South Asian weddings are getting bigger, louder, and more exuberant. What was once a weekend affair, has grown into nearly a weeklong series of events. According to a survey done by PlanEvents.ca in 2019, the average Indo-Canadian wedding costs approximately $85,000 CAD for a 250-person wedding. A long guestlist, bright colors, and dancing, are all par for the course. However, the arrival of the coronavirus has proven to be a big disruptor for the South Asian wedding market (and the wedding market at large). As a result, countless brides and grooms have been left with the predicament of having to figure out how to plan their Sangeets, Jagos, Religious Ceremonies, Receptions, Mehndis, and more, around the pandemic.
With government mandates to close non-essential businesses, and restrictions on large gatherings and/or events, wedding events have not been spared. Vendors and couples have been left in an awkward position, making it difficult to forge a path forward. The purpose of this article is to share some options that vendors and couples in the South Asian community can use to adapt their wedding plans in an environment filled with uncertainty.
Before we jump into options, let’s first understand the problems that are being presented to wives and husbands-to-be. In dissecting the main challenges around wedding planning during the era of COVID19, there are two main variables at play. The first is, the uncertainty. As of the writing of this article, there are no known vaccines or anti-viral medicine available to the public. Therefore, knowing when society will be able to transition back to normalcy, is largely uncertain. The second element at play is the fluidity of government mandates. For example, one week there may be a restriction on gatherings of more than 50 people, and the following week the restriction may be reduced to 10 people. While such restrictions are done with good reason, the fluidity of restrictions pose a challenge for any wedding planning process.
Now let’s dig into some possible options for getting married amidst a pandemic. Given the problem areas that were mentioned earlier, there are really two levers that can be pulled for wedding planning. The first is, couples can keep their weddings, and reduce their guest lists down to a number that is within legal limits. For example, if you have a wedding guest list of 250 people, it may be necessary to scale back to a number that is lower than government restrictions.
If reducing the guest list is not something couples want to consider, the second option is to postpone to a later date. The biggest advantage with choosing to postpone is that couples can wait to see how COVID19 plays out, before committing to a new date. Not to mention, many South Asian wedding vendors in Surrey, B.C., have collectively rolled out flexible postponement plans. Examples of these vendors include and are not limited to Bancy Farms & Vancouver Event Rentals, as well as Decibel Entertainment. Therefore, there is an opportunity to work with vendors to coordinate events for a later date.
Finally, we have option 3. In observing South Asian couples in lower mainland area, it seems like most people are either about to postpone their wedding dates, or they have already postponed them. However, there is still a sizable population of couples who do not want to postpone their wedding, nor do they want to shrink their guestlist. This is where things can get creative, if there is flexibility around event expectations. For example, if a couple really wants to get married on their original date, they can still do that. Perhaps they can choose to have their religious ceremony (e.g. Anand Karaj, Nikah, etc.) with only 10 people physically present, and then everyone else can watch via a livestream. Then they can choose to have their other events, such as the reception, whenever it is safe to do so. Imagine having an intimate wedding ceremony, and instead of a wedding reception, having a reception on a 1-year marriage anniversary…it is an option.
Overall, couples planning their South Asian weddings do have options. While the options may not be ideal, they may be the most realistic. Ultimately, alternatives seem to come down to trimming down the guest list or postponing events, or a combination of the two. If you’ve figured out an option that wasn’t mentioned here, please let us know by commenting on this article!
Sensible Solutions for Holiday Gifting
Practically every year there’s at least one person on your holiday gift list that seems to have it all. One way to think outside the box is to sift through wants and needs to find something that can truly be put to use on an almost daily basis.
For example, tools, binoculars, vacuum cleaners, knife sharpeners and security solutions can serve as practical gifts that give your recipient a functional piece of equipment for daily life. These types of presents show your thoughtfulness and can provide your loved one a frequent reminder of the relationship you share each time the gift is used.
An Eye-Catching Gift
If you’ve got someone on your holiday gift list that enjoys pursuits such as sports, concerts, nature viewing or stargazing, help bring the action closer with a gift like the Bushnell Powerview 2 binocular.
An evolution from the popular line, the versatile, general-use binoculars deliver clear views in multiple sizes and magnifications. The binoculars feature an aircraft grade, aluminum alloy chassis built for durability, and high-quality, soft-touch black rubber armor and brushed metal texture finishes provide eye-catching exterior design, easy handling and a confident grip.
