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Berries in Oklahoma

 

Berries grown in Oklahoma are mainly blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and grapes. The culture ranges from easy to difficult and most of the berry groups will have different requirments. Consult the general references below for information useful to get you started.

 

HLA-6222 Home Fruit Planting Guide

 

HLA-6229 Pollination Requirements for Fruits and Nuts

 

MU Guide-Fruit Spray Schedules for the Homeowner

 

Blackberries, Raspberries and Hybrids

 

Blackberries: Blackberries are easy to establish and grow in Oklahoma. They need well drained soil, regular irrigation and fertilization for best production. There are several varieties from which to choose, all have American Native tribal names. Blackberries must be pruned yearly to remove old canes. They will not produce berries until the second year after establishment.

 

Raspberries: These berry plants have similar cultural needs as do blackberries. The problem with raspberries is that they do best in areas with cool summers and falls. When grown in hotter areas, such as Oklahoma, they will not be as productive and berries will be smaller than in cooler areas.

 

Blackberry-Raspberry Hybrids: Boysenberry, dewberry, youngberry and bababerry are hybrids which have merit. These are outlined in OSU fact sheet HLA-6215.

 

HLA-6215 Blackberry and Raspberry Culture for the Home Garden

 

HLA-6239 Commercial Blackberry Production in Oklahoma

 

Strawberries

 

Strawberries are the number one fruit crop grown in Oklahoma. Plant them in February and March in Oklahoma. In the southeastern section of the state, they also may be planted in the fall. They need full sun, well drained, slightly acidic soil and regular irrigation during dry periods. They also need regular fertilization and renovation (cutting back of runners) for best performance. If fruit production is prevented by removing blossoms the first growing season, the plants will be larger, more vigorous and more productive. Consult the OSU strawberry fact sheet below for full instructions, including best varieties for Oklahoma.

 

HLA-6214 Growing Strawberries in the Home Garden

 

HLA-6238 Strawberry Production in Oklahoma

 

Blueberries

 

Blueberries are a great fruit choices for the homeowner. They are tasty, healthy and have many uses. Growing blueberries involves a little planning and patience. The berries need full sun and they must have well drained soil. If you have clay soil, consider using a raised bed. Once established they have a lifespan similar to fruit trees.

 

There are three general varieties of blueberries—highbush, rabbiteye and southern highbush. Each variety has different pollination and berry production times. The OSU fact sheet referenced below has all the needed information about selecting the best variety for your garden.

 

Blueberries need very acid soil and most everyone will need to make adjustments to their soil to increase acidity. For best production, blueberries should not be allowed to bear fruit until the third year. This will allow them to direct energy to growing roots, stems and leaves before needing to produce fruit.

 

HLA-6248 Blueberry Production in the Home Garden

 

FSA-6104 Blueberry Production in the Home Garden (University of Arkansas)

 

HLA-6255 Commercial Blueberry Production in Oklahoma

 

Grapes

 

Grapes may be grown in all parts of Oklahoma. Each region has varieties which grow best based on weather factors. Grapes may be used for eating fruit, raisins, wine, juice, jams, jellies and pies. There are some varieties which do better for each of these usages than others.

 

Consult OSU fact sheet HLA-6246 below for varieties and basic grape culture. This fact sheet has useful details on training grapes on trellises. OSU also has a web site to help with wine production, also referenced below.

 

Growing grapes will need careful planning. Trellises must be built, grapes planted, pruned and trained along with regular irrigation, fertilization and disease and pest control. It may be 5 years before good production is obtained.

 

OSU Viticulture and Enology web site

 

HLA-6246 Growing Grapes in the Home Garden

 

HLA-6254 Growing Muscadine Grapes in Oklahoma

 

MU Guide-Fruit Spray Schedules for the Homeowner