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  • pniek8

Berries coming!

This spring I planted about 80 raspberries, 25 blackberries, 25 black currants and 25 gooseberries. Mid-October I planted 240 strawberries.

I already tasted the first raspberries this autumn and expect they will produce a lot next spring and autumn (I have different varieties that give fruit in spring and autumn/late summer). I planted 4 varieties of strawberries (Maestro, Mara des bois, Gariguette, Mariguette) that produce fruit at different times of the year; if everything goes as planned, I should be able to provide strawberries from May until October!

I’m not sure if the currants, gooseberries and blackberries will already produce a significant quantity of fruit. They probably need another year. It is already quite a miracle they have survived this year because I hadn’t put a drip hose next to them, nor had I watered them regularly by hand during the very dry spring and summer months of 2021.

Interestingly, some people think that it is actually beneficial to stress your young trees/shrubs in the first year because this might trigger them to root deeper (to look for water) and to become more resilient once they get a deep root system established. We’ll see how it turns out next year but quite frankly I’m expecting a growth explosion next spring, especially if we get a wet spring.

The strawberries are planted in the syntropic agroforestry system, in between the rows of raspberries, gooseberries and apples (see pictures). This is an experimental syntropic agroforestry combination that I’m testing. The idea is that the strawberries produce the first few years, then the gooseberries and raspberries take over and then in about 10 years the apples start to produce significant quantities of fruits while outshading the berries (limiting their production). In this way, I try to mimic the successional aspect of ecological succession all while optimizing the production of a given piece of land.

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