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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!


Thursday, October 15, 2015
Posted By: Shelley Levis in Berries

In this video, Shelley Levis introduces you to four of her favourite shrubs that produce colourful berries in Fall. These include: Callicarpa, Aronia 'Autumn Magic', Spring Bouquet Viburnum and Victory Pyracantha

Spring Bouquet Viburnum

Spring Bouquet Viburnum

Viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet' (also called 'Compactum')

Spring Bouquet Viburnum is a beautiful evergreen shrub with lightly fragrant, pinkish white flowers. Flowers form striking metallic bluish-purple berries in fall. A dense, compact growth habit makes it a favourite choice for small hedges, screens and foundation plantings. Prefers full to partial sun in moist, but well drained soils. Grows moderately quick to 4-6ft tall and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 7-11

Autumn Magic Chokecherry / Chokeberry

Autumn Magic Chokeberry / Chokecherry

Aronia melanocarpa 'Autumn Magic'

Originally from the University of British Columbia, Autumn Magic Chokeberry is a compact, ornamental shrub with small clusters of white flowers in the spring, followed by purplish-black berries in the fall. The berries are somewhat edible, but quite tart. They are best suited for jams, jellies and baking when combined with other sweeter berries. Foliage turns a brilliant red in the fall. Needs full sun but tolerates extreme cold - it's hardy to zone 3!

Victory Pyracantha / Victory Firethorn

Victory Firethorn / Pyracantha

Pyracantha koidzumii  'Victory'

Victory Firethorn, or Pyracantha as it is also known is a great deer resistant barrier shrub for the garden. Masses of white spring flowers turn into colourful orange berries that attract birds in the fall. It is easy to grow and waterwise for added benefit. Prefers full sun and is hardy in zones 7-9. Grows 8-10ft tall and 6-8ft wide.

Profusion Beautyberry

Profusion Beauty Berry Shrub

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'

Beauty Berry gets its name from the masses of metallic purple berries that cover its foliage in fall and winter. It is a superb deciduous shrub with green foliage that has an exciting bronze tinge when new. Small purplish flowers appear in summer amongst the large green leaves. Prune in late winter to early spring to encourage new growth. Prefers full sun. Grows to 6-10ft high and wide. Hardy in USDA zones 5-8.

Two More Plants That Didn't Make The Video!

As we tried our best to keep the video short, these two plants were not included, but are still great fall berry producing plants.

Wintergreen

Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

This groundcover evergreen plant forms low mounds of dark green foliage, often with a reddish hue.. White waxy, urn-shaped flowers are borne in the late spring to early summer and are followed by round red fruits. Fruits are 'somewhat' edible. they have a striking wintergreen - peppermint like flavour, but are very pithy and bland. Wintergreen is an excellent plant for acidic soils and partial sun or shade. Grows up to 12 inches in height and 3ft across.

Red Beauty Holly

Red Beauty Holly

Ilex x 'Rutzan'

Red Beauty Holly delivers abundant crops of bright red berries combined with dense, deep green, evergreen spiny foliage. Tiny white flowers emerge in spring. It is excellent as a specimen or in an informal hedge. Use for framing an entrance or lining a drive. Maintains a dense form with little or no pruning. Red Beauty forms a dense, upright conical form 7-10ft tall and 4-5ft wide. Needs full to part sun and regular watering. Hardy in USDA zones 6-10.

If you have any questions about these plants, or want to add them to your garden, drop by Art's Nursery, or give us a call at 604.882.1201. We'd be happy to assist you! As always, call ahead to confirm availability as our selection is always changing.


Thursday, April 16, 2015
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Edibles

When it comes to gardening, nothing has been more popular in the past several years than edibles. While vegetables, fruit trees and herbs have always been hot, new varieties have taken over centre stage. Check out these 8 new and unusual edibles for 2015

Brazelberry Pink Icing Blueberry

Brazelberry Pink Icing Blueberry

One of the newest additions to the Brazelberry lineup is ‘Pink Icing’ Blueberry. It features breathtaking spring and fall foliage colours. Springs new growth has varying shades of pink mixed with blue and deeper greens. In the fall and into winter, in mild climates, Pink icing foliage takes on stunning iridescent turquoise blue hues. Very impressive when planted en masse. It is an excellent blueberry for decorative patio pots or for planting into the landscape. Berries are large, sweet and have a robust blueberry flavor.

