View Full Version : Soft fruit in Caithness

22-Oct-07, 18:44
Anyone grow any of the following up here?

Gooseberries, Blackberries and Raspberries?

What strains do you grow and are there any tips you can give a first time grower?

Ta muchly,

22-Oct-07, 21:18
I remember cycling over to Forss years ago and finding raspberries growing beside the road, so I guess they should be OK.

22-Oct-07, 22:19
You'll find raspberries growing wild here but no blackberries for some reason. Not sure about gooseberries.

23-Oct-07, 20:42
There are plenty of blackberries growing up here, in fact the last few Sunday's we have been picking 4-5 pounds of big ripe juicy blackberries.
Helmsdale along the beach walk and the round down to the Church at Loth (in between Helmsdale and Brora) they are fantastic and such an abundance of them this year it is unbelievable, what fantastic jam and pies they make!

Bill Fernie
24-Oct-07, 08:42
Sorry I have long forgotten the names of the varieties of Rasberries, Blackcurrants and Red Currants we grow in the garden but they all seem to do very well. We also have strawberries and the inevitable rhubarb.

My own theory is that the fruit comes on well as it develops later and is not so badly affected by the weather as say early vegetables. Of course the rasps are affected by wind and plants in my garden tend to be much smaller than in more southerly parts of Scotland. If you can break the wind significantly then they will probably grow taller. Despite that we have had quite good results with realtively few plants. We mainly leave the black currants to the birds and there are big crops most years.

As for Blackberries I have seen plenty and it may be they are no established in many parts of the county. I have seen a lot at Portgower.

24-Oct-07, 16:36
When we lived in Thurso we had billberries, strawberries, raspberries, red and black currants and rhubarb, all of which did very well. Can't wait till we get the garden sorted here so I can start again.

24-Oct-07, 20:37
Northerner, I've never done anything with our gooseberry bushes - they just sit there and produce bushels of fruit every year. Sawfly caterpillars are a major hazard though - would like to be organic but I admit to spraying just the gooseberries and nothing else. Currants and rasps do well too.

By the way, peas do brilliant here. Wish I could say the same for runner beans. I only ever got them to the tops of the poles once and that was 2006 - best summer I can remember.

We live up a very exposed hill and I've found I can grow dwarf varieties of things well - dwarf French beans do well, as do dwarf delphiniums, dwarf cosmos & marigolds etc. You have to compromise sometimes.

Good luck with your garden - things do grow brilliantly in Caithness (well, it's the only place I've really gardened properly so maybe my standards are low?). Have a good look at what the neighbours are successful with.

26-Oct-07, 08:21
Many thanks for your help, people.

Time to prepare the ground!