5 berries that I regretted planting
As an avid gardener, I like to experiment with different planting material. Over the years of gardening, many plants have passed through my hands. Some of them have become permanent residents of my garden and do not cease to please from year to year. The other part is neutral: in principle, not bad, but the search for the best continues. And, unfortunately, this category of species and varieties of plants that I regretted over time did not pass me by. In this article, I would like to talk about berries that disappointed me. However, since these plants also have positive aspects, I will try to be objective and describe both their pros and cons. Perhaps one of the readers of these plants will suit more than me - their positive characteristics will prevail.
1. White strawberries
In this case, I fell a victim to my love for original original plants. Fascinated by a beautiful picture with unique berries of "albino strawberry" and even with pineapple flavor, I acquired several seedlings of white-fruited "strawberry" varieties Pineberry. The price of the bushes was biting, but I was sure that the wonder was worth it.
I managed to try the first berries already in the first year after planting. Fortunately, this turned out to be neither overshoot nor deception, and the berries ripened with snow-white with bright red seeds and looked, indeed, unique and appetizing. At the peak of ripening, the main background turned slightly pink, but the strawberries were still very exotic in appearance.
The disadvantages of white strawberries
As for taste, it seemed to me ambiguous. Producers of planting material were not deceived, and the name "pineapple strawberry" was justified. To taste, the flesh, in fact, resembled a pineapple. But at the same time, this “strawberry” could not be called sweet, since there was a clear sourness in it. And, in principle, it was also impossible to call it “strawberries” - it did not have the classic taste and aroma of garden strawberries, so beloved by many. For my taste, although it was a very pleasant berry, it was not at all the strawberry from which it was impossible to break away.
Another disadvantage of Pineberry strawberries is their low yield. Compared with the most prolific varieties of red strawberries, it could be called just ridiculous. And finally, the third minus is the small size of the berries (1.5-2.5 grams), which look completely crumbs, especially against the background of large-fruited strawberries. At the same time, her bushes also seem weak due to low growth and small foliage. So after a couple of years I replaced this exotic strawberry with more productive and large-fruited varieties.
But if there is a lot of space on the site, then it is quite possible to keep several bushes of albino strawberry to the surprise of guests and neighbors. But this is not my option. I would also like to note that at the moment there are other varieties of white strawberries, for example, "White Swede" or "Anablanca". They may be more successful, but I definitely won’t be able to produce Pineberry cultivars on the site anymore.
2. Currant-gooseberry hybrid
I would like to make a reservation right away that the most popular hybrid of currant and gooseberry Yoshta is one of my favorite berries. I like it even more than gooseberries, as it has a minimum of acid and a very pleasant taste. But Yoshta is not the only hybrid of these plants.
There is another “impostor” on the market without the exact name of the variety, which is sold under the name “currant-gooseberry hybrid”. I found this strange plant due to the dishonesty of the seller of seedlings. He sold a similar bush, like a sort of non-bearing gooseberry with the fictitious name "Honey".
The disadvantages of the currant-gooseberry hybrid
In the first year after planting, the plant really pleased me with its unusually powerful growth, and in one season the twig turned into a lush and powerful tall bush. The next year I waited for fruiting and ascertained a meager harvest, especially regarding such vegetative power of the bush - literally a few berries.
I waited a very long time for ripening, compared with other varieties of currants and gooseberries, but as long as I did not go to the bush, the berries remained “oak”. For the sake of the experiment, I even tried one hard berry, but because of the acid it was impossible to eat.
When I finally waited for full ripeness, the result did not please me - acid without the slightest hint of sweetness, the size of a large currant, the color is the same dark, the shape of some berries is round and others are slightly elongated. I also want to note that this strange hybrid was distinguished by my ability to attract a lot of pests.
Of course, such a curiosity was removed from the site after the first harvest. The second time I came across this "selection miracle" in the country at the mother-in-law. The plant was sold to them just like a currant-gooseberry hybrid without specifying the variety, and the same picture - a powerful bush, a handful of acid berries and leaves affected by pests.
Probably, we will never know who was the author of this unsuccessful cultivar, but it is certain that he liked the unscrupulous sellers - fast growth, excellent presentation and the opportunity to get a lot of planting material. Subsequently, it can be passed off for anything - at least for currants, at least for gooseberries, at least for their hybrid. Be careful and do not buy seedlings in the markets, because this plant spreads there. The advantages of this berry are completely absent.
3. Goji berry, or ordinary Dereza
Once a friend treated me to dried berries similar to barberry. And these were the very legendary goji berries, the rumor of which spread all over the Internet. I really liked this rather sweet dried fruit with a light pleasant bitterness. And soon I bought a package of dried berries at a nearby supermarket in order to experience their effects on my health.
I do not know if this was the result of self-hypnosis, or goji really have such an effect, but during their intake I clearly felt vigor and a surge of strength. Thus, in goji berries, absolutely everything suited me: the composition, and the effect on well-being, and taste. Only the sky-high price was unsuitable. A couple of times I came across goji berry seeds for sale, but I decided to do it easier - I extracted seeds from several dried berries and sowed.
