When we first think about making a jelly garden I’m sure we think about grapes, blueberries, etc. But that’s not the only fruits we can use to make jellies and jams. Here are some great examples of plants with fruits that we would usually think of useless, but really do that an unique purpose. Also, included is information on making the jelly!
FIVE BERRY-PRODUCING PLANTS FOR THE JELLY GARDEN
There are an infinite number of edible, berry-producing plants, but if you’re planting a jelly garden intentionally, here are five plants to get you started. All of these berries pack a powerful, nutrient-dense punch.
1: CURRANTS – RIBES SPP. (HARDINESS ZONES 3-8)
Currants are harvested in bunches. Black and red currants are the most common varieties cultivated for their edible berries. Musky and tart respectively, these seedy berries become a delight when cooked.
Currant flowers are a preferred source of nectar by both hummingbirds and beneficial insects. Songbirds and chickens both enjoy the fruit.
Currant bushes can be planted in a hedge to keep deer out of certain parts of the yard, and they can also be useful in a windbreak hedgerow. They are even juglone tolerant and can be planted with walnut trees.
2: ELDERBERRIES – SAMBUCUS SPP. (HARDINESS ZONES 3-10)
This summer berry is ripe for picking when it is dark purple and soft. When you see the birds going for the berries, they’re ripe! Raw berries can upset the stomach in some people, so cook before eating.
Elderberries are another fruit that is beloved by both songbirds and chickens. The shrubs are a popular shelter and nesting site. Beneficial insects and hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar of the edible flower.
Elderberry bushes can grow in many kinds of environments, but they will do well in wet, low-lying areas and on banks of waterways. They are juglone tolerant and can be planted with walnut trees.
3: MULBERRIES – MORUS SPP. (HARDINESS ZONES 5-9)
Mulberries can be either white, black, or red. Make sure the fruit is soft and ripe before picking, as unripe fruit can upset the stomach.
Mulberries are beloved by birds of all kinds. The trees, which are fast growing in disturbed areas, will quickly become shelter and nesting sites for birds.
Mulberry bushes are also known to be tolerant to juglone, and can be planted with walnut trees.
Continue to the next page for more jelly garden information!