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Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

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Fruit for Summer

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Feb 06, 2017
delicious summer fruit

While it may seem a bit strange to be talking about delicious summer fruit at the end of January, it is in fact a great time to be talking about them because now is the best time to plant fruit bushes so that you can enjoy homegrown fruit this summer.

We are berry mad at the moment in CountryLife because we have just taken delivery of a vanload of different Irish grown fruit bushes. They seem to be going down extremely well with customers too as a lot of people have come in over the past few days to buy some. By far gooseberry and raspberry plants are some of the most popular fruit that we get asked for, however currents are seeing a spike in popularity in recent years too. 

A lot of customers were coming in to expand their existing fruit collections with new varieties and we have also had people coming in who want to start growing fruit for the first time. To these people I always start off by asking what fruit do they actually eat. There is no point in dedicating part of your garden to a gooseberry bush if you can’t stand the taste of them and the fruit will just go to waste. 

No matter what fruit bush you ultimately decide to grow in your garden preparation is key to having a successful plant that produces mountains of fruit for you. You want to pick a spot in the garden that is nice and open with lots of natural light that will help your fruit to ripen during the summer.

I recommend digging a hole that is about twice the size of the root ball of your bush. This will give you the space to work in a good amount of well rotted farm manure into your planting hole which will give your fruit bush a great start. You also want to keep the area weed free to avoid any competition for food or water.    

If you have a small garden all is not lost however. You can still grow fruit bushes in your garden thanks to the introduction of dwarf varieties over the last number of years. These dwarf varieties do not grow as large as traditional fruit bushes but they still produce just as much fruit each year. Many of them can be grown in large containers (old whiskey barrels are ideal) but I really find you only get 4/5 years out of them before you would be looking at replacing the bush or planting it out into the soil. 

The great thing about growing fruit in containers as well is that you have it in a visible spot when it is covered in fruit but then move it out of sight when it does not look as attractive.  When growing fruit in containers though it is very important to keep them well watered and to give them a regular feed to ensure the plant has adequate nutrients.  

Written by Malachy

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at: hello@countrylife.ie

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

We were shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category.