A Cut Above the Rest
This holiday season, get the chef or outdoorsman in your life a gift that keeps on giving, such as the Wicked Edge Go knife sharpener. Made from high-quality materials, it’s easy to use for both new and experienced knife sharpeners.
It offers guided angle control, can sharpen a variety of knife types and makes cutting more efficient while increasing the longevity of your knives.
Cleanliness On the Go
Give the gift of cleaner living spaces anywhere and everywhere with the ultra-portable Raycop GO vacuum, which uses UVC light technology to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and viruses along with dust mites.
It’s less than 2 pounds, easy to assemble and stores in four pieces, making it simple to take in the car, to the office or on vacation. It can even sanitize phones, handbags or luggage, and the battery lasts 30 minutes without recharging.
The Gift That Protects
If you’re looking to secure connected toys and devices received this holiday season, consider internet security products that allow you to protect your family. With advanced protection for all your devices, ESET’s Smart Security Premium solution helps protect against identity theft with the latest malware detection, online banking, password security and smart home support.
Get the Job Done
Help the handyperson in your life finish the job quicker with the Milwaukee M12 Drill and Driver Kit, the only tool in its class with an all-metal locking chuck.
Its compact, lightweight and durable design delivers comfort and efficiency along with an onboard LED light and fuel gauge to help increase productivity and avoid interruptions.
Protect Yourself From “The Grinch”, Pandemic Porch Pirates And Unsavoury Online Crooks This Holiday
Everyone’s heard about people who lose their online purchases to thieves scouring front porches for valuables – perhaps right in your own neighbourhood. Its hard to resist when all that merchandise is brand new, nicely packaged, easy to carry – and best of all – already paid for. Easy pickings if left unattended for long, but a lot of people still seem happy taking the risk anyway.
Protecting those packages is more important than ever with 2020 being the year in which online Christmas shopping has soared due to the pandemic. So as holiday deliveries start to peak, it’s time for our holiday season update from Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers on how to avoid becoming the next porch pirate victim (see tips below).
“Ironically, so many more people were actually working from home in 2020, so their houses weren’t left unattended as much. Yet, porches went unwatched anyway as people spent hours in the den on video calls, in the kitchen or streaming TV shows,” says Linda Annis, Executive Director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers. “If they just spent two minutes to think about how they might monitor the front door better, there would be fewer thefts.”
Crime Stoppers reminds us that anyone seeing a crime in progress should call 9-1-1 or the local police. However, if you have information that could help solve or prevent a crime, and want to remain anonymous, call us at Crime Stoppers by phone, online, or through our “P3” smartphone app. The information you provide is passed directly to police and your anonymity is guaranteed by the Supreme Court of Canada.
TIPS - ONLINE SHOPPING AND HOME SECURITY TIPS FOR CHRISTMAS BARGAIN HUNTERS
- Everybody’s ordering online like there’s no tomorrow – so don’t let all those deliveries sit on your porch for long. So many packages on so many porches make for easy pickings. If you’re not home for the delivery, or can’t watch for it while busy at home, ask neighbours to help watch for anything left on your porch. You can return the favour for them too.
- Don’t get taken in when shopping online. Buy from proper, established businesses instead of relatively unknown sources, and be wary of online deals that don’t feel right. Shoplifted goods often get sold to the public online or through flea markets, with the money going to fund gangs dealing in drugs or illegal weapons. It’s bigger than you think – organized retail crime costs all Canadians almost $5 billion a year.
- Use home video security cameras to watch for deliveries and crooks. Feed the images to your smartphone, and you might even spot a crook stealing from your Christmas lawn display.
- Watch for counterfeit items. Lots of fake goods enter Canada though our ports of entry from Pacific Rim and other countries, so it’s easy to smuggle in goods that are poor quality, or even unsafe.
- Ask yourself, “why is this so cheap”? Be wary of counterfeit or poor quality “bargains” from market stalls or a “pop-up” retailer that’s in business one minute, and can be gone the next.
- Close the blinds. Make sure gifts inside the house aren’t visible outside. Peering through the window and seeing piles of gifts sitting beneath a Christmas tree is irresistible to burglars.
- Don’t leave stacks of cardboard lying outside your house. Boxes from expensive gifts left outside your house are a billboard announcing what’s new inside – great for a burglar treasure hunt.
