mixed beds

Lori73Lori73 Posts: 42

I was wondering if anyone knows if it's ok to plant spring bulbs amongst my fruit bushes. I intend to plant blackcurrants, redcurrants, raspberries and thornless blackberries in raised beds (easier than trying to fight with my heavy clay soil) but don't like the idea of all that earth sitting bare and boring for so long. I figured that some snowdrops, crocus, dafs etc... would bring some colour to the area and (hopefully) go some way to deterring the neighbours cat from messing there. Although there is some info online about companion planting, I can't seem to find any info about planting bulbs with fruit. Any input would be gratefully received. I'm pretty new to this gardening lark, and although I'm not especially good at it, I'm certainly enthusiastic image 

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  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,652

    I have daffs planted in my blueberry bed and strawberries along the front edge of my black and redcurrant bed.

    You just need to make sure the bulbs aren't right in the roots of your fruit bushes but further out under their canopy where they will get enough sun and rain and light to perform before your bushes are covered in blossom and foliage.

    You can also spread a 2 to 3 inch thick mulch of bark chippings under your shrubs once the bulbs are planted and that will help deter cats too as they won't be able to dig in the soil.

    The Vendée, France
  • I adopted the same idea in two of my beds, it looks good pretty much all year round now.

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    I think from a home grower perspective you'll be fine. I'm sure any show grower would tell you not to but I'd be surprised if you noticed. I've planted bulbs amongst mine.

  • Lori73Lori73 Posts: 42

    Thanks for the quick replies. Thats great news. Can't wait to get moving on this project image

    Obelixx, I have just bought strawberries and was going to grow them in hanging baskets, never thought to put them in with the berries. Will try with a few plants, see how they go, don't fancy losing them all to the slugs! Was also looking at blueberries, saw some  bluecrop and patriot in town today but wasn't entirely sure if I should have 2 of the same variety or 2 different, so came home without them. That's a shopping trip for another day, bit more research first I think. Yeah, the bark doesn't work, these cats will poop anywhere, (they don't dig, they just do it and leave)....except in their own back yard! image

    Millers, that's exactly what I was hoping for, something to brighten the place up when the fruit bushes are sleeping. image

    Jim, my inexperience means that I can hardly be called a home grower let alone a show grower! image 

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    image You grow at home, so a home grower. I'm working on growing my hair this week. image

  • Lori73Lori73 Posts: 42

    I'm growing tired of all this rain......does that count?  image

     

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    image Absolutely!!!

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    But yes, you'll get a better crop of blueberries if you have two varieties that flower about the same time.

  • Lori73Lori73 Posts: 42

    Thanks for the tip Jim, after much surfing the web, it seems that the 2 blueberry varieties I saw in town today would flower at different times (patriot is an early while bluecrop is mid season) so now I have to find other varieties to go with them....I'll check out another nursery tomorrow but I'll probably end up having to buy them online. 

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 751

    Lori, if my experience at the local GC's is anything to go by you'll get a much more plant for you money from them rather than on line. But sometimes you don't get the choice. Whatever you do don't buy your plants from Primrose. They sold me 9cm potted plants put into 3 litre pots. I'd never buy anything from them again. Blackmore, are very good for apple trees I haven't bought much else from them though. I'm sure others have their favourites. 

    By the way, since you haven't bought any yet. Have you thought about 

    Lonicera Caerulea they're very easy to grow and similar to blueberries I'm told. Not tried them yet. You will still need two but 

     

    Lonicera Caerulea 'Fialka' or 'Atut'

    And 

    Lonicera Caerulea 'Duet'

    Are good varieties. I got mine from Larch Cottage. I was just contemplating buying another since I got one from Primrose and it wasn't a fruit variety. 

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