Friday, May 06, 2016

Transplanted Fruit

This is the most vigorous of the fruit bushes transplanted over the winter. I think it's a gooseberry. I've planted them in what will be the front row of the hedge, about 1ft apart. So their main job is hedgerow rather than fruit production. Nonetheless I expect gooseberries etc in due course.

I'm glad about 75% of the fruit bushes have taken so enthusiastically to their new homes, because it must be said that other aspects of the hedgerow are not working out; no hawthorns whatsoever germinated after 2 month stratification of 100s of seeds; only 3 alder after 3 months stratification; the gorse has now joined this unhappy list, I got 6/10 in a trial (in a 4in pot) but only 1 so far (of several hundred seeds) in the trays.

The common factor in failure seems to be the recycled tin trays I'm using, (formerly used to roast a supermarket chicken). I'll get  proper seed trays for the last leg of the experiment, the roses, which have now been stratifying in the fridge for 4 months.  I'll pot-on the handful of alder and gorse that have germinated, (and are now doing nicely). And I'll prepare a seed bed at the allotment to give them all a second chance. The hawthorn have been back in the fridge for a couple of months since their 100% failure. Together with the alder and gorse I can tip them out from their seed trays and rake them into a bed. They may germinate this summer, or maybe next spring. I'll have to keep a careful eye and weed it weekly by hand.