Monday, March 9, 2015

Planting Question: berries between fruit trees?

Our first four in our orchard.
We planted our first four fruit trees this past weekend. We planted two apple and two pear trees that we bought from CostCo for $11.69 each. There was no documentation on how far apart to plant them so I marked them 12 feet apart.

Wifey went out today and came home with two raspberry and two blueberry bushes. I'm wondering if I can plant them inbetween the fruit trees?

You see, I originally planted the trees six feet apart. Then I reconsidered, dug more holes, and moved the trees further apart so there are holes I could use for the berry bushes in between each tree.

They all (the trees and berries) say "full sun" which is where they are planted.

Does anyone have any pro's or con's to doing this? Can they be watered on the same schedule?



  1. Raspberries will grow just about anywhere. Blueberries need specific (acidic) soil to reach full potential. My concern would be whether the soil additives needed for the blueberries would affect the production of the fruit trees?

  2. My concern is how much full sun they would get when the trees are mature.

  3. Blueberries do best where the ground holds water or as mine where the water drains across it. High and dry even with watering isn't as successful. I'd put the blueberries in a low spot if you have one. Acidic is a must too as Lamb stated.

    1. thanks lisa. I think we'll plant raspberries in between the fruit trees and find another, more suitable place for the blueberries.

  4. Google permaculture guild for apple and pear trees. Toby Hemenway's book "Gaia's Garden" (don't let the title hold you back - it is a great book) discusses an apple guild.

    Dave Wilson nursery has a great video on growing blueberries in containers if your soil is not suited for blueberries.

  5. There is a great little book called "Five Acres Enough" that talks about planting strawberries between peach trees. The farmer was trying to earn money off the farm while the trees matured enough to bare a good crop. You can get a copy with relevant comments from Small Farmer's Journal, or just the bare original text from Dover. Also try books on forest gardens and permaculture for ideas on growing plants in multiple layers.

  6. Fruit trees, strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus all love to be planted around each other. The soil needs are very similar and the root systems feed off each other very well. There are also beneficial insects that hang around that grouping too. We have more than one row of fruit trees, so each row gets a different "buddy" between the fruit trees in that row. Ex. row one has peaches and there is rhubarb (also a deer deterrent) in between. row two is plums and has asparagus in between. Row three is apples and has strawberries in between. Happy planting

  7. Blackberries would do fine as well. I'd say grapes but, depending on the variety, they might try climbing the trees themselves. I've got a very small lot but the front yard now has 10 dwarf fruit trees. And between them are my raised garden beds. I'm replacing the shrubs around the house with blueberries/blackberries/raspberries/grapes and a few roses. I've been putting strawberries down as bedding plants. This year or next I will be adding a variety of herbs and other food plants as well.


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