Last year I used the prunings from my gooseberry and currant bushes as pea sticks for my overwintering crop of peas. Those six inch pea shoots were guzzled over a matter of just a few days by mice during the freezing winter weather. The mice had everything going for them as the wooden mouse traps froze too!
This spring when I pulled away the cloche half of the ‘pea sticks’ had rooted. I had no idea that fruit bushes germinate so easily. All I did was push them into the soil around the peas. The only problem is that I’m not sure whether the currants are white, red or black. Do I have baby red desert gooseberry bushes or are they just the regular green fruits?
These experts advise leaving fruit bush cuttings in the ground for a year. Their cuttings are just one stalk where as mine are bushy so it will be interesting to see what happens to them. Unfortunately my cuttings had to be moved to make way for carrots (I raised them in 40 cell modules in the cold frame with great success – the autumn sown ones failed to germinate). This meant that I could plant them into the ground at their final spacing – so as to avoid thinning. This seemed like a good idea until a slug found the carrot top restaurant – I now have a five inch gap in one row!
At the moment the fruit bush cuttings are all together in a pot – looking healthy and the currants are covered in flowers. This afternoon I’m going to plant the baby bushes in one of the fruit cages with a decent dash of bone meal and a little Rootgrow – Mycorrhizal Fungi as their roots are tiny. Kate UK introduced me to this last year and said that she had great results with it. It is expensive so I’m using it very sparingly when I’ve planted new perennials this spring. As yet it’s too early in the season to see the effects.
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