Growing Mulberry In Florida

How To Grow A Mulberry Tree In Florida

Are you considering growing a berry in your yard but are stuck on which one? Look no further – Mulberry is the berry that your garden needs.

Mulberry is a delicious fruiting tree that produces blackberries that are sweet tasting to the pallete. The mulberry is part of the Moraceae plant family, which is also family to the tasty jackfruit, fig, and breadfruit – no wonder why this fruit is delicious!

Where Should I Plant My Mulberry Tree?

If you are planning on growing this fruit tree in Florida, make sure to select an area where it will receive plenty of sunlight. Although the mulberry plant is also found growing in the wild under the shade of taller trees – so ideally it could still grow in part shade as well.

A tip for home gardeners growing Mulberry is taking into account that when the berry falls off when ripe it can stain your driveways, sidewalks, concrete, etc. It is better to plant this plant away from those to decrease staining.

You can order the Mulberry plant perfect for your garden or patio here. Mulberry can grow well in the hardy zones 7-9 or even indoors with sufficient lighting and heat.

Challenges of growing mulberry

What Type Of Soils Do Mulberry Like?

Mulberry trees prefer deep, moist soils. Mulberry can also grow well in native soils well and can be found often growing under the shade of larger trees.

The Types of Mulberry Available

There are 150 varieties of Mulberry but only 10 of them are grown in popularity for use in the garden. Two varieties are widely grown across the United States and Florida which are the Red/Black Mulberry (Morus Ruba) and the White Mulberry (Morus Alba)

How Does Mulberry Grow?

Mulberry is a tree that grows very fast, throughout the spring and late summer you will notice plenty of new growth and also berries with fruit will be harvestable. The berry will start off green, then turn into a bright red, then finally it will ripe to a black color – looking just like a skinny blackberry.

In a typical Floridan garden, it is recommended to look for the black variety mulberry (Morus nigra) as it fits the Florida garden well considering its mature size. These mulberry plants also tend to have a bush-like formation.

You should prune your mulberry to keep the desired shape, if not the mulberry tree can grow up to be 30 to 70 feet high depending on the species. The mulberry tends to spread its branches to form a crown.

Can I grow Mulberry in a pot?

Mulberry grows excellent in a pot too, just make sure to provide it adequate drainage as they like that. Growing mulberry in a pot allows you to move it and keep it to a chosen size.

It is recommended to add soil amendments to your pot such as compost to give your mulberry plant the nutrition it needs to thrive in a planter.

Make sure to be careful transplanting mulberry from pot to pot or from planter to ground. Mulberries transplant fairly easy – your plant might look stressed once transplanted but with enough water days following the transplant, your mulberry should be fine.

What is Mulberry used for?

According to the University of Florida, The Mulberry has been used in early human civilizations as early as the 1500s. Native Americans would store these berries and preserve them for use in jams and dyes as they produced an abundance in nature. In today’s society Mulberries are used for jams, pies, jellies, marmalades, icecreams, and juices. Mulberry tree wood is sometimes used in the production of fence posts as well.

Are Dogs And Cats Allowed To Eat Mulberries?

Dogs and cats can consume mulberries if they like, although highly unlikely they will enjoy the taste. Although you might find other outdoor animals sharing your mulberry plant with you such as raccoons, rats, birds, and insects.

Are Mulberries Safe For Children To Eat?

Mulberries are safe for everyone to eat – just make sure that they are fully ripened to avoid any bitterness. Also before you consume any of your fruit harvests it is highly advised to wash your produce thoroughly to make sure any insects or outdoor material has washed off.

Make sure to supervise your children eating Mulberries as they are small and can prove to be a choking hazard if not chewed properly.

Does the Mulberry Tree Grow Fast?

Yes, the Mulberry tree is a very fast-growing tree. In Florida, we notice a growth on our Mulberries all year (slowed during winter). If you plant a mulberry plant make sure to keep this in mind to make sure it gets the best planting spot it can receive.

Soil in hand Garden FL

Are Rocks In My Soil A Good Thing? All about rocks in your soil.

You’re ready to plant your favorite plant, you have your soil ready, shovel, and favorite gardening gloves on. You start digging away at the dirt but then you notice you hit a hard surface, you try to force your shovel again and discover hard rocks! You wonder to yourself, rocks? Could it be beneficial to my plant or can it hurt it? Lucky for you we have the answers below on how to deal with rocky soil and if they are beneficial to your plants.

The answer is rocks in your soil can cause damage to your plant’s roots if not removed. Heres why. Soils that contain rocks are more compacted due to there being less space taken up by all the rocks. This can affect your plant’s roots and nutrient intake as they need a softer soil base for there roots to push through and grow and absorb.

