I am going to be putting in some blueberry and raspberry bushes. How do these brush fair in the winter? Any suggestions on the best way to plant and tend to them? Where's the best place to pick up these bushes (I am on the Kenai Peninsula/Anchorage)?
Any other advice? We would simply like to have a good size area full of various berries.
Wild blueberries and raspberries will overwinter just fine. Store bought raspberry plants will overwinter as well. Raspberries will over take the garden bed fairly quickly. Always transplant newly spouted raspberry plants to a new location where you want to establish more plants. The first year stalks do not produce berries, they use the entire season on vegetative growth. Second year stalks spend all their energy on producing delicious berries. Once the second year stalks are done producing berries, cut the stalk down close to the ground. This will encourage more shoots to come up next year, plus once the stalks are more than 2 years old, the berry production goes down hill.
Rasberries need to be planted in well drained soil, so put them on a hillside. They over winter fine, and after a couple years will produce alot of fruit. We got some suckers from a friend and after ~4 years have a nice mature maze of rasberry bushes that cover a 5-20' area and yield 5 gallons in the fall, that's a guess on the yield as the kids eat most of them right off the bushes.
I've never planted blueberries, but would assume they also require soil that drains as they seem to do best on the hillsides.