- Etch it – mark your property. Ask your local police to help etch your property with your driver’s license number. Photograph valuables and show the make, model and serial number. If something’s stolen and later found by police, there’s a better chance that you’ll get it back.
TIPS - DOWNTOWN AND AT THE MALL
- Don’t make your car a “crook’s candy store”. Before you lock up, leave nothing visible inside your car. Not even pocket change or empty bottles and cans.
- Don’t “park in the dark”. Find a busy, well-lit section of the parking lot.
- Lock your gifts in the trunk. We say this every year – yet people still leave presents in plain view in the back seat.
- Guard your garage door opener. Leave the remote at home when shopping, or tuck it in your pocket so a smart car thief can’t just let himself in if he figures out your address
About Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is a non-profit society and registered charity that offers rewards for anonymous tip information about criminal activity and provides it to investigators in the communities of Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Anonymous tips may be provided though Crime Stoppers’ downloadable “P3” app for Apple and Android phones, calling Crime Stoppers at 1-855-448-8477 (new number) or 1-800-222- 8477, online at solvecrime.ca, or by following the link on the Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Facebook page.
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers accepts tips in 115 different languages and will pay a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a criminal, recovery of stolen property, seizure of illegal drugs or guns or denial of a fraudulent insurance claim. Tipsters stay anonymous by using code numbers to check back later and collect their rewards.
Pandemic Finances: Your Top COVID Financial Questions Answered
Top 5 Questions Financial Institutions are Hearing
COVID has had an intense impact on the world as we know it. In addition to the health concerns people are grappling with as we head into the second wave, there are a lot of people facing financial uncertainty due to job loss, down-turn in business and unexpected financial curveballs. If there was ever a time to lean into trusted financial advice, now would be it.
With that in mind, we have asked Lisa Colangelo, the Senior Vice President (SVP) of Retail Banking at Coast Capital to help answer some of the questions she and her team have been hearing from their members related to finances in the time of COVID.
1. I am overwhelmed by my finances between loss of income, debt repayment, housing costs and the day-to-day demands, how can I deal with the stresses associated with money?
There are a lot of people in this same spot. With all of the economic uncertainty currently, it can be a stressful time. Layer on top of that the ongoing public health concerns, and can become all too much.
Take control. That is the first step to finding some peace when it comes to your finances. Sit down, take stock and figure out where you can find savings. Actually putting it down on paper can give you great insight into exactly how much is coming in and what is going out and where it is going. Once you have reality laid out in front of you, you can actually play with those numbers and find out where you can cut back to put more against the expenses that are causing stress.
Knowledge is power – so, take control, understand your financial reality and you will have taken that hard first stop. Don’t overthink it, don’t get too fancy. A simple excel spreadsheet and your account overview online is a perfect start.
Advice is also powerful. You don’t have to go it alone. Reach out to your financial institution and start the important conversations that will set the path to your financial wellbeing. Coast Capital has a great team who can help you with the first steps. If you don’t already have a trusted advisor, don’t hesitate to reach out to have a Money Chat and discover the possibilities.
2. How do I get in front of debt, when I am struggling just to pay my monthly obligations?
If you are struggling with getting ahead of your debt, again, I assure you, you are not alone. Although the Canadian household debt ratio has declined since the Government income-support measures have been introduced, on average, Canadians still own $1.58 for every dollar they earn.
It doesn’t make the stress of debt any less daunting, but knowing that there are others in the same position can help overcome any perceived stigma that comes with heavy debt.
On that note, my best advice is to face it head on. Have the hard conversations and find relief in building and sticking to a strong financial plan to get you out of the red and living in the black.
Start by getting a handle on the reality of your current situation – make a list of who you owe, what you owe, the interest rates, and repayment schedules. This will help you prioritize your debts and come up with a concrete plan to pay them off.
It is always best to pay off high interest debts like credit cards first as they are the ones that grow quickly and can get out of hand just as quickly. Often, creditors are willing to talk about lowering your rate and adjusting your repayment plan to help you manage the monthly repayments without throwing you into arrears.
Again, you don’t need to do any of this on your own. Let’s think of it this way, you look to professionals every day for advice from your dentist to your house painter to your accountant and you shouldn’t be treating your finances any differently. Lean into trusted advisors who can help you build a budget, get on top of debt and find financial success.
3. I have realized just how quickly things can change dramatically. What should I be doing to protect what our family has worked hard to build?
