Mulberry fruit is not readily available in stores so you’ll have to grow your own. Trees are not only delicious to eat but also make great architectural features due to their spreadable habit and crooked, gnarled shapes. Mulberries are tolerant of many soil types and can be grown against walls, even if there is not enough space.
How to Grow Mulberries
Make sure that your young tree doesn’t dry out during its first few seasons. Use a high-potassium general fertilizer that you can feed the young tree in spring. Sprinkle one tablespoon per square meter/yard on trees that are in bare soil and one-half around those in the grass. Apply a mulch made of well-rotted manure or other organic matter. Pot-grown trees can be potted; each year, place the tree in a slightly larger container before it grows again.
Half-standard and standard mulberries should be pruned when they are fully dormant, approximately one month after leaf fall. This will prevent sap from leaking from the cut surfaces. Every winter, remove any shoots that are not in harmony with the tree’s shape. Take out any shoots that grow below the framework, as well as those that are dead or broken, crossed, or otherwise obstructing the tree’s shape.
You can train as an espalier against an outdoor wall by planting a two- to the three-year-old tree. Train in the normal way for an espalier. To produce short fruiting spurts, trim any side shoots from the branches. This should be done in the late summer when growth is slowing down.
For training as a bush, reduce the leader to approximately 1.35-1.7 (4 1/2-5 1/2 ft) in winter. Just above some strong side-shoots, you can also cut the leader down to around 1.35-1.7 (4-5 1/2 – 5 1/2 ft). These can be used to create a structure of 8-10 branches. This will allow for minimal pruning.
Mulberries love deep, moist soil, which has been amended before planting. In the spring, plant both container-grown and bare root trees. Secure it to avoid wind rock.
It is best to look for a tree that has been trained in part. This will help you to form a tree faster. The tree will spread its roots if it is allowed to grow between 5-10m (16-33ft). Mulberries can also be grown in pots filled with good loam-based compost.
Mulberry plants can take up to eight years to bear fruit. The best time to pick mulberries is between August and September. Mulberries can be collected by shaking the branches on a sheet laid on the ground. However, gloves are recommended to protect your hands from fruit staining.
Common problems in Growing Mulberries
Birds, particularly pigeons, can cause a variety of problems, including the eating of seedlings and buds, leaves, fruits, and vegetables.
Solution: Cover the plants with fleece or netting to protect them from the birds. While scarecrows or bird-scaring methods can work for a time, the best protection method is to cover plants using horticultural mesh or fleece.
American gooseberry mildew
This fungal disease causes leaves and stems to become powdery gray or white. Mildew can also be found on fruit and cause problems during ripening.
Solution: To improve air circulation, avoid planting in enclosed or low-lying areas.