Brazel Berries®

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Growing Guide

BrazelBerries® Growing Tips

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Raspberry Shortcake™:

Planting Site & Soil –
Raspberry Shortcake does best in a fairly neutral soil with a pH of 6.5 – 7.5. This soil and location should also be well-drained and in full sun. If your summers are extremely hot, Raspberry Shortcake will fair best in some afternoon shade to protect them from too much heat. All of the varieties in the BrazelBerries® collection will thrive in patio pots, raised beds or in the ground for years to come. We recommend a large pot for Raspberry Shortcake as big as 24-36 inches up to a half-whiskey barrel. Remember - this is a cane berry that will continue to grow shoots which will eventually fill the pot. 

Tip: Remember, plants and their roots in patio pots dry out faster, especially on warm summer days. It's important to water well daily and ensure the pot has good drainage. 


Self-Pollination –
All of the varieties in the BrazelBerries® collection are self-pollinating, that is, they do not require another variety to be planted nearby in order to produce berries. All future varieties added to the collection will also be self-pollinating to keep the inspiration behind BrazelBerries® intact which is, they must be easy, delicious and beautiful. While each of the BrazelBerries® plants can grow and produce fruit all by itself, planting more than one may further enhance fruit quality and production.

Fertilizing –
Fertilizing your BrazelBerries® plants is not necessary for them to grow and produce tasty berries however; it can help your plant thrive and fair better.

For Raspberry Shortcake, a balanced liquid fertilizer in early and late spring is ideal. Look at the fertilizer container. The labels should include three numbers relating to Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. Pick one where all three of these numbers are the same. 

  Tip: If your Raspberry Shortcake starts to yellow in the summer, a bit of balanced liquid fertilizer will help perk it up in addition to lots of water.


Watering -

The amount of water your Raspberry Shortcake needs will depend on your climate but generally, you want to make sure the plant has consistent moisture but isn’t overwatered. This usually means watering two to three times a week for Raspberry Shortcake planted in the landscape or raised beds and daily if it’s in a container.


Pruning –
Simply let your plant go dormant in the winter. It will look dead. In early spring, you should start to see new green sprouts coming up from both soil and on some of the canes. The sprouts from the ground will become canes that fruit next year. Old canes with new growth emerging should fruit this year. Leave all the new shoots from the ground and old canes that have green leaves emerging. Cut all the dead canes with no new growth at ground level. 


Winter Care –
You don't have to do anything to Raspberry Shortcake in the winter unless you have really harsh winter weather. If you do, insulating the plant or moving the pot to an unheated garage is a good idea. You'll want to keep the plants dirt moist but not soaked. 

Birds -

Birds and squirrels will be the largest nuisance to your BrazelBerries® plants as small critters love berries! One of the easiest ways to make sure there’s enough berries is to plant more! As discussed in the self-pollination section, more plants means more berries! However, if you aren’t feeling that generous, you can invest in improved mesh netting that’s now available to deter hungry birds and squirrels. Ask your local garden center for product suggestions.

Blueberries (Peach Sorbet and Jelly Bean):

Planting Site & Soil -
Blueberries do best in an acidic soil with a pH balance of 4.5 – 5.5. You can either purchase acidic soil or test soil that you already have. If you have a pH balance higher than 5.5, you can incorporate peat moss into the soil which is acidic and can lower the pH balance. 
All of the varieties in the BrazelBerries® collection will thrive in patio pots, raised beds or in the ground for years to come. If you decide to plant your BrazelBerries® in a pot, we would recommend the blueberries be planted in a pot that is 16 inches in diameter or larger to allow the plant room to grow. Even bigger if you're planting other plants with it. 


Tip: Remember, plants and their roots in patio pots dry out faster, especially on warm summer days. It’s important to water deeply every day and ensure the pot has good drainage. A good way to gauge is to water until you see run off coming out of the drain holes.
 

Self-Pollination –
All of the varieties in the BrazelBerries® collection are self-pollinating, that is, they do not require another variety to be planted nearby in order to produce berries. All future varieties added to the collection will also be self-pollinating to keep the inspiration behind BrazelBerries® intact which is, they must be easy, delicious and beautiful. While each of the BrazelBerries® plants can grow and produce fruit all by itself, planting more than one may further enhance fruit quality and production.


Fertilizing –
BrazelBerries® do best when you fertilize them each spring. Blueberry plants like Peach Sorbet, Jelly Bean, and Blueberry Glaze like acid fertilizers such as rhododendron or azalea formulations, and either granular or liquid is fine.
They also prefer high-nitrogen organic fertilizers such as blood meal and acidic cottonseed meal. Fertilizing should be done in early spring and in late spring! Avoid fertilizing with any kind of manure as it can damage the plants.


  Tip: Coffee grounds are an inexpensive homemade blueberry fertilizer to help acidify soil! Occasionally scatter your spent coffee grounds on the top of the dirt to wake up your blueberry plants.


Watering -

The amount of water your blueberry plant needs will depend on your climate but generally, you want to make sure the plant has consistent moisture but isn’t overwatered. This usually means watering two to three times a week for blueberries planted in the landscape or raised beds and daily if it’s in a container.


              Tip: If you live in an area that has water that contains higher levels of calcium, add some vinegar to the plants’ water twice a week – about 6 ounces per 4 gallons of water.


Pruning –
Pruning your BrazelBerries® plants annually will ensure they add to your landscape in addition to providing delicious berries from your own backyard. It’s best to prune in early spring when the blueberry plants are dormant.


Tip: Pruning off dead wood or non-fruiting wood will allow the plant to put its energy into the good canes for maximizing fruit production.


Winter Care –
Take note of zone recommendations for each of the BrazelBerries® varieties:

Peach Sorbet:  5 – 10
Jelly Bean:    4 – 8
Blueberry Glaze: 5 – 8 
Pink Icing: 5 – 10 


Jelly Bean can take the most amount of cold but extremely cold weather may require you to protect your plants, especially in the spring when they’re sprouting tender new growth. And remember, plants in patio pots are more at risk thank plants in the ground!
You can protect your BrazelBerries from frost damage by placing a plant cover on them the afternoon before a freeze. Be sure to remove the plant cover once the freeze is over. 


  Tip: In regions of extreme cold, it’s a good idea to mulch your plants heavily around the base in the winter and give them extra water to help them produce more heat. You can also move them against a building and put a blanket or layer of insulation on them or move them into an unheated garage during the coldest conditions.

Birds -

Birds and squirrels will be the largest nuisance to your BrazelBerries® plants as small critters love berries! One of the easiest ways to make sure there’s enough berries is to plant more! As discussed in the self-pollination section, more plants means more berries. However, if you aren’t feeling that generous, you can invest in improved mesh netting that’s now available to deter hungry birds and squirrels. Ask your local garden center for product suggestions.

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