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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Small Fruits and Berries

If you ask people what their favourite summertime berry is… odds are they will say Strawberry. These delightful tasty berries are easy to grow and are small enough that they can be grown in pots, gardens or even hanging baskets. In this short article, we’ll introduce you to Strawberries and some of the many varieties available at Art’s Nursery.
Bowl of Strawberries

Strawberries belong to the Fragraria genus of plants and are one of the most popular fruits for fresh eating, cooking, jams, jellies and desserts. They grow to about 6 inches high and have semi-evergreen leaves comprised of three leaflets with serrated edges.

Types of Strawberries

There are three different groups of Strawberries:

  • June Bearing Strawberries
  • Ever Bearing Strawberries
  • Alpine/Wild Strawberries

June-Bearing Strawberries

June Bearing Strawberries are also called Spring Bearing varieties. They respond to increasing amount of daylight and shortening nights by producing flowers and setting a large heavy crop of berries in late spring to early summer depending on your location. June Bearing varieties tend to be much sweeter than other varieties. They may also produce a small crop in the fall when days begin to shorten and nights get longer. These types tend to send out more runners than do ever-bearing varieties.

Ever-Bearing Strawberries

Ever bearing Strawberries, also called “Day Neutral” varieties, produce a smaller, steady stream of berries in Summer through to the Fall. As long as temperatures are between 35-85F (basically above freezing and below 30C), they will continue to produce flowers and fruit. Ever bearing varieties tend to produce the most in the first year. Their disadvantage is that they don’t ripen as many fruits at one time and while they may be juicier, they may not be as sweet as June-Bearing types.

Alpine Strawberries (Fragraria vesca)

Alpine Strawberries, Fragraria vesca, is also called Fraise de Bois. These plants tend to produce much smaller berries, but are packed with incredible flavor. They are day-neutral and produce most heavily in late summer. Some varieties are available as seed or ornamental types may be sold as groundcovers. Alpine strawberries do not normally produce runners, but will self-seed. Generally speaking, Alpines are easier to grow and need less fertile soil and moisture than do other types of strawberries.
Alpine Strawberries

Growing Strawberries

Strawberries need a location with full sun, but most do not do well in hot, dry conditions. Excessive heat and dryness also encourages Spider Mites. Strawberries thrive in very rich, moist, but well drained soil. Elevated, well drained loam or sandy loam is preferable. Amend the soil with well rotted manure or compost for added benefit.

Air circulation is also important. Give plants more space between plantings and the better they will do. 12-24 inches between plants is ideal.

Fertilizing Strawberries

All Strawberries benefit from a healthy application of bonemeal at planting time. For June Bearing varieties, apply a balanced all purpose or fruit tree/berry food a few weeks after planting, but before flower and berries begin to form. For Ever-bearing types, fertilize more often up until mid-summer to encourage a steady stream of fruit. We’ve seen lots of good results from using Kelp as a foliar feed throughout the season.

Strawberry Care

Strawberries are short lived. They decline in production after 3-4 years. For a continuous crop, plant a few new ones every year and remove old ones from your garden. Most varieties will renew themselves on their own by sending out long thin “runners” that will root and create new strawberry plants for you. Just sever the stem once the new plants are rooted, and enjoy them in place, or dig and re-locate them.

June bearing varieties also benefit from pinching first year blooms to ensure a better crop in the second year.

As mentioned, strawberries need a fair amount of moisture, about an inch a week is common. However, avoid getting the leaves wet as this can lead to mold and disease. Mold is one of the most common problems facing strawberry growers. Good hygiene is the key to prevention. Provide good air circulation, avoid excess moisture on the leaves and remove any overripe or moldy fruits as soon as you can.

Winter Strawberry Care

In the Fall, tidy up the area and remove old leaves to prevent pests and disease. Discard excess or unwanted runners. Cover your strawberry plants with straw just before frost. This helps prevent injury from low temperatures. Remove the mulch in Spring as growth begins and the chances of frost have declined.

Common Strawberry Varieties

June Bearing Varieties

All Star

AllStar Strawberries produce a very large, light orange to red berry with sweet red flesh. It’s a large, vigorous plant that can produce many runners. Mid-Season. Fruit is extra juicy and can be as large as plums.

Cavendish

Cavendish strawberry delivers tremendous yields and many runners. Berries are very large and dark red in colour. Flavour is good. Originally from Nova Scotia. Long fruiting season.

