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7 Amazing Berries to Grow in Your Backyard This Year

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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.

1. Acai

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.

2. Strawberries

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.

3. Blackberries

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.

4. Raspberries

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.

5. Blueberries

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.

6. Currants

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.

7. Gooseberries

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.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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Food & Drink

This Surrey cafe offers a delicious Bombay brunch

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Bandra Cafe
Marco Ovies / Surrey604

Tucked away on the edge of the Strawberry Hill Shopping Centre is Bandra Cafe, one of the best places for brunch in Surrey. It offers unique menu items that are not only full of flavour but are pretty just to look at. If you’re looking for something different than your basic pancake breakfast, this is the place for you. 

Bandra Cafe serves Bombay-style cuisine that is chock full of flavour and spice. On our visit, we ordered the Bandra Benny and it did not disappoint. Just like your standard eggs Benedict it came with poached eggs, bacon, and hollandaise sauce, but was served on top of chili-cheese toast. It gave it the perfect kick that you wouldn’t normally find in an eggs Benedict, setting Bandra Cafe apart from all the other brunch spots in the city. On the side, there were crispy potato wedges and some sliced avocado. 

Bandra Cafe

Bandra Benny (Marco Ovies / Surrey604)

We also ordered their dalgona coffee, which we had never tried before. It came with whipped coffee on top of steamed milk. Our waiter politely helped us out and instructed us that we needed to stir the drink (we had just gone right in for the sip and it left us with a coffee mustache that wasn’t noticeable until we got home). The drink both looked impressive and tasted great. 

Bandra Cafe

Dalgona coffee (Marco Ovies / Surrey604)

But Bandra Cafe doesn’t just do eggs Benedict. They also serve kanda poha (a popular Bombay breakfast with flattened rice, onions, peanuts, herbs, and spices, topped with coconut and sev), Kheema Par Eedu Skillet (kheema, potato salli, fried eggs, and pav bread, described on the menu as the “Bombay breakfast of champions”), and even a vegan platter (avocado, grilled tofu, vegetables, and salad with tahini almond dressing). You can also order small bites and drinks to share if you’re coming to visit later in the evening with friends. 

The cafe itself is very modern looking with a plant wall at the entrance with a neon sign that reads “Good Brews, Good Bites.” The service was excellent and we’re excited to go back again to try the rest of their menu. 

Bandra Cafe is open Monday to Thursday from 11am to 10pm, and Friday to Sunday from 11am to 11pm. 

Bandra Cafe

 

Address: 7310 #110 120th St.

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6 of the best sushi restaurants in Surrey

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best sushi restaurants in Surrey
Sushi from Sushi California and Sushi Street (@sushicalifornia_surrey; @sushistreet_surrey / Instagram)

There are so many different sushi spots in Surrey that sometimes it can be hard to choose. That’s why we’ve created a list of the best sushi restaurants in Surrey to satisfy your next sushi craving. 

 

MaguroGuy Sushi and Grill

 

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MaguroGuy has an excellent assortment of sushi and delicious Japanese dishes. We’d recommend visiting for their lunch special Udon Set which comes with a dynamite roll, tuna, salmon, and ebi nigiri, tempura, Seafood udon (small), and a green salad.

 

Sushi Mori

What makes Sushi Mori so special? Well for starters there is a tree in the middle of the restaurant. They also make some great sushi and have plenty of specialty rolls to try like their Spicy Sunflower Roll which has crab meat, cucumber, avocado, and prawn tempura covered with spicy salmon and topped with tempura flakes, shredded red beet, spicy mayo, and aioli sauce.

 

Kami Sushi 

Kami Sushi is the best place to grab a filling and affordable lunch. The best thing to order is one of their lunch combinations that are available from 11:30 to 3:30 pm. We love their combo B which comes with four pieces of sushi, three pieces of their Reno roll, four pieces of the spicy love roll, and tempura udon for $19.95. You get a great assortment of food for a great price. 

 

Sushi California

Sushi California has a great assortment of different rolls, potentially the largest selection in all of Surrey. They have over 67 different rolls you can choose from, and that’s not even including nigiri or any of the other things on their menu. The only other sushi spot that could compete is the next one on our list. 

 

Psi Sushi & Roll

Psi Sushi & Roll is another Surrey favourite that has plenty on their menu. They also have some very unique rolls like their Flying Unicorn Roll which has crabmeat and cream cheese and is deep fried with melted mozzarella cheese. 

 

Sushi Street

 

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If you’re searching for your next picnic meal look no further than Sushi Street. They offer these sushi boxes that can feed one to four people that are perfect to take with you. We’d recommend trying Street Box #2 which can feed up to four people and has a Crazy Roll, Dragon roll, Dynamite roll, Philadelphia roll, Chicken wings, Edamame, vegetable sticks, and five kinds of special sauce. 

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You can order a whole box of sushi from this Surrey restaurant

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Sushi Street Surrey
Sushi Street serves delicious Japanese takeout by the King George Skytrain Station

If you’re looking for the next great sushi spot, look no further than Sushi Street. Located close to the King George Skytrain Station, this place should be your go-to for sushi takeout. 

Sushi Street specializes in only takeout and offers quick and delicious Japanese cuisine. They specialize in bento boxes, sushi combos, and ready-to-eat foods that you can just grab and go. But probably the coolest thing they offer is their sushi boxes.