Pink Icing prefers to be grown in full sun and moist, but well drained acidic soils. Fertilize each spring with a fruit and berry or rhododendron type fertilizer. This variety produces new canes each spring and fruits on the previous years canes. Once fruiting is complete, prune canes that have fruited leaving new canes to fruit the following season. Annual pruning promotes plant growth and berry production. Grows 3-4ft in height with a mounded, slightly spreading habit.

Brazelberry Blueberry Glaze Blueberry

Brazelberry Blueberry Glaze Blueberry

Blueberry Glaze plants are unlike any other blueberries. They have a small stature and incredibly glossy, dark green leaves. They are similar in appearance to boxwood and can also be sheared as such. White with pink spring flowers beautifully contrast the deep green foliage colour. Small dark blue, almost black berries are present in little bundles in mid-summer. Berries have an intense, almost wild blueberry flavor that is packed with anti-oxidants. Super aromatic too! Blueberry Glaze is an interspecific hybrid that is hardy to Zone 5. Add it to your landscape as an accent planting or prune it into an informal hedge. It is also perfect for patio planting in decorative containers.

Blueberry Glaze prefers full sun in moist, but well drained acidic soil. Fertilize each spring with a fruit and berry or rhododendron type fertilizer. Prune the same way as Pink Icing. Grows 2-3ft tall in a compact, bushy mound.

Aloha Berry, Pineberry

Aloha Berry Strawberry / Pineberry

Fragaria ‘Aloha Berry’

The Aloha Berry is a strawberry variety with white-skinned fruit and red seeds.Not only is it interesting looking, it tastes and smells like a cross between pineapples and strawberries! It is also known as a ‘Pineberry’. This variety is self-fertile, ever-bearing and produces fruit from June through the summer.

Grow Aloha berries in the full sun in average to moist soils. Available at Art’s Nursery in mid-to late May.

Goji Berry / Wolfberry

Goji Berry

Goji berries or Wolfberries is the fruit of Lycium barbatum, a plant related to potato, tomato, eggplant and chilli peppers. It is a deciduous, woody, perennial plant that was first cultivated in parts of China up to 600 years ago. More recently discovered in North America by the masses, it has rapidly garnered attention for its nutrient value and anti-oxidant content. Flowers are bright, violet coloured while fruit is bright red an oval in shape. Grows 3-10ft tall and wide. Prefers full sun and moist, but well drained soils. Fertilize in spring before new growth begins. Prune to remove broken of damaged limbs. Extremely cold hardy to zone 3.

Fuyu Persimmon Tree

Fuyu Persimmon Tree

Diospyros kaki 'Fuyu'

Persimmons are deciduous trees that bear large, reddish-yellow fruit with firm sweet flesh. This very ornamental tree has large oval, waxy dark green leaves that fall in autumn exposing attractive edible fruit. Self-fruitful non-astringent variety. Can be eaten fresh – many other varieties require being ripened before eating. Best grown in full sun and moist, but well drained, slightly acidic soil. Grows to 30ft tall and 20ft wide. Harvest in October to November. While hardy in the Pacific Northwest, Persimmons will benefit from some winter protection from cold winds and extreme temperatures.

Ketchup and Fries Grafted Vegetable Plant

Ketchup & Fries Plant

An incredible innovation in vegetable growing. Originally from Thompson & Morgan in the UK, this unique grafted vegetable produces cherry tomatoes on top and potatoes underground. Tomatoes for snacking, salads, sauces or ketchup. Potatoes can be baked, boiled, mashed, roasted or cut for chips or fries. All natural, non-GMO. Grow it in a patio container or in your garden.

It is expected to be available at Art’s Nursery in late May or early June depending on its growth rate.

