Jessica Damiano Jessica Damiano, Newsday columnist

Jessica Damiano is a master gardener and journalist with more than 25 years experience in radio, television, print and online media. She has worked on Newsday's interactive endeavors since 1994, and currently is Deputy Editor overseeing Newsday.com's Lifestyle and Entertainment coverage. Jessica enjoys toiling in her garden -- a never-finished work in progress -- and helping local gardeners solve their horticultural problems in her Garden Detective column, which appears every Sunday in Newsday. Her Garden Detective column and blog have been awarded Press Club of Long Island Society of Professional Journalists Awards. Jessica lives in Glen Head, NY, with her husband John, daughters Justine and Julia, dogs Maddie and Miguel, and a whole bunch of perennials, vegetable plants and weeds. Ask a question Show More

Love 'em or hate 'em, no one can deny mulberries are delicious. Dissenters complain about the mess the soft, squishy, moist fruits create - littering the lawn, creating a slippage hazard, hitching a ride on shoes and staining carpeting when tracked indoors. But the blackberry-shaped fruits, which can be nearly black, red, purple or white, are extremely sweet. It's best to lay a sheet or tarp under trees in early summer, shake branches and collect fruits after they've fallen.

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Trees, which can grow to 80 feet tall, require full sun, slightly acidic soil (5.5-6.5) and well-drained soil. They're drought-tolerant and easy to grow, with very few pest and disease problems, and there's rarely a need to fertilize them.

Eat berries out of hand, cook into sauce or bake into pies and tarts.