Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Small Fruits & Berries
by National Gardening Association Editors
Summer-bearers should begin to yield in their second year and bear full crops each succeeding summer. Vigorous everbearers may even produce some fruit the very first fall. Heavy picking usually lasts about 2 or 3 weeks in early summer; everbearers produce another crop for several weeks in early fall. To enjoy top-quality fruit and prevent pest problems, pick berries as soon as they ripen; they should easily slide off the small white core that stays on the stem. At the peak of the season you may have to pick daily if the plants are dry enough - wet berries mold fast. Pick the berries directly into pint or smaller containers so they don't get crushed and keep them out of the sun. Don't wash the delicate fruit or you'll spoil its texture.