Fort Laramie

This June and Fall producing strawberry is known for its periodic production through the growing season. Exceptionally aromatic berries are large, sweet and have an excellent flavor. Yields are heavy at times

Honeoye

This variety features dark green leaves and produces many runners. Very productive and vigorous, its berries are bright red, slightly tart and very large. Long picking season

Kent

Kent Strawberry is a mid-season, high yielding variety with large berries and excellent flavor. A vigorous grower that produces berries great for fresh eating

Quinault

Quinault Strawberry features medium sized berries with good flavor that are periodically produced throughout the growing season. Fruits can appear as early as 4-5 weeks after planting.

Totem

Totem Strawberry is a mid-season produces of a heavy crop of large berries with a good, rich flavor. One of the most popular varieties for the Pacific Northwest
Eversweet Strawberry Runners

Ever Bearing Strawberry Varieties

Albion

Albion is one of the best varieties for U-Pick fields. Fruits emerge from May through October and deliver a heavy yield of medium sized berries with excellent flavor

EverSweet

EverSweet strawberries are exceptionally sweet and flavourful. Yields are good and the berries very large. A good heat resistant plant.

Hecker

A lesser known variety amongst home gardeners that is better suited for cooler climates. Delivers a very heavy yield of medium sized berries with excellent flavor.

Seascape

Seascape is a medium sized strawberry that is both vigorous and high yielding. Berries are very large, bright red, firm and sweet. Harvest from early summer through fall. Peak fruiting occurs between August and Early September. Best flavor when grown with enough hear.

Tristar

Tristar is a reliable heavy cropper with medium sized, but sweet berries. Great for fresh eating. Harvest from summer through fall. Dislikes excessive summer heat, but can produce a large fall crop.

How To Buy Strawberry Plants

You buy strawberry plants in a number of ways. In early spring, strawberry runners, or small roots are available in packs of 1o or 25 depending on the variety. This is a good, inexpensive way to start growing strawberries. If you want some of the guesswork removed, you can purchase small starter plants, usually in 4 inch pots by April. Larger plants are usually available year-round in our small fruit section at Arts Nursery. Please call ahead if you are looking for a specific variety as the selection is always changing depending on availability and season.

Want to Know More?

Join April 1, 2017 for our Root To Fruit, How to Grow Edibles At Home event. This casual event happens from 11am-3:00pm with Q&A and sessions on seeding, growing herbs and veg, small fruits and berries as well as planting and caring for fruit trees. Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Brazelberry Collection

Deliciously Beautiful Fruits

Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Small Fruits and Berries

blueberry jelly bean - brazel berry collection

Since the 1970’s, the Brazelton family of Oregon have been the pre-eminent grower of blueberries and other small fruits. Over two decades their breeding program has spawned countless new varieties. But  the best have been reserved for their new Brazel Berry Collection.

These plants are the families personal promise that these varieties will be easy to grow, dazzle the senses and tantalize the taste buds. Moreover, these plants feature exquisite ornamental qualities, amazing fruit and are suitable for growing in containers. Art’s Nursery is product to offer 3 of these exciting new berry varieties this spring.

  • Raspberry ‘Strawberry Shortcake’
  • Blueberry ‘Peach Sorbet’
  • Blueberry ‘Jelly Bean’

 

raspberry shortcake raspberry - brazel berry collection

Raspberry ‘Strawberry Shortcake’

This initial variety in the Brazelberry collection is a thornless dwarf raspberry. It has a compact, mounding habit reaching 24-36 inches in height. It’s ideally suited for large patio containers. It requires no staking, no pollination and has sturdy upright canes – without a single thorn. It also rewards gardeners and homeowners with super sweet raspberries with a slight vanilla essence in mid-summer. Fruits mid-season. Fruit appear on canes that have gone through winter dormancy. Once fruiting is finished, prune away those canes. Leave new canes to fruit next season. Best grown in full sun in neutral to slightly acidic moist, but well drained soils. Fertilize in early spring.Hardy in zones 5-7.

peach sorbet blueberry - brazel berry collection

Blueberry ‘Peach Sorbet’

‘Peach Sorbet’ is a real peach of a blueberry. It offers four seasons of interest. It’s a compact blueberry with vibrant new spring growth ranging from peach to pink to orange to emerald. Spring’s white bell shaped flowers will give way to an abundant summer crop of healthy, peach-sweet, almost tropical tasting blueberries. In most climates, ‘Peach Sorbet’ keeps its leaves year round. If they do remain in your area, foliage colour can dramatically shift to rich eggplant purple. This blueberry is ideal as a landscape plant or even in a decorative container on your patio. Fruits mid-season. Best in full sun and acidic, moist, but well drained soils. Grows 1-2ft in height and spread. Prune away canes that have fruited. Leave new canes to fruit the following year. Hardy in zones 5-10.

