Cultivated form of the wild strawberry. Most commonly grown from seed. Fruits in first year and will continue for up to three years before it loses vigour. Produces lots of small fruit from July up to first frosts.
To produce a worthwhile crop, grow at least 30 plants. They are small and so will not take up too much room. Unlike for other strawberries these will not need netting or mulching with straw.
Possible variety -
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Some varieties of blackberry produce vicious thorns and are maybe not suitable for growing with young children.
However varieties have been produced that are thornless and therefore much safer.
Blackberries need to be trained along a very sturdy support framework – a fully laden plant is very heavy. You could train over an arch but this would mean that many fruits were out of reach of the children.
A blackberry is very vigorous and plants will need to be about 3 m apart. Harvest from July.
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Choose an early variety to harvest from July or a later variety to harvest from August -
Similar cultivated berries
Varieties of raspberries fruit at different times so choose an early fruiting variety to avoid having fruit ripen during the August holidays. (Don’t chose later summer/autumn fruiting types).
Although not as vicious as blackberries and gooseberries many raspberries are prickly. If this is an issue with young children then choose a spineless variety.
Technically each raspberry is really a cluster of tiny fruits.
Raspberries will need a support frame and room should be left at either side to allow access for fruit picking. Pick when the berries are fully ripe but still firm. Wet fruit will soon go mouldy. Plant about 45 cm apart.
Raspberries will spread by sending out suckers which should be removed to keep the plants under control.
Possible varieties which claim to be spineless.
Technically not a fruit at all. It’s a vegetable but usually referred to and treated as a fruit. It will flourish with little attention if the soil is prepared well before planting. Originating from Siberia, rhubarb is very hardy and is said to produce the best stalks after being subjected to frost.
Easy to grow and care for. Allow plenty of space as it will develop into a large plant with enormous leaves. Stalks shouldn’t be picked the first year after planting as this can weaken the plant. The leaves are poisonous.
Rhubarb can be grown from seed but will take a few years to develop any stalks worth harvesting.
Rhubarb is usually bought as a crown which should be planted so that the top of the crown sits just above the surface of the soil.
Choose from varieties available from
Click here to read about the Rhubarb Triangle of West Yorkshire
Probably the easiest fruit for growing with young children as the plants produce fruit in a relatively short time.
Strawberries grown in open ground need to be mulched with straw so that the berries remain clean and drier. They will also require netting as birds find them irresistible as do slugs so slug deterrents will need to be considered.
Strawberries are also ideally suited to container cultivation. They can also be grown under cloches.
Once you have bought young plants you can increase your strawberry bed by taking runners. Click here for more information. Plant about 40 cm apart
Varieties of strawberry fruit at different times of the year (from May to October) so choose a variety that ripens in June or July to avoid the August holiday. Don’t choose too early a variety if you live in an area prone to late frosts. If the flowers are frosted they will not develop fruits.
Victoriana Nursery Gardens are a very competitive supplier -