 

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You heard right, sushi in a box. They offer two different boxes that can feed anywhere from 1 to 4 people. Their Street Box 1 which can feed one to two people has a crazy roll, Philadelphia roll, dynamite roll, chicken wings, edamame, vegetable sticks, and four kinds of special sauce. 

If you’re looking for more food you can get the Street Box 2 which feeds three to four people and has a crazy roll, dragon roll, dynamite roll, Philadelphia roll, chicken wings, edamame, vegetable sticks, and five kinds of special sauce. This is the perfect meal to grab on your way to a picnic over at Holland Park across the street. 

But don’t worry, you can also order individual rolls if you’re just eating for one. They also serve inari which is sushi rice packed into a tofu pouch topped with all sorts of sushi ingredients. We’d recommend ordering the Inari Unagi or the Inari Spicy Salmon. 

 

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While Sushi Street does specialize in takeout, they do have some seats inside to sit down and enjoy your food. But regardless of whetheryou eat in or take out, we promise you’ll love the food. Be sure to visit this new Surrey hidden gem soon!

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This Surrey restaurant is serving up “monster burgers”

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Fab Burgers
Fab Burgers Inc. makes some of the best burgers in Surrey (@fabburgersinc / Instagram)

Located in the heart of Newton is Fab Burgers Inc., the home of Surrey’s “monster burgers.” What is a monster burger you may ask? Well, it’s about as intimidating as it sounds. 

Fab Burger Inc. has six monster burgers on their menu, and one of their most famous ones is the Fab Meaty Muncher which comes with breaded crispy chicken, a beef patty, chicken bacon, cheddar cheese, purple slaw, pickles, tomatoes, an onion ring, and their signature FAB sauce. It’s piled high and requires some maneuvering to be able to take a bite. 

 

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If that’s still a little too small for you, you can order their Sweet Temptation Burger which comes with three patties of your choice of chicken or beef (yes you heard right, three patties), topped with lettuce, sauteed onions, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and finished with barbeque sauce. It’s the biggest burger on their menu and definitely deserves the name “monster burger.”

But don’t worry, they also serve regular-sized burgers for those who don’t have a monster appetite. The Flamin’ Nacho Burger is a fan favourite and has a beef patty topped with fresh salsa, onions, jalapenos, sour cream, guacamole, nacho chips, and topped with cheddar cheese.

 

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If burgers aren’t your thing, Fab Burger Inc. also sells other foods like Chicken and Waffles and BBQ Lamb Chops which are marinated with their in-house blend of seasonings and sauces and served with fries, coleslaw, and a drink.

 

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So whether you’re craving a monster burger, or just want something on the smaller side to eat, Fab Burger Inc. has it all. Be sure to visit the next time you’re craving a good burger. 

Fab Burger Inc.

Address: 7320 King George Blvd #108

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These are the best places to get coffee in Surrey

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best places to get coffee in Surrey
Whether you go to cafés for the atmosphere, food, or coffee, we’re sure there's a café on this list you’ll love. (@coffeemonster_official; @west_village_cafe / Instagram)

You can only drink so much Starbucks before you get sick of it. That’s why we’ve made this list of the best coffee shops in Surrey so you can switch it up. Whether it’s because of the great atmosphere or unique drinks, these are the best places to get coffee in Surrey. 

 

Coffee Monster

If you’re a student in Surrey then you need to visit Coffee Monster. It is the best place to get some late-night studying done. Every table has access to an outlet and it’s open until 10 pm. Plus, they have some delicious drinks like their Spanish Latte which you can order hot or iced. 

 

Bandra Cafe

 

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Bandra Cafe is one of the first Indian-style cafes in the Greater Vancouver area and has some exceptional drinks and eats to show for it. Bandra Cafe tries to copy the vibe of the area in Bombay with the same name by creating a similar atmosphere by having “dark wooden chairs and white table tops” and also by selling “dishes like salli chicken, kheema pan and mawa cake.” This is definitely a very unique cafe that you need to visit. 

 

West Village Cafe

If you’re looking for one of the trendiest cafes in Surrey, then West Village Cafe is the spot for you. With a very clean and minimalistic interior and some fancy food to eat, this might be the fanciest café in Surrey. Not only does West Village Cafe serve your coffee shop classics like lattes and pastries, but they also serve alcoholic drinks and food like tacos, a chimichurri salmon and vegetable bowl, local craft beer on tap, and more! If you’re feeling extra fancy you should head in for one of their Bailey’s coffees. 

 

Espresso Cafe

 

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Espresso Cafe is located in the heart of Newton and has a very homely atmosphere to it. From the fireplace to the home-style baked goods, there is so much to love about Espresso Cafe. We’d recommend ordering one of their filo spinach feta pastries which are delicious. They have an always expanding menu and plenty of specialty drinks on rotation so be sure to visit Espresso Cafe. 

 

The GrassRoots Cafe

The GrassRoots Cafe is a student-owned and operated café located on the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Surrey campus. They serve “alcoholic beverages and KPU brewed beer on tap, delicious food, snacks, coffee drinks and healthy alternative options such as vegan and gluten-free meals.” They also host a bunch of different activities like slam poetry, movie marathons, and more! Plus, if you’re a KPU student you can get a 5% discount. 

 

Prairie Cafe

 

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When a café has been around since 1949, then you know it has to be good. Prairie Cafe offers some classic vintage breakfast and coffee. They do classic American breakfast as well as Asian dishes like chicken Teriyaki, wonton soup, and chicken pan-fried noodles. If you’re looking for a blast from the past then you need to visit Prairie Cafe. 

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