Soil and gardening planters Garden Florida
Biodegradable peat pot on greenhouse compost humus soil, organic farming and cultivation

Why are rocks in my soil?

Rocks can be in your subsoil for many reasons. When new homes are built a layer of subsoil is used to fill in a yard for the future lawn. Usually, this subsoil is of the least expensive earth filling they can use to pass inspection. Often this layer of earth soil is rocky and not optimized for the longevity of plants but rather for lawn grass that does not require much-optimized nutrition compared to that of a fruit tree.

It could take up to 4 times as long (or even longer!) and might be quite the workout on your back trying to remove all the rocks from your soil when digging a hole for your plant. Also, since the earth crust is made up of rocks – the constant movement of tectonic plates deep down in the earth constantly forces rocks up to the surface.

Does having rocks in my soil mean I cant plant?

Not necessarily! If you have a great spot picked out in the yard for your favorite fruit tree or flower that receives plenty of sunlight and have rocks there are options available for you.

One option you have is planting on a raised bed. Consider purchasing some gardening soil one that is best optimized for your plant’s needs. We recommend using a soil amendment that is rich in organic matter such as compost. Compost manure is a great solution to add to your raised bed and into your rocky soil as well as it will provide excellent nutrition for your plants to thrive.

Composted animal manure is one of the best things to add to your garden bed or dug hole. Diffrent manures will range in their nutrition content for your plants and not always completely balanced fertilizers. It is recommended to add a complete garden fertilizer such as 6-6-6 to your mixture to provide optimal nutrition.

If you want to add organic matter to your plant bed, we recommend digging a hole at least 2-3 inches deep first (depending on how rocky and how far you can dig down) then add another layer of 2-4 inches of organic matter (such as compost manure). Then mix the organic matter with the native soil using a shovel, your hands, a tiller, or digging fork.

How can you remove rocks from your soil?

Of course, you could do the hard work and remove the rocks as you dig because eventually, you will remove enough rocks that you can dig freely once again. For those who have a bigger budget and want to use machine power – we strongly recommend using a Tiller.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just a beginner, having the right tools at your side can make your life as a gardener much easier and enjoyable when doing the hard work. Using a tiller can help break down soil and remove rocks from the earth and subsoil.

Another reason to remove rocks from your soil is to prevent damage to lawnmowers. Often rocks can damage the blades of a lawnmower and make it difficult to tend to your lawn.

How to Plant In The Ground Once Rocks Are Removed

Now that you have removed the rocks from your soil, you will want to amend your hole in the ground. Dig the hole at least twice the size of the planter size to ensure it is rock-free enough. If you can, it is recommended to at least dig a hole at least twice as deep as the size of the potter it came in to allow soil amendments to occupy enough space for future root development.

Mixing a good compost into the soil is key. Your plant needs all the nutrition it can get to provide you with the best plant possible. Compost is also great because it improves the soil’s ability to hold water and important nutrients. On the other hand, it attracts important organisms such as earthworms, fungi, molds, bacterias, sowbugs, and larva all-important microorganisms that are essential to the health of your plant. As time goes on, the nitrogen in the compost is turned into materials that your plant can intake.

You might also want to consider making your own compost ditch from kitchen scraps.

Removing Rocks From Floridas Sandy Soil

In Florida most of the soil is sand – and often can contain rocks. It is important to remove these rocks because they can damage root development and make it difficult for roots to absorb optimal nutrition.

Removing rocks from Floridas soil may be difficult at first due to the compactness of the sand. We recommend using power tools that help you remove rocks and heavy sands such as a tiller. Once the rocks are removed it is important to add a soil amendment such as compost to help optimal plant nutrition.

Organic Soil Vegetable Garden Florida
Organic homegrown produce and gardening equipment with copy space, top view of greenhouse peat soil

Soil Amendments To Add Nutrition To Sandy Soil

Soil amendments added to sandy soil can be essential to providing that boost of nutrition your sand needs to survive and thrive. Here are great soil additions to add to your sandy soil.

Vermicompost- Have you ever heard about raising red wiggler worms in a bin to produce rich compost from your everyday kitchen waste? By giving your worms kitchen scraps such as leftover fruit peels, coffee grinds, vegetable leftovers and so much more – but be careful not everything in the kitchen is compostable! (Learn what you should and shouldn’t compost here).

Vermicompost consists of rich nutrient worm castings and a liquid referred to as “Worm tea” that fruit trees and flowers just love to have.