Cathedral Gem Sausage Vine

Cathedral Gem Sausage Vine

Holboellia coriacea ‘Cathedral Gem’

This durable easy to grow vine has thick, glossy evergreen foliage (in warmer climates) and abundant clusters of white buds that emerge in late winter. They open to highly perfumed pendulous blossoms of cream to dusky mauve. Large pink sausage like edible fruit are displayed in summer. Ideally suited for an arbor or trellis near pathways, patios or garden entrances so the attractive flowers and intoxicating fragrance can be enjoyed up close. Best grown in full to partial shade. Grows vigorously with stems up to 25ft long. Needs winter protection. Hardy in USDA zones 7-10

Dwarf Pomegranate

Dwarf Pomegranate

Punica granatum ‘Nana’

Dwarf Pomegranates are a showy dense deciduous shrub that displays attractive orange-red single flowers at an early age followed by colourful fruit. Excellent for containers or for use in the garden. A wonderful bonsai plant. Needs full sun and moderate watering. Grows 3ft tall and wide. Needs winter protection in our climate. Treat as a tender tropical, hardy in USDA zones 7-11

As always, call ahead, 604.882.1201, to confirm availability, as our selection is always changing and quantities on some varieties may be limited.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Winter Gardens

When our flowers have faded and the leaves have fallen, its time for the workhorses of the garden to start performing. These include the evergreens, the conifers, and the plants with other points of interest, including attractive bark and sparkling, colourful berries. In this blog post, we'll show case some of the best plants with attractive berries for your fall and winter garden.

As we've also focused on Holly this month, we won't discuss those plants in this article even though they offer fantastic winter interest with their colourful evergreen foliage and their colourful red berries.

Gaultheria procumbens - Wintergreen

Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen is a colourful, low growing groundcover shrub with bright red berries that appear in the late fall and winter. Gaultheria procumbens is an excellent groundcover for acidic soils. It produces a dense mat of glossy dark green leaves that brighten with a redish hue in the fall. White to Pale Pink flowers appear in June followed by bright red berries. While we would advise eating them, the berries have a distinct peppermint, wintergreen-fresh taste, but are rather pithy and inedible. Foliage is evergreen and retains its colour year round. It is best grown in part sun to part shade in semi-moist, but well drained soils. Mature plants will usually grow to 12 inches tall and up to 36 inches across.

Female Japanese Skimmia

Female Japanese Skimmia

Skimmia japonica Female

Skimmia are a classic evergreen shrub for fall and winter interest. Glossy green foliage is accented by white blooms in the spring and on female plants, red, holly-like berries appear in autumn and winter. Skimmia come in female and male varieties. The females will produce the berry as long as at least one male skimmia is planted in the area. It is a great plant for full to part sun and is an excellent plant for the seaside. Water regularly as needed. Grows up to 2-5ft wide and 3-6ft across. Hardy in zones 7-9.

Callicarpa Profusion, Beauty Berry

Profusion Beauty Berry

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'

Beauty Berry is a superb deciduous shrub valued for display of abundant clusters of long lasting violet berries along branches in fall. Berries are attractive to birds and can really add interest to an otherwise bare garden. New leaf growth has exciting bronze tinge. Small purplish pink flowers appear in summer amongst the large green leaves. Prune in late winter to early spring to encourage new growth. Ideal for use as a specimen, in a border or as a mass planting. Moderate growing to 6-8ft tall and wide. Best when planted in full sun. Hardy in USDA zones 5-8.

Brandywine Viburnum

Brandywine Viburnum

Viburnum nudum 'Bulk' / Witherod Viburnum

Brandywine Viburnum is a relative newcomer and provides a truly spectacular display of fall colour. Abundant green berries transform to vivid pink and blue, contrasting with the wine-coloured fall foliage. Deer resistant. Is an excellent addition to mixed borders. This viburnum prefers moist, but well drained soil. Prune after flowering if needed. Grows 5-6ft tall and wide at maturity. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9.

Scarlet Pearl Snowberry

Scarlet Pearl Snowberry

Symphoricarpos 'Scarlet Pearl'

This delightful pseudo-native plant features light pink blooms in summer followed by a vigorous crop of large pink fruit beginning in fall, becoming especially showy on otherwise bare branches in winter. Plant where berries can be enjoyed from the indoors. Cut fruiting stems can last up to 2 weeks in floral arrangements. Scarlet Pearl is a perfect plant for spicing up northern native plant landscapes and wild garden woodlands. Deciduous. Prefers to be planted in full to part sun in moist soils. Grows up to 4ft tall and wide and hardy in USDA zones 3-7.