It was no harder to grow goji from seeds than tomato seedlings. Seeds sprouted quickly, seedlings were plentiful and developed before our eyes. In mid-May, I planted the grown goji bushes in the garden in a permanent place. The distance between the bushes made about a meter. The first fruiting was already next season, but the harvest consisted of only a few berries.
Goji berry flaws
At the moment, my goji berries are 5 years old. These are huge bushes above two meters, but their productivity leaves much to be desired. And, of course, it is not comparable with our local berries such as currants or gooseberries.
I eat goji berries grown in my area both fresh and dried, and they taste just as good as imported ones. But it is not known whether they contain all the nutrients that they receive in their homeland. It is believed that medicinal plants are most effective only when you collect them in a natural habitat.
As for goji, I can say that if I knew about the results, I probably would not have planted this shrub, primarily because of the low yield. But goji also has some other problems, for example, low winter hardiness. I planted part of the bushes in my country house, and the other part - in the city garden near a private house. Unfortunately, goji planted outside the city completely froze in the first winter. So this plant is also not too winter-hardy in the middle lane. And I would not recommend taking their place in the garden.
4. Black raspberries
This berry grew in the parental garden, as I recall. To the parents, the bush came under the name of Yezemalin (a hybrid of raspberries and blackberries), but among ourselves we always called it blackberries for the black color of berries. In fact, as I later found out, it was black raspberries (Rúbus idáeus), or blackberry raspberries. Now we can only guess about the variety, but, in principle, most of its varieties are similar to each other.
This plant has bright purple shoots and many small spikes, the leaves are similar to raspberry, but darker, slightly different in shape and smaller. Berries are a typical drupes, but they are about 2-3 times smaller than the average raspberries in color, dark purple in color, almost black.
In fairness, at first it is worth noting the indisputable advantages of this berry. Firstly, black raspberries have an amazing taste - they are much more interesting than raspberries, and are an order of magnitude sweeter and richer than most blackberry varieties in the middle lane.
The yield of the bushes is very high, so we literally tired of children to eat and collect it. Black raspberry compotes turned out to be insanely tasty and very beautiful in saturated color, but for jam it was rather dry. Most of the crop was eaten in its raw form, because it was difficult to break away from it.
The disadvantages of black raspberries
And yet, when I got my own plot, I didn’t take the “manpower” in my garden. Its main drawback is the indomitable desire to crawl. Unlike red raspberries, black is scattered not only by rhizome. The plant has long arcuate-curving shoots up to 3 meters long, the tops of which bend to the ground, instantly root, forming a new bush.
Restrictions on the place of growth will not save the situation, because its long lashes will easily jump over any fence. Thus, black raspberries form dense impenetrable thickets literally before our eyes, capturing new territories.
The second significant drawback is the thorns (spikes), of which there are a great many on the stems. Collecting such a “blackberry” is very difficult not to get hurt, and it’s scary to look at your hands after harvesting. But the berries, of course, are small in comparison with raspberries and blackberries.
Nevertheless, the main reason is complete “rampant”, therefore, in my opinion, such a plant, in spite of all its advantages, does not have a place in the garden of easy care.
5. Bessey Cherry
In advertising photos, this unusual cherry looks like a dream - low bushes, literally covered with mouth-watering berries of saturated color. But many sellers of planting material are silent about some characteristics of this plant. In particular, Bessey’s cherries are not exactly cherries, but are biologically the so-called “micro-cherries,” which are somewhat closer to plums than to cherries. And if you look closely, you can see that its fruits are really more like small plums.
Outwardly, the Bessey cherry bushes in the first half of summer are more like willow than a fruit tree. They have at the beginning of the season narrow leaf blades with a slight silver coating, and then turn green. The height of the bushes is slightly more than one meter, the branches tend to slope to the ground.
As an ornamental plant, I have no complaints about sand cherry. She has pretty foliage, and in spring she blooms very beautifully and plentifully with delicate white flowers. In autumn, the foliage of this shrub is bright red, with berries it also looks very attractive. Moreover, the berries do not crumble and can serve as a decoration of the garden even after the first frost.
Bessey cherry flaws
But when it came to tasting appetizing-looking fruits, then I was disappointed. Bright cherries were acidic and tart and it was impossible to use them fresh. There is evidence that from these fruits wonderful compotes and wine are obtained. But we don’t close compotes for the winter, and for summer there are enough other fruits and berries, especially since she keeps up late.
Moreover, over time, Bessey's cherry revealed another flaw. Like its closest relatives - cherry and plum - this tree also turned out to be prone to overgrowth. She began to give out shoots here and there at considerable distances from the bush. Productivity in my case turned out to be average, since this cherry requires a pollinator, and apparently it was not pollinated with ordinary cherries.
As far as I know, Bessey cherries also have fans who like the unusual taste of its fruits. Therefore, I will not categorically discourage gardeners who want to plant it, to conduct my own experiment with this unusual cherry. But since I try to avoid the plants that give the shoots as much as possible, and the taste of cherries is an amateur, we decided to say goodbye to this plant in our garden.