Saturday, 8 January 2011

Blackcurrant bushes

Moving the blackcurrants is not a difficult job.  It is just a little time consuming.  They are relatively shallow rooted plants and taking them out is fairly simple.

I just cut around them with a spade and then go under them to lever them out.  I was replanting about 6 feet away so there was no long distance to transport them.  Getting blackcurrants in a straight line is a bit difficult because they are such big bushes.  I used the garden line but also two sighting sticks at the ends of the row.  The currant line is a little wonky but it will do for me.

Each of the planting holes had inoculated charcoal and mychorrhizal fungi scattered into it before the plants went in.  As the soil was returned to the hole, I shook the plants to make sure the soil was falling right up to the roots.  I think there was a little big bud mite (Cecidophyopsis ribis) on some of the branches so I took these off with secateurs. 

Black currants need a good mulch. January 2012
The blackcurrants mulched with horse manure
and the strawberries with straw. March 2012

I moved five primula that were growing in the same area using the charcoal and mychorrhiza.  These were moved because I have to redo the retaining slabs along this bed.  All I have to do is straighten them a little because they were never right after the land drain was put in by the contractors.  I wish they had contacted me before they did it because I would have done it myself, if they had given me the materials.

The spring is not flowing down the side of the allotment any more, however water is still bubbling out in the corner of the brassicae bed and where it disappears after that I don't know.  Just so long as the water does not flow onto my allotment, I will be happy. 

Still, that is by the by.  The primula were moved and I just had time to dig one more hole before the lack of light and freezing wind forced me to go home.

Monday 19th January

I have eventually moved all the blackcurrant bushes.[:D][:D][:D]

It's amazing what a few frost free days can achieve.  9 bushes and I think 9 varieties but I am not sure because I have lost the labels.  I just planted the best fruiting ones.

I did not cut the black currants back too severely this year because I cut out a lot last year. I take off as much of the dark brown wood as I can. The bushes will fruit on the new light coloured wood and I try to encourage sprouting from as low down as I can. Sometimes, if you cut out all the old wood, you are taking off the new wood as well so some has to be left to get a crop. I also take off any wood that has big bud (Cecidophyopsis ribis) on it. I did not get as much big bud this year as last. Maybe that's another one for the cold weather.
Now I have to decide what to do with the 3 bushes I do not want.

I like to bury things so they will probably go at the bottom of a trench.  It is amazing how much soil they have around their roots and this has left quite a hole in the new bed.  I will double dig this area using the compost, weed turfs and last years lawn mowings in the bottom of the trench.  Before that though, I will cut up the old blackcurrents and put them at the bottom.  I hope that this will raise this area up to the level of the rest of the bed.

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