Berry good for you!


Berry good for you!

words by
kristee semmler // the barossa nursery

For any gardener, picking handfuls of fresh, sweet homegrown berries over the warmer months is one of life’s simple and delicious pleasures. The hardest thing is getting them inside and not being tempted to eat them all straight off the plant! 

Berries are so good for you. They are high in vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting nutrients and eating them regularly promotes all round general health. There are so many different types of berries that can be grown at home – here are some of our favourites.


Always a favourite, blueberries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fibre – often referred to as a superfood for their amazing health benefits. Blueberries are a semi-deciduous shrub that can grow up to two metres tall.

They prefer an acidic soil – use an acid potting mix if putting in a large pot, alternatively fork through plenty of ‘Organic Soil Improver’ into the ground at planting time, which is slightly acidic and full of nutrients. Blueberries, like most berries, prefer a part shade position or an area that has morning sun and afternoon shade.


High in vitamin C and absolutely delicious, raspberries are either summer or autumn fruiting. Summer raspberries grow on canes that grew last year, whereas autumn raspberries grow on canes from this year, so it is important to prune accordingly in winter when dormant.

For example, Autumn fruiting raspberries can be pruned to the ground in winter, however for summer fruiting raspberries, only prune the canes which bared fruit this year, leaving the new canes ready to fruit for next year.

As I mentioned, raspberries grow on canes that shoot up out of the ground, like many berries they can spread quite far if not contained, so it’s a good idea to plant them in a large raised garden bed where they have plenty of room to spread, but won’t get out of control.

For best results, fork through plenty of Organic Soil improver at planting time and feed well over its growing period. Raspberries prefer part shade or protection from our afternoon full summer sun.

Thornless Blackberry

As its name suggests, these are a thornless variety of blackberry, producing masses of sweet, richly-flavoured fruit from mid to late summer.

As with most berries, it is packed full of vitamins and nutrients. Thornless blackberries are vigorous and can get quite large, spreading out to four metres wide, so make sure it is given ample space or contained in a large raised garden bed. Blackberries grow well in a full sun or part shade position. Water well over summer.


Youngberries are a cross between a Dewberry, Raspberry and a Blackberry. They produce deliciously sweet, juicy fruit in summer.

They are delicious fresh or in jams, tarts and sauces.

For best results tie their vigorous canes onto a trellis so they don’t trail on the ground. Plant into a compost rich soil in a part shade position (or protect from full afternoon summer sun).


Boysenberries are a cross between Blackberry, Raspberry, Dewberry and Loganberry – four delicious berries in one!

They bear plump, sweet purple/black berries. Boysenberries fruit on second year canes, so prune accordingly in winter (like summer fruiting raspberries).

Like many berries, they are a vigorous plant with canes reaching up to two to three metres. Using a strong trellis helps to keep them under control and makes picking fruit easier. Protect from harsh afternoon summer sun.


With a wonderful blackberry taste, and slightly sweeter than boysenberries, Lawtonberries are excellent in jams, tarts, puddings or eaten fresh.

Grow canes against a fence or trellis for support. Prefers part shade in a compost rich soil. Height one to two metres.


Also known as American brambleberry: this berry is a cross between Marionberry and boysenberry and is absolutely delicious and extremely high in Vitamin C. Once again, they are a vigorous grower, so plant in a dedicated bed or allow plenty of room for spread. Grow on a trellis or allow the sprawling canes to form a large shrub. They enjoy a compost rich soil in part shade.


A cross between a raspberry and blackberry – with all the best parts of both. Berries are large, long and dark red in colour. Fast and easy to grow, train them along a fence or trellis. Cut any canes that fruited to the ground and train new canes for next season’s fruit.

Red and white Currants

These are tiny, tart berries that are excellent eaten fresh, in preserves, jams, tarts, pies and sauces. Both varieties will grow up to 1.5-2 metres tall. For best results, train to a main trunk and then to an open vase shape. Grow in a part shade position in a compost rich soil and protect from strong, hot winds.


Jostaberries are a cross between a black currant and a Gooseberry, which means a more tart and tangy flavour.

The fruit forms on the previous year’s growth and being a non-suckering berry they can be grown in large pots or smaller gardens than many of the other berries – though they can still reach a height of up to two metres.


The hidden gem of the berry world, it tastes like a raspberry, only sweeter. It isn’t found in shops because the fruit is delicate, however eaten fresh off your own plant it has an amazing flavour and is equally great in jams or desserts. The berries are large and dark red to purple when ripe. Once again, train on a trellis and plant in a part shade position for best results.


Mulberries have a good balance between sweet and tart flavour and are super healthy to boot. Mulberries grow on trees which can grow up to eight to 12 metres in height, however are also available in a dwarf form growing two to four metres in height. The dwarf variety can be grown in large pots.

Mulberries grow in full sun in well -drained soils. Fork through plenty of compost at planting time to ensure a healthy start.

I could go on and on and I haven’t even listed all the berries we have available at Barossa Nursery, however this is a great start for anyone who loves berries or is keen on growing something a little different.

Berries can be so expensive to buy in the shops and are often tart or overripe and squishy.

Growing your own is easy and your reward is fresh berries with unmatched flavour. They are a favourite for kids and a great way to get lots of healthy vitamins and nutrients into their diet, they really are berry good for you!

Happy gardening!

Kristee Semmler


If you have any good gardening old wive’s tales, feel free to share them by leaving a comment online on the Barossa Mag’s website.

I do love hearing a good tale! 

In the meantime, happy gardening!

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