New Shrub Raspberries

Rejoice! You no longer need hedgerows, trellises or complicated stakes to grow raspberries. You won’t need armor-like gloves either. Now you may grow thornless raspberries in your garden or in containers on your patio, deck or front porch.


Raspberry Shortcake™ is the first truly dwarf raspberry. Growing 2 ½ to 3’ tall, it is covered with full-sized sweet raspberries from mid-summer through fall. Deciduous in the winter, it produces new canes in the spring to bear more fruit. It is self-fertile, but its size, appearance and juicy berries are too good to plant just one.

Well-drained rich soil produces the best fruit. If planting in a container, be sure to use a potting mix for containers. Water regularly. A well-balanced fertilizer in early spring and summer increases plant vigor and production.

Pruning is simple, just remove the oldest canes after fruiting and enjoy the fruits on the new ones in spring. So simple and safe, even children can grow and harvest!

Growing Mint in Your Herb Garden

Many of us love mint. With many different flavors of mint available at garden centers, it is easy to want to plant one of each. Planning ahead makes this possible to do, but lack of planning may have you tearing them all out.

Mint grows as a groundcover. The underground runners spread quickly and are difficult to remove if containment is desired. In other words, mint is often considered invasive. Planting in pots placed into the ground prevents its escape. Attractive in barrels or pots by the kitchen, mint leaves and flowers can be easily available for cooking or beverages.

mint_2To prevent plants from looking rangy, frequently cut or pinch back new growth. Pinching off the flower buds produces more lush leaves and fuller plants.

Mints grow well in sun or part shade, preferring well-drained but moist soil. Although not particular about soil type, enriching clay soil with compost will improve the overall plant appearance and taste.

Most mints grow 18” to 30” tall. Plant at least 2’ apart to prevent cross-pollination of different varieties. As a perennial, the plant may disappear in the winter, but will return in spring to be ready for those mint juleps.