Be prepared for the unexpected. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? The only thing certain about unforeseen financial ‘surprises’ whether it be a leaky roof, a major car repair or, a worldwide pandemic is that you’ll rarely see it coming and, there is another one waiting for each of us just around the corner.
Just as you have to put aside money for rent or a mortgage each month, you need to be setting aside some money into your ‘rainy day emergency fund.’ It is recommended that you have three to six months of income in liquid savings at any given moment. Don’t let the total dollar value discourage you – start small and make it regular and automated. If that means $10 per paycheck right now, then start there.
In addition to a strong emergency fund, at Coast Capital, we talk to our members about the importance of a fulsome insurance strategy. This goes further than home and car insurance, this includes life insurance, disability insurance and mortgage insurance. Having insurance to step in when life takes a turn that you weren’t expecting, helps you focus on the other factors that come with unexpected events without adding financial hardship to that stress.
4. The markets have been pretty unpredictable since the pandemic hit, should I be looking to change my investment strategy during the pandemic?
Market volatility is part of life. But the best bet is always to hold your investments over the long term.
You should certainly be aware of what’s happening in your portfolio, but unless you are edging up to the time you will be dipping into your investments, the best thing to do is sit tight. Over the long-haul there will be ups and downs but if you have a solid investment strategy, you likely don’t have to worry about the hiccups that things such as COVID cause in the markets.
The caveat being, everyone has different goals, timelines and risk appetites, you need to sit down and revisit those components with your advisor on a regular basis to ensure that your investments are working as hard as they can to help you reach your goals.
5. Our household has managed to stay on track through the pandemic, but I realize we have an opportunity to do better when it comes to financial planning. How do we better prepare for the next unexpected event that impacts our finances?
A lot of people have realized that they could be doing a better job in terms of financial planning to help weather unforeseen storms. Look at this as an opportunity rather than a failure – now that you know better, you can do better.
The most important proactive measure you can take to ensure you aren’t finding yourself in a financial crunch when the unexpected hits is to shore up your emergency fund. I like to refer to it as your financial parachute – you can deploy it when you need it and just knowing it is there will make you more confident and certain. We tell our Coast Capital members to work towards having six-months of expenses in a high-interest savings account that is untouched and ready to help when times get tough.
It seems daunting if you are starting from zero, but, remember you are building towards that six-month padding. Determine how much you can pour into the bucket each month and make sure to do that as soon as your pay cheque hits your account. We always get Coast Capital members set up with automated savings so that the savings grow without having to remember and without having to rely on willpower alone.
The other tip to building a strong emergency fund is to use any larger lump sums of money that come in to shore that savings up. Perhaps a tax return or a bonus from your employer, resist the urge to splurge and do future-you a favour by earmarking it to your emergency fund.
I have said it a number of times throughout the article above and I think it is worth reiterating one final time, you are not alone.
You are not alone in feeling stretched and overwhelmed right now and you are not alone when it comes to setting yourself up for financial wellbeing. These are unprecedented times we are living in and everyone is getting a crash course in pivoting, be kind to yourself and to others as we all learn, bend and find a new course forward.
Lean into the experts who can help you including your financial institution. You don’t have to navigate new realities alone, reach out, book an appointment and start having the conversations that matter most.
Lisa Colangelo is the SVP of Retail Banking at Coast Capital credit union and has a passion for helping others achieve financial wellbeing. Lisa leads a team of fully licensed financial professionals who can help you no matter where you are on your financial journey. Get in Touch, we are always here to help.
10 Backyard DIY Projects You Could Start Today
Science shows us that creative projects and outlets help us manage our stress. Finding the time to create something unique and useful in your backyard is the perfect stress-relieving DIY project for you to tackle today!
We have put together a fantastic list of the top 10 best DIY projects for your backyard. From zen gardens to entertainment stations these projects are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Let’s take a look!
1. Edible Gardens
You can turn your backyard into your private grocery store with the addition of an edible garden. Start small by adding a raised garden bed in an area of your backyard that receives ample sunlight.
When choosing what to grow you will want to have a variety of herbs and vegetables, however, if you are new to gardening start with easy to grow crops such as cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, etc. as these will be easier to manage.
Plan your garden out before starting to help you decide how many crops you will be planting and what varieties. Be sure to invest in good soil so your plants grow strong and big, and don’t forget to purchase some good gardening gloves as well!
