Monday, September 26, 2016

Berries and Currants in the Hedgerow

The whole middle and northern part of the eastern boundary was all fruit bushes - berries and currants. I did a lot of work there when I got started last summer, first getting rid of the tall, mature nettles which infested the bushes, then pruning the bushes, then coppicing them, and eventually digging them up to relocate them elsewhere.

I did think of incorporating them into the hedgerow where they were, but they'd gone absolutely crazy, after what seemed like years of not being pruned, nor even having the dead leaves cleared out from beneath them in autumn, which meant a build up of leaf mold and led to plants having several sets of root systems along their trunks. Which made dealing with them bloody hard work last Winter.

There were brambles in that area too, whether by chance or design I can't say, and several gooseberries. But mostly it was blackcurrants. Not that I saw much fruit, but I've grown blackcurrants before and know their leaves. I also know how easy they are to propagate from cuttings, and thought that the uprooted plants would take easily on the other side of the plot.

Not a bit of it. Most of them were planted, and seemed healthy enough, but didn't quicken come the Spring. This morning for the first time I did a check of how many did pull through and... 2 of them have, that's from dozens of plants. The gooseberries, on the other hand, everyone of them is growing vigorously this year, and with their thorns are a welcome additon to the hedgerow.

And the two currants that have survived, I can propagate them from cuttings and distribute around the hedgerow as it grows, filling any gaps.