Growing berries in South Africa has, for decades, taken a backseat to the other fresh fruit that we produce and export. But, as we become more familiar with berry trees and the incredible health benefits of these little treasures, growing berry trees is becoming more and more popular. And Just Berry Plants can share plenty of advice on how to plant and care for a range of healthful berries.

Berry Trees to Plant by This Summer

Here are some of our favourite berries to plant and enjoy this summer. All of them are available from our outlet in Ruimsig (Johannesburg) or online.

Cranberries

Grow Them

These tasty treats love sunny or semi-shaded areas where water is retained and the soil is slightly acidic. You can plant them next to a pond or stream and make a point of keeping them very well watered. They need about seven hours of sunshine a day. They grow fairly slowly. So, plant them as soon as possible to enjoy the fruit in two or three years.

Eat Them

Cranberries can be eaten fresh or dried. Raw berries are quite tart. They can be sliced and added to salads, yoghurt and ice-cream. Dried cranberries are delicious as snacks on their own or added to muesli and desserts. They’re high in vitamins A, C and K, and are rich in antioxidants.

Blueberries

Grow Them

We start the process by growing the blueberries in a laboratory so that they are tolerant of viruses and diseases. When you take them home, transfer them to acidic soil in an area that gets at least seven hours of sun per day. However, the heat of the day can be a bit extreme, so you can plant the blueberries in an area that gets shade during the hottest time of the day. They need a little extra water during the hottest periods.

Eat Them

These are antioxidant bombs. Eat them straight from the bush or add them to smoothies, yoghurt, desserts and even baked goods for pops of flavour and excellent nutritive value. They’re excellent sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese and fibre. They neutralise free radicals and contribute to a healthy heart too.

Raspberries

Grow Them

These are very rewarding berries to plant because; 1) they are delicious, 2) they’re a bramble that creeps up walls and fences to create a pretty hedge and 3) they bear fruit in summer and autumn. They love fertile, slightly acidic, well-drained soil that is kept moist and free of weeds; and they thrive in full sun.

Eat Them

These berries are antioxidants that are high in fibre; and excellent sources of the vitamins B, C, E, K, as well as of manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and phosphorous. Enjoy them by the handful (especially delicious when they’ve been sweetened by the sunshine in your garden), on desserts or in smoothies.

Blackberries

Grow Them

Plant your blackberries in full sun and in slightly acidic soil that drains well. Water them often and allow them to creep up a wall or fence, because (like raspberries) these are brambles. They bear fruit in summer, making them particularly lovely to include in your garden this year.

Eat Them

Blackberries are particularly high in Vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system. They’re also rich in fibre, Vitamin K and manganese. They fight tooth cavities and gum disease and improve memory and overall brain health. Pick a handful of syrupy blackberries every time you pass your bush or add them to desserts and salads.

Gooseberries

Grow Them

Cape Gooseberries are delicious golden balls of sweetness and nutrition. They tolerate partial shade and sandy or clay soil, but can really be grown in most soil types. They do well with a regular addition of mulch, but can even survive in nutritionally-lacking soil. As an added bonus, they bloom in spring and summer, so get planting.

Eat Them

Make gooseberry pies and jams, add them to salads and fruit salads, mix them in yoghurt or ice-cream, or simply munch on them through the day. The Cape gooseberry is jam-packed with Vitamin C and Vitamin A, is a powerful antioxidant, controls high blood pressure, helps to build stronger bones, promotes weight loss and eases digestion.

Even More Berries at Just Berry Plants

If you’re keen on growing berries in South Africa and its sweltering summer, we stock all of the above-mentioned berries, as well as:

  • Aronia berries (a superfood)
  • Tayberries (similar to a mulberry)
  • Goji berries
  • Elderberries

Visit our online store now or contact us on 082 307 8241 or 074 144 5536 info@justberryplants.co.za for more information and advice.