they will get enough sun and rain and light to perform before your bushes are covered in blossom and foliage.

You can also spread a 2 to 3 inch thick mulch of bark chippings under your shrubs once the bulbs are planted and that will help deter cats too as they won't be able to dig in the soil.

27/02/2014 at 13:21

I adopted the same idea in two of my beds, it looks good pretty much all year round now.

27/02/2014 at 13:57

I think from a home grower perspective you'll be fine. I'm sure any show grower would tell you not to but I'd be surprised if you noticed. I've planted bulbs amongst mine.

27/02/2014 at 14:12

Thanks for the quick replies. Thats great news. Can't wait to get moving on this project 

Obelixx, I have just bought strawberries and was going to grow them in hanging baskets, never thought to put them in with the berries. Will try with a few plants, see how they go, don't fancy losing them all to the slugs! Was also looking at blueberries, saw some  bluecrop and patriot in town today but wasn't entirely sure if I should have 2 of the same variety or 2 different, so came home without them. That's a shopping trip for another day, bit more research first I think. Yeah, the bark doesn't work, these cats will poop anywhere, (they don't dig, they just do it and leave)....except in their own back yard! 

Millers, that's exactly what I was hoping for, something to brighten the place up when the fruit bushes are sleeping. 

Jim, my inexperience means that I can hardly be called a home grower let alone a show grower!  

27/02/2014 at 14:40

You grow at home, so a home grower. I'm working on growing my hair this week.

27/02/2014 at 15:04

I'm growing tired of all this rain......does that count?  

 

27/02/2014 at 15:06

 Absolutely!!!

27/02/2014 at 15:07

But yes, you'll get a better crop of blueberries if you have two varieties that flower about the same time.

27/02/2014 at 17:49

Thanks for the tip Jim, after much surfing the web, it seems that the 2 blueberry varieties I saw in town today would flower at different times (patriot is an early while bluecrop is mid season) so now I have to find other varieties to go with them....I'll check out another nursery tomorrow but I'll probably end up having to buy them online. 

27/02/2014 at 18:59

Lori, if my experience at the local GC's is anything to go by you'll get a much more plant for you money from them rather than on line. But sometimes you don't get the choice. Whatever you do don't buy your plants from Primrose. They sold me 9cm potted plants put into 3 litre pots. I'd never buy anything from them again. Blackmore, are very good for apple trees I haven't bought much else from them though. I'm sure others have their favourites. 

By the way, since you haven't bought any yet. Have you thought about 

Lonicera Caerulea they're very easy to grow and similar to blueberries I'm told. Not tried them yet. You will still need two but 

 

Lonicera Caerulea 'Fialka' or 'Atut'

And 

Lonicera Caerulea 'Duet'

Are good varieties. I got mine from Larch Cottage. I was just contemplating buying another since I got one from Primrose and it wasn't a fruit variety. 

28/02/2014 at 09:08

Thanks Jim, they look really interesting though I'm not sure the kids would like the fact that when they look ripe, they might not actually be ripe. They're big fans of 'If the fruit looks ready to eat, we eat it' (which is why we intend to plant so many different fruit bushes)...unripe honeyberries might come as a bit of a shock. On the other hand, it might teach them to leave some fruit for their mother!  

I'll show them these later and see if they're happy to go ahead and try something new, or if they'd prefer to stick with blueberries (for the time being at least)

I appreciate all the information and help, it really is a godsend....and I have so much to learn...athough I'm pretty sure I'm well on the way to information overload already! But I'm having such fun! 

28/02/2014 at 09:49

Jim- I too have had bad experience from Primrose-will never use them again.

Obelixx- I will use your idea and plant some strawbs in my red/black current bed. 

I'm looking around for blueberries but haven't decided which ones to get as don't know too much about them.

 

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