One of the best parts of starting a vegetable garden is deciding what yummy foods to plant. Food crops such as tomatoes, peppers, corn, squash, and beans are usually at the top of the list of favorite picks. If you really want to save money, why not include fruit in your gardening plans as well? Fruits such as berries are easy to grow, require little care, and can be tucked into odd places around the yard. Best of all, they have a high yield for the space requirement and as perennials will return year after year.
Here are some berry varieties that are easy for beginning gardeners:
Blackberries. Blackberries are one of my favorite vining berry plants to grow because they are tasty, high yielding, and good for you too. The variety of blackberries found in my yard are known as “marion berries” which have be trained to grow along a 65 foot stretch of chain link fence. These delicious berries produce fruit continuously for 4-5 weeks starting in mid June and can be eaten in many different ways.
Raspberries. Another easy berry for beginners are raspberries. Unlike the blackberries, there are several different varieties of raspberries available with each of them ripening at different times for a continual summer harvest. Raspberries aren’t quite as tenacious as blackberries so they’ll need well drained soil, plenty of water, and a little extra TLC until they are established.
Strawberries. Home grown strawberries taste nothing like what you find in the grocery store, and are definitely worth planting in any garden. Strawberry plants are quite compact and fit neatly along the edge of a garden plot, along a sidewalk, or alongside the foundation of your home. These are one of the few berry varieties that do well in containers.
Grapes. Botanically, grapes are also classified as a berry and very easy for beginners to cultivate. Grapes grow on thornless vines that can be trained to climb up trellises, porch rails, and along tall fences. There are too many grape varieties to list here; my favorites for juice and jam making include a combination of Concord and Reliance Hardy.
Planting a vegetable garden is an easy way to get a little exercise and save money too. Including berries in your gardening plans will help stretch the savings even further.
More by this contributor:
Why you should rotate your vegetable plants.
How to boost your garden yield with food foraging.
How to make money with your vegetable garden.