2. Outdoor Bar
An outdoor bar is a fun way to create an entertainment station for your friends and family. For this DIY project, you can either buy a bar stand that is already put together or you can give building a custom bar a try. This service area will be the perfect spot to host parties and backyard BBQs.
Consider things like seating and ice and beverage storage when creating the space. Adding the appropriate outdoor lighting will help the area feel more inviting for you and your guests.
A Gazebo is a beautiful structure that will add beauty as well as functionality to your backyard. You can use your Gazebo to host outdoor dinners or turn it in do an outdoor studio. If your yard gets a lot of sun a Gazebo is the perfect structure to get relief from the heat.
Another option to the traditional Gazebo is an open-air Gazebo. This style of shade structure allows for some sun and rain to come through making it a good option for those who wish to keep plants growing inside of the structure.
4. Zen Garden
Creating a zen garden in your backyard is a beautiful way to create a meditative and relaxing space. The components of a zen garden are meant to inspire tranquility and appreciation for the beauty of nature. Before you get started on your garden you will need the following items:
- white gravel
- Metal rake
- Wooden zen rake
- Variety of rocks in all shapes and sizes
- Landscaping plants
- String and string level
These items are essential to building your zen paradise. Once your garden is built you can use it to find relaxation and meditate. The act of raking the garden is meant to bring peace or zen to your state of mind which makes this DIY project beautiful and helpful!
5. Backyard Fountain
A backyard fountain is a great way to upgrade the aesthetic of your space. The sound of the flowing water is relaxing and will attract birds to your yard for great wildlife viewing. Before you start, consider the size and shape of the fountain.
Depending on the size of your yard it might be a good option to do an above ground DIY option for your fountain by creating a fountain that flows into a galvanized tub or a DIY fountain box. These above-ground options are simple and inexpensive to create and easy to maintain.
6. Privacy Fence
A privacy fence can make your backyard feel like a secluded oasis if done correctly. When planning a privacy fence consider things like material, color, and size. There are a variety of options to choose from when installing your fence that are already pre-stained and ready to install.
If you are feeling extra creative you could try making your fence by buying the raw materials and then customizing the color and shape to your liking. No matter which route you choose the adding privacy will be a great luxury.
7. Update Lighting
The right lighting in your backyard can turn it into a paradise retreat. Consider using a variety of light sources in your backyard to layer the lighting.
For example, along the pathways in your yard use ground stake lights to illuminate the path. In areas where you entertain consider hanging string lighting above the area to create depth and add soft lighting. Outdoor candles are another great source of mood lighting that can also be beneficial for managing those summer pests like mosquitos.
Updating the landscaping in your backyard is an essential DIY project for anyone looking to give their yard a facelift. You can start by clearing out any built-up brush or leaves that have accumulated in the yard. Then diligently weed all flower and garden beds.
Once you have weeded and cleaned up the space then you can decide on planting ornamental plants like rose bushes or vibrant lavender. Consider edging your flower beds and framing them with stone or wooden frames for a polished look.
If your yard doesn’t have a patio already then consider installing one. A patio can be used as a relaxing outdoor area, outdoor dining room, area for potted plants, etc. the options are endless!
Consider the material you would like to use for the base such as concrete or wooden decking. Once your patio is finished you can begin to decorate with outdoor furniture and ornate plants to create an aesthetic in the area. To add shade to the area a retractable canopy is another simple DIY project that can turn your patio into an outdoor sanctuary.
Gone are the days of the old paint-chipped sheds that were eyesores to our backyards! If your shed is looking a little worse for wear it is time to give it a makeover.
To start sand the shed down to remove any rough edges or flaking paint. Then access any areas that need repair such as broken boards, holes in the roof, broken doors, etc. Next, you will need to choose a color of paint or stain for your shed and get painting!
Simple Backyard DIY projects
These simple DIY projects are affordable and easy to do! You can change the whole vibe of your yard with any one of these unique projects today.
7 Amazing Berries to Grow in Your Backyard This Year
Are you looking for something a bit different to grow this year?
Growing berries in your garden add a splash of color, and they’re a tasty treat for all the family. But if you’ve never branched out into berries before, you might not know where to start.
Don’t worry! Read on to discover the 7 best berries to grow in your backyard this year.
Due to acai health benefits, and the fact they’re pretty rare they can be an expensive choice. But they’re the best berries to grown indoors or in containers. The dwarf acai berry palm will grow 20-30ft tall if planted in the ground. If grown in a planter, the size reduces to around 10-12ft.