blueberry jellybean - brazel berry collection

Blueberry ‘Jellybean’

‘Jelly Bean’ is a super dwarf hardy blueberry that is prolific – producing a huge crop of large flavourful berries in mid-summer. Fruit has a super-sweet flavor almost like homemade blueberry jelly. New foliage emerges brilliant green in spring, giving way to darker greens and reds throughout the summer and fall. In cooler climates, summer brings radiant red leaf edges and tips on the uniquely elongated leaves. Best grown in full sun in moist, but well drained acidic soils. Fertilize in early spring. Grows 1-2ft in height and spread. Once fruiting is complete, prune away canes that have fruited. Leave new canes to produce fruit next year.Hardy in zones 4-7.

All three of these delicious small fruits are usually available at Arts Nursery in 2013. As always, please call ahead 604.882.1201 to confirm availability. Our stock and selection is always changing. If you have any more questions about Brazel Berries or any of our small fruits please feel free to give us a call or drop by.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Posted By: Lyle Courtice A.H. in Small Fruits and Berries

When I moved into my present location the front yard was a massive jungle of weeds and "garden" unfortunately not my idea of a garden.  I proceeded to have the entire yard stripped of every living thing with the exception of a very old grape vine (still do not know the variety?). 

The grape eventually got a new arbor to ramble over and seems to be fairly happy, producing an abundance of sweet green seedless fruit which I look forward to harvesting from September into October unless the wildlife (or neighbors) get to them first! 

green grapes

 Grapes are wonderful plants to grow as they can offer several benefits:  shade under an arbor or structure, screening when planted on a vertical structure/surface and of course edible fruit or if you are so inclined wine production. 

Before you run out to buy your grape vine first determine what you are growing it for; table grapes which are for eating fresh do not make good wine as they are not high enough in sugar content and have too low acidity to balance the wine, while wine grapes tend to be small berried and seedy, one vine will not fit the bill for both.

Also keep in mind that grapes will require some form of structure to grow on and once established most varieties grow rather quickly and will require a yearly regime of extensive pruning to maintain their size and promote optimal health and fruit production. 

Correct pruning also maximizes exposure to sun which allows the grapes to ripen, too much rampant/uncontrolled growth leads to shading of the vine and can allow disease and insects to take hold. Each variety will require specific maintenance depending upon their individual growth habits and requirements. 

I will not get into the "art" of pruning grapes at this time as it is a whole article on it's own.  Check with our horticulturists at Art's Nursery or do some online research as to how to maintain your particular variety.

Grapes should be grown in full sun in a well-drained sandy loam, they will tolerate heavier clay-type soils but this will delay the maturity of crops and vines.  Most grapes are self-fertile so do not require other varieties to cross pollinate, this makes them more versatile for the home gardener as you can have but one plant which saves on space. 

The varieties listed below are all perfectly winter hardy for the lower mainland and some even like our cooler growing conditions *.  Pruning should be done during the winter months when the vines are dormant.


Table Grapes

'Himrod'

Green seedless grape produced in a large loose cluster.  Berries are sweet and juicy, good for eating fresh and for making into raisins; early season.

'Sovereign Coronation' *

Developed at Summerland Research Station, this midseason eating grape produces virtually seedless, blue-purple fruit with a sweet musky flavor.  Makes great preserves.

'Vanessa' *

Blush-red, firm fruit with a sweet, tangy flavor.  Excellent quality grape for eating fresh, making juice, jam and jelly.  Keeps well under refrigeration.  Early season.


wine grapes

Wine Grapes

'DeChaunac' *

French-American hybrid used in making good quality red wines that are balanced and fruity with low tannin levels.  Vigorous habit with good disease resistance.

'Maréchal Foch' *

Hardy French hybrid with medium to large, loose clusters of small blue-black berries; midseason.  Reliably produces excellent red wines with high acidity and minimal tannin levels.  Vines have good vigor and are disease resistant.

'White Riesling' *

Green skinned grape from the Germany used to produce good quality aromatic wines.  Grapes have high acidity and sugar content and are used in making semi-sweet, sweet, sparkling white and ice wine.