As always, please call ahead, 604.882.1201, to confirm availability if you are making a special trip for one of these plants. Our selection is always changing and availability may be limited on some varieties.

Parneys Cotoneaster

Parney's Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster lacteus

This large evergreen shrub produces attractive balls of white flowers followed by showy red berries. It's an excellent plant the back of a border or in a garden setting. Leaves are large and dark green in colour. can be pruned as needed. Prefers to be planted in full sun and any moist, but well drained soils. Grows 6-12ft high and equally as wide. Hardy to zone 6.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Berry Nice To Meet You

7 Ornamental Berry Plants For the Fall & Winter

Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Berries

 As flowers fade and foliage drops, berries are a great way to add fall and winter interest. In this post, we'll share with you 6 of our favourite plants for fall and winter berries.

Gaultheria procumbens - Winter Green

Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen, or Gaultheria procumbens is far and away the most popular berry plant in the fall and winter.  This low growing groundcover produces a dense mat of glossy dark green leaves that brighten with a redish hue in fall. White to pale pink flowers appear in June followed by red aromatic berries. Foliage is evergreen and retains its colour year round. Best when planted in part shade in acidic, moist, but well drained soils. Grows to 12 inches tall and 2-3ft wide. Hardy in zones 3-8.

Honey Maid Holly

Honey Maid Holly

Ilex x 'Honey Maid'

'Honey Maid' Holly features a uniquely patterned blue-green leaf with a creamy white leaf margin, complimented by red berries in winter. This evergreen shrub is great for the mixed border, as an irregular hedge or a foundation plant. Best in part to full sun. Hardy in USDA zones 6-9. Grows into a pyramidal shape 8ft tall and 5ft wide.

Beauty Berry

Beauty Berry

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion'

Beauty Berry is one of those shrubs that everyone ignores 9 months of the year. However, in the mid-fall they come running to the nursery with a little clipping from a neighbors bush asking what is this plant and do you have any? Beauty Berry is a deciduous shrub with mid-green leaves and summer blooming, small, purplish-pink flowers. New growth has an exciting bronze tinge. In late Fall, striking, long lasting metallic violet-blue purple berries appear along branches. Attracts birds too! Prune it in later winter to early spring to encourage new growth. Best when planted in full sun in moist, but well drained soils. Grows 6ft tall and equally as wide. Hardy in USDA zones 5-8.

Red Beauty Holly

Red Beauty Holly

Ilex x 'Rutzan'

'Red Beauty' is the second holly on our list. It features abundant crops of bright red berries combined with dense, deep green foliage to create an annual show. Make a beautiful container plant, a specimen or even an irregular hedge. Red Beauty maintains its dense form with little or no pruning. Evergreen. Best when planted in full to part sun in moist, but well drained soils. Hardy in USDA zones 6-10. We find that hollies to benefit from some winter protection otherwise they may defoliate somewhat. Grows in a dense conical shape from 7-10ft tall and 4-5ft wide.

Streibs Finding Cotoneaster

Streibs Finding Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster dammeri 'Streibs Finding'

'Streibs Finding' is one of the lowest growing cotoneasters. Excellent, flat growing evergreen groundcover plant that features dense, tiny blue-green leaves, white flowers in spring, and masses of red berries in the fall. Use it on banks, berms and to cascade over walls. Fast growing to 6 inches tall and up to 8ft wide. Needs regular watering and is best planted in full sun. Hardy in USDA zones 6-8.

Lingon Berry

Lingon Berry

Vaccinium vitis-idaea

The Scandinavians love this one, and so should you! Also known as the Lingonberry, this lovel little groundcover features green leaves that turn bronze in the winter. In summer, pendant, bell-shaped pink flowers decorate the plant. Blooms are followed by edible red berries in the fall and winter. Yes, these are the same berries that flavour the drinks at Ikea :)

Lingonberry plants grow to 1ft in height and 3-4ft across. It's an excellent selection for mass planting. Prefers full sun to part shade in moist, but well drained soils. Extremely hardy to Zone 3. For best results, water well until established.

If you have any other questions about berry plants for your garden, call or visit us in person. As always, check in advance to confirm availability. Our plant selection is always changing depending on the season and availability. 604.882.1201


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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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