It will take around 3 years, sometimes longer, to mature and produce berries. This isn’t a low maintenance option though and can take time, space, and patience. You’ll need a large container for it, or you’ll need to keep replanting as it grows.
A subtropical, warm climate is best for acai palms to grow in, so they might not be the best choice for colder areas. Though, you can use a greenhouse for them if you have one large enough.
A real family favorite, you can plant your strawberries in spring, summer, or fall. Fall is the best time though, as your plant’s root systems will grow and strengthen in the cooler months. You’ll be ready for a bushy growth come spring full of vitality.
If you plant in spring, you’ll have to disbud these young plants as they’ll grow flowers. Otherwise, they can pinch back runner and you won’t get as healthy growth the next season.
To get a longer lasting harvest season, plant two types of strawberries. One early, and one late fruiting. Your local agricultural center will be able to recommend varieties for your area.
If you’re looking for something tasty and functional, blackberries are a great choice. Their big, floppy, rambling nature makes them great hedging plants. And it’s fun for all the family to pick from them when they fruit. It’s a quick, easy way to hide an ugly fence or section off an area.
Of everything on our list, blackberries are the easiest berries to grow. They can survive in cold, harsher climes due to their hardiness. They also function as climbers. So, train them over arches, pergolas, and trellises to create a decorative feature. Get creative!
They even work for backyards where you’re short on space. You can get varieties that don’t have thorns and are compact, designed to grow in containers. Here are a few extra tips to get you started:
- Blackberries are self-fertile so you don’t have to worry about getting loads of plants to get a good crop.
- Plant in the sun; the more sun the more berries unless you’re in a hotter climate then they do need some shade midday.
- Provide regular watering during their first growing season to get their root system extensive and deep.
- Put down a 3-inch organic mulch layer each year but keep the mulch 2 inches from the crown to stop any rotting.
Don’t plant brambles, better known as raspberries, until early spring or late fall. Give them room to grow and don’t put them anywhere you want something ‘pretty’ to be. You can control the spread by planting in raised beds or digging them out on a regular basis.
Provide mulch for your raspberries and it’s a good side to use a fungicide as a preventative. This will help prolong the life of your raspberry patch.
To keep them tidy and well maintained, cut them back after each fruiting season. You can also prune out some of the older, brown stalks in winter (or very early in spring). It might not be the most attractive option, but the berries are great on yogurt and for pies and jams.
Another great option for container growers is blueberries. They’re a treat to eat and to look at. In spring, you’ll get delightful, scented flowers, and in autumn they turn fiery in color. And in the summer, you get that beautiful crop of delicious berries.
They need an acid (ericaceous) soil to grow in, but you can get this at your local garden center. They’re low maintenance but you’ll have to wait about 3 years for any fruit. In the meantime, at least they’ll make a beautiful patio decoration.
If space is at a total premium, there is a very compact variety of blueberry called “Top Hat”. But whatever your variety, water them with rainwater. Lime in tap water can reduce the acidity of your soil as time goes on.
For a pretty looking berry bush, the current bush may be a good choice. It’s got dainty, lobed leaves much like fancier maples. They branch out and have an airy appearance, with tiny berries that come in red, white, pink, and black shades.
They’re also a great option to fit into more formal, strict landscapes. You can train them into standard shapes. Current bushes even work as stand-alone ornamental plants on patios or porches.
The berries themselves (redcurrants, blackcurrants, and whitecurrants) are some of the best berries to grow for jams and jellies. They also work in cooking sauces and for decorating desserts. They also take well to freezing, so you can enjoy them all year round.
If you’re thinking of getting currents, consider getting gooseberries alongside them. Gooseberries grow particularly well when you plant them near current bushes.
For better tasting berries, position them away from the harsh afternoon sun. But make sure they can get plenty of cooler, morning sunlight.
Give them regular sprinklings of potash (or a berry fertilizer) around the base. This encourages prolific fruiting and flowers throughout the season.
Pick half the crop in midsummer to get bigger berries. The unripened berries you can use in wines, sauces, and pies. The berries left behind are quick to grow in size and will be sweeter.
Don’t Miss Out on the Best Berries to Grow in Your Backyard
So there you have it! Now you know the best berries to grow to give your garden that extra wow factor.
You can use the berries in jams, jellies, pies, wines, and sauces all made in your own kitchen. They’ll also add a pop of color to the garden and be an interactive treat for friends, family, and all your guests.
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