Ornamental Grapes

Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea'

PURPLELEAF GRAPE – Deciduous woody climber with attractive purple-red new growth that fades to bronze-green by summer; turns a stunning fiery red in fall.  A late season grape that produces small clusters of blue-black fruit that has sweet flesh with a bitter skin; good for preserves.  Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil.  Prune during winter while vines are dormant.  Height:  3-5m  Zone:  5   

Ornamental Grape

* Photography courtesy of HarkAway Botanicals

These and other grape varieties are commonly available at Art's Nursery. As always please call ahead to confirm exact availability as our selection is always changing.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Growing Remarkable Raspberries

Greats Tip & Techniques for Growing Raspberries In Your Garden

Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Small Fruits and Berries
raspberries image

Raspberries are one of the most delicious and most delicate of the small fruits. Growing a remarkable crop of raspberries is not difficult as long as you follow these simple guidelines.

In general, raspberries are heavy feeders and need regular watering (especially when the fruit is starting to swell) and prefer to grow in full sun. With careful planning your crop should produce fruit for 12 years, so it is worth the effort to really prep the soil and to install support for your plants. The average yield is 4 ½ lbs. of fruit per 3ft row.

Raspberries have a suckering root system which produce new canes every year and produce fruit the following year (on last years’ canes) and then die.

As a result there is a need for annually pruning out the old canes (right to the ground) each spring. Fertilize in March with a slow feeding organic product like Gaia 4-8-4 Power Bloom (available at Arts Nursery), then mulch heavily (2-3 inches deep) with compost or well rotted manure.

Keep in mind raspberries need:

  • Shelter from strong wind
  • good drainage is essential
  • regular weeding, watching not to damage newly sprouting canes
  • firm stakes and cable supports
  • bird protection netting

Stakes should be 6 foot long ( 2 feet in ground, 4 feet above) set at 10-12 feet apart, with cross bars. Then install 14 gauge galvanized wire cables strung the length at heights of 2 feet and again at 4 feet high. This will protect canes and fruit from wind effects.

Trench 1-2 feet wide and 6 inches deep (and/or mound up to allow drainage), digging in compost at this time. Plant your raspberry in a hole that is 1`1/2 times the size of the root mass. Try to spread the roots out horizontally to speed suckering of new canes.

Pick raspberries while they are slightly firm.

Choosing a Raspberry For Your Garden

There are many types of Raspberries available on the market today. They are divided into two main groups: single crop and everbearing varieties. Single crop types produce a summer crop typically in June or July. Everbearing types produce both a summer and a fall crop of fruit.


Common Raspberry Varieties

raspberry heritage

Raspberry 'Heritage'

Heritage produces large sweet and firm dark red berries. A superior quality raspberry that is excellent for fresh eating, desserts and preserves. Ripens in July and bears fruit until September or October. Everbearing variety.
raspberry coho

Raspberry 'Coho'

Coho is an older variety first released in 2001 by the USDA Agriculture Research Stations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

‘Coho’ is high yielding and late-ripening, and produces large, bright red, very firm fruit that separate easily from the plant. It is tasty and ideally suited for fresh eating. Summer cropping variety

raspberry tulameen

Raspberry 'Tulameen'

Summer bearing, large, firm flavourful berries with excellent colour and quality. Canes are strong, upright and almost spineless. An excellent variety for the home garden due to its size and extended harvest season ( approximately 50 days)
raspberry indian summer

Raspberry 'Indian Summer'

Indian Summer is an ever-bearing raspberry variety that produces a small crop in late spring and larger crop in Fall. Canes grow to about five feet and are vigorous, erect and sturdy. The fruit is red, medium-large sized with great raspberry flavour. It is an excellent variety for fresh eating and cooking. Use as an edible security barrier along fence lines and in strips too narrow for fruit trees. Grows to about 5-6 ft in height
raspberry fall gold

Raspberry 'Fall Gold'

Fall Gold raspberry is a prolific producer of tasty gold-coloured fruit. An everbearing variety that produces two crops - a fall crop on the top third of the canes and a second crop the following late spring on the bottom two-thirds. Very hardy.
raspberry canby red

Raspberry 'Canby Red'

Canby Red raspberry is a prolific producer of tasty dark red fruit in mid-summer to fall of the second year. Small white flowers precede the fruit on erect, thornless canes. Very hardy selection.

Other varieties of raspberries are also available at Art's Nursery. Please call ahead to confirm availability. Also have a look at the brand new dwarf thornless variety called Raspberry Shortcake


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

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