Ideas & Inspiration

How to Fertilize and Mulch Berries

Fertilize and Mulch Your Home-Grown Berries:
  • Strawberries need to be weeded and pruned by late summer. Fertilize with a balanced organic fertilizer, water, and then mulch between plants, taking care not to bury the central crown, the place where the stem meets the soil. Fine-textured pine bark mulch is easy to spread, but pine straw mulch looks lovely and discourages slugs.

  • Blueberries need a good feeding in the fall with half the recommended amount of an organic, acidic fertilizer. Follow with a deep watering and mulch 4” deep with any wood-based mulch.

  • Raspberries reach their full potential when kept constantly mulched with at least 3” of organic mulch material such as weed-free straw. A light application of a balanced organic fertilizer won’t hurt, but all raspberries really need is mulch.

  • Wild blackberries grow with little care. But cultivated varieties should be fed and mulched in early fall, which is also a good time to prune. Topping back new blackberry canes to 4’-5’ tall forces plants to produce more fruit.

TIP: Use The Home Depot’s mulch calculator to find out how much mulch you need.