Home Fruit September 2017 bumper berry harvest

September 2017 bumper berry harvest

Blackberry Loch Maree
Plentiful harvest from blackberry Loch Maree

Autumn-fruiting berries are plentiful says RHS

I’m sure you’ve noticed this if you have autumn-fruiting berries in your garden and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has predicted to a bumper harvest this month.

Raspberries, blackberries, and dotberries are performing very well in my garden, due to a warm and dry start to the year followed by a wet July and August.

Other berry-yielding plants for wildlife doing well are spindle bushes (Euonymus) and firethorn (Pyracantha).

I thought it was just in my neighbourhood that crab apples (including my John Downie) are ripening early, but apparently, it’s the same in many areas. They are less susceptible to autumn rots and moulds and we will get a longer than average display of seasonal colour.

Poor year for apples

 Red Falstaff apples
Spotless Red Falstaff apples – but not very many of them

However, gardening gives with one hand and takes away with the other – apples, whose flowers were stifled by spring frosts, are very poor (not so in Helmsley Walled Garden, where there is a huge crop). Ornamental berries flower later and their smaller fruits ripen more quickly than apples.

Guy Barter, chief horticulturist at the RHS, said: “The public should revel in the wealth of colour that will dot gardens this month, while plant centres are likely to see a surge in sales of those plants now displaying their beautiful berry wares.

“Edible varieties feature less at this time of year but autumn raspberries are yielding lavishly and mulberries are still producing their luscious fruits.

“All of the berries will mature in the predicted warm spells this September and contrast gloriously with autumn colour from October, before being consumed by birds including blackbirds, finches, starlings, fieldfares and redwings and other wildlife.”

For a flash of autumn colour try:

Callicarpa’s amazing purple berries
  • Clerodendrum trichotomum var. fargesii in startling blue
  • Callicarpa in vivid purple
  • Skimmia in rich red
  • Viburnum davidii in turquoise

Varieties of autumn ripening berries are recorded on the RHS Find-A-Plant, visit www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/Search-Form.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.


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