The mulberry bushes in our garden seem to hold precedence over all the other plants. Maybe that’s because they are so easy to care for, are useful and fruit so easily. You don’t have to wait ages for the berries to form and ripen for instance. Stick a cutting into the pot today and you’ll be harvesting berries some two months down the road, although I’d advise picking those off as they form and letting the plant grow a little more first.
We pick berries by the cupful or a few at a time – depending on how drastically we have pruned them. Read on and find out more, but be warned. I’m cheating … heheh. You may have read this in my post in a forum elsewhere. If so you can skip this and the next few posts altogether. Otherwise it may all seem a bit like deja vu or a re-run.
Here are a few useful pointers for those who are keen to grow and later, pick, their own mulberries.
For those who are still wondering why they should plant mulberries …
a. the mulberry yields fruit within a couple of months of planting; although you should pinch off the first flush of fruit so that the new cutting can channel all its energy into producing roots.
b. it takes up little space and can be potted and maintained at about 1-2 feet high and still bear lots of fruit. Makes a good bonsai-like fruit-yielding specimen.
c. staggered pruning will ensure a constant supply of berries.
The more you prune, the more fruit you get. It is a great plant to have. And it makes sense to share and pass your surplus cuttings to others and share the joy!
Soil – tolerates a variety of garden soil ranging from sandy to compost to clayey soil (not a fussy plant)
Water – normal to moist
Light – dappled to full sun (full sun is ideal)
Some of the berries picked earlier in the year … total yield for the month was just a little over 1 kilo – most of which has been frozen for future use. hope this will inspire more people to grow mulberries!
Pointer 1 – How to plant cuttings you have been given.
1. Select a few semi ripe cuttings
2. Trim off the top, leaving about 8-10 inches for each cutting. – if considerable time has passed between the time of pruning and the time it is planted, cut off about 1 cm of the bottom of the cutting and check. It should look fresh. If it doesn’t, cut off a bit at a time until you see evidence of freshness.
3. Remove all the bigger leaves or halve the leaves.
Before and after:
4. Fill pots with soil (compost, burnt, topsoil, etc)
5. Dip ends of cuttings into rooting powder (optional but it improves the chances)
7. Place the pot in a shaded place and water once a day. Do not disturb the cuttings or fertilise for at least a few months.