moving blackcurrant bush

I would like to improve a bed where a big blackcurrant is planted. I would like to improve the whole bed, and so for this, I need first to move the bush into a planter so that I can fork, add coarse grit and sow green manure in all the bed. Should I prune the bush before moving, or putting it in a planter and prune it in November. The fruit has long been gone, and the bush is about 4 years old.

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  • I moved 4 currant bushes back in the spring and they havent done well at all, so i'm hoping they will be better next year. I dug a big hole and tried not to disturb the roots too much and made sure they had plenty of water but had no fruit at all. Will give them a prune and im keeping my fingers crossed.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    I've moved redcurrants successfully. I left it till very late winter/very early spring just prior to them waking up. All you can do is make sure you get the whole root ball without disturbing it too much.

     

  • OK. Will try to be as quiet as I can and hope that my Ben Nevis will be OK. Since it feels as late Fall up here, that may help. Grazie 1000.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,670

    They're best moved as they go dormant up top so just after leaf fall.  That gives them all winter to get their roots re-established.  

    Water the plant well an hour before you wish to dig it up an dtake as much of its root ball and soil as you can but trim off an long straggly roots that will have difficulty fitting into the pot.  Add a bit of bonemeal or root grow to the compost when filling the pot and water well then keep shelterd over the winter and don't let the pot freeze as this will kille the roots and thus the plant.

    Dig over your bed when you can and then replant the blackcurrant with all the compost from the pot next spring.  This way you'll reduce damage to the new fibrous and hair roots it will have grown and should have decent crops.   Keep watered for the first year.

     

    The Vendée, France
  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 677

    Or you could take cuttings and  then try moving the bush - then if it dies, at least you'll have the cuttings to replace it.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,670

    Taking cuttings now is excellent advice but I've moved black and red currants in autumn, when dormant, and not lost any and I get nasty winters.

    The Vendée, France
  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 677

    Actually, no one has questioned why you want to improve the bed in the first place. Is the blackcurrant doing well? Because if it is, there's probably no need to "improve" its immediate surroundings, and if it's not, it might be as well to replace it anyway, as it may be the bush rather than the soil that's failing.

    If the bush is in good heart, you could still improve other parts of the bed in the way you suggest, and just give the blackcurrant a good mulch of compost instead of the green manure.

  • thanks all of you for your advice!! I want to improve the bed because the soil dates back from before my arrival and it is very heavy clay. With the "Summer" we had, it often got waterlogged and all except fruit bushes managed to survive. But even they didn't bear much fruit if any at all. So, I want to improve by adding garden compost, coarse grit and sow green manure so to improve it even more. I'll take a few cuttings of my Ben Nevis (good idea! cheers for that!!) and keep fingers crossed for getting an allotment plot for expanding my fruity-veggy wishes: that bed is 4.8 x 1.2 m, and all the things planned to go into it are at risk of overcrowding, hence poor cropping (Bob Flowerdew's "Organic Bible" dixit, £4.99 at "The Works"). Patience...

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