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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.


Friday, May 9, 2014
Posted By: Laurelle Olfdord-Down in Fruit Trees

I am noticing a huge increase in popularity among gardeners to plant edibles. There is an upswing in popularity among designers to include fruits, herbs and other edibles in the landscape. Parents want their kids to actually see where their food comes from, say a tree or a bush and not a cello wrapped bag from the grocery store. Young couples in apartments want to grow fruit trees and veggies in containers on their balcony or allotment garden. People new to Canada are coming to nurseries asking for new and unusual favorites. I am excited to see this happening.

Planting stuff you can eat is a great way to encourage gardeners. Plants that ‘pay rent’ are a lovely thank you for all of that work we put in to fertilizing, watering and oh my goodness the weeding. Planting edibles…fruit and berries in particular, is not very difficult and like all gardening, put the right fruit in the right place and in some cases with the right partner and you can make even the most mediocre of gardeners into a proud, fruit toting zero mile foodie! Pollination! This is viewed as a deep dark secret by some and is a too often stumbling block to many.

So I’m going to try to simplify this subject and help you to be a successful fruit grower. To get you on the right track, I will clarify a couple of terms. Pollinizer is the tree or shrub that provides the pollen. A pollinator is the bee, fly, wasp, butterfly, bat, hummingbird or other critter that transfers the pollen from one plant to another.

Apple Tree Pollination

Apple Tree Pollination

Apples, it takes two DIFFERENT apple varieties that bloom around the same times to get apples. As long as the blossoms open within about a week of one another and you have pollinators present and hard at work you will get apples. Crabapples in particular have a nice long bloom time and will often cover a wide range of pollination days.

Do you need your apple trees to be in the same yard and right next to one another? No. As long as the apple or crabapple tree are within about 4 city lots of one another you will likely get apples. It used to be a square city block of one another but our pollinators are getting scarce. Certainly the closer the better. There a number of apples known as triploids. These apples are like the greedy stepsisters of the pollination world…all take, take, take and no give. The can be pollinated by another tree but will not pollinate anyone else, so you would need a third variety in the mix if you wanted apples on all of the trees. Why plant a triploid? They are often pretty tasty varieties like: King of Thompkins County, Bramley’s Seedling and Gravenstein.

Cherry Tree Pollination

Cherry Tree Pollination

Cherries, there are a number of varieties like the sour cherries, bush cherries and some sweet cherries that are self- fruitful. There are also a number of varieties that will require a DIFFERENT cherry variety nearby as a pollinizer to produce cherries. It will usually say so on the label. All cherries will benefit from having a DIFFERENT cherry variety nearby and you will often get bigger yields if this is the case. You have 2 different cherries nearby and wonder why you don’t get fruit some years? Watch what happens at bloom time…if it is raining up, down and sideways…the pollinators can’t do their job, they stay home and wait for the rain to stop like sensible bees.

Plum Tree Pollination

Plum Tree Pollination

Plums, we’ll cover European and Japanese varieties. Many European varieties are self fruitful. For those that are not you will need another DIFFERENT European plum as a pollinizer. Most Japanese plums will need another DIFFERENT Japanese plum as a pollinizer. It’s not that the European or Japanese plums are unable to pollinize one another it is simply that the Japanese plums often bloom too early to catch the bloom time of the European plums. It is also better to have the Japanese plums at least in the next yard or two as they bloom at a cooler time of spring and we want to make it a bit easier on our hard working pollinators.

Pear Tree Pollination

Pear Tree Pollination

Pears, there are European varieties and Asian varieties. With pears you will need two DIFFERENT varieties of pears for pollination to occur. Asian varieties tend to bloom earlier and European pears tend to bloom later. There is occasional overlap as with Bartlett European Pear and Twentieth Century Asian pear. Pear blossoms are lower in sugar so not particularly attractive to many pollinators. Believe it or not the common housefly helps to pollinate pears! Do try to keep your pears within 10-20 feet of one another to aid pollination.

Blueberry Pollination

Blueberry Pollination

There are a number of varieties that will produce a few with just one plant but you will be rewarded handsomely if you plant another blueberry close by. I like to have all my berries in one patch. Did you know the bell shaped blossoms will only release their pollen with the specific vibration of a bees wings? For all you music buffs I believe it is the key of C. If you have a tuning fork and you hit it and place it next to a blossom, you can see the pollen release…cool eh?

Haskap / Honey Berry Pollination

Haskap or Honeyberry – You will need two unrelated varieties that bloom at the same time to get fruit. The little yellow flowers are early but seem to be very attractive to our pollinators. I would plant them closer together, say about 3-5 feet.

Seabuckthorn

You will need one female plant and one male plant to produce fruit. No you don’t have to look under the leaves to tell…it’s on the label

Lingonberries

One plant is fine but you will produce more fruit if you get multiples…perhaps it just makes it more attractive to the pollinators.

Small Fruit Pollination

Other Small Fruits

Raspberries, Blackberries, Currants, Figs, strawberries. You are fine with just the one. Though in the case of raspberries and strawberries it won’t be just one for long!

Now get out there and get cracking! The sun is out and the time is just right. Try something new, challenge yourself and plant an edible. If you have questions still, come in and say Hi! Wow me with your awesome knowledge of the difference between and pollinizer and pollinator and I will be thrilled to bits and answer all of your questions. Actually, if you forget and don’t know the difference, I will still answer your questions…but I might sneer a little…inside ;).


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!

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