Author Topic: Moving Gooseberry bushes  (Read 547 times)

davholla

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Moving Gooseberry bushes
« on: August 09, 2019, 16:07:34 »
I have 2 big Gooseberry bushes and I want to move them next week because my wife and son are away and I have more time.
Any advice? I guess I need to water a lot but otherwise it should be ok?

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Moving Gooseberry bushes
« on: August 09, 2019, 16:07:34 »

Beersmith

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Re: Moving Gooseberry bushes
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2019, 19:20:47 »
If they are big they are probably some years old. Moving well established fruit trees and bushes is generally a very risky process. If you must do it next week be aware that there is a high risk you will lose both.  If they survive they might need a couple of seasons to recover.  I just feel this is the wrong time of year.

Must it be next week? If you could wait until say, February, when the bushes should be fully dormant your chances of a successful move will be much much higher.

If you can take a large root ball covered with soil you will do less damage, but for large bushes that is going to a very heavy thing to shift.  If you cannot move the soil / rootball be as careful as possible not to damage the roots.  I would not attempt it but if you do, good luck and please report back, especially if successful.  It is always useful to know if things that are considered difficult or risky are actually possible with enough care.

Cheers

Not mad, just out to mulch!

davholla

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Re: Moving Gooseberry bushes
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2019, 19:23:45 »
If they are big they are probably some years old. Moving well established fruit trees and bushes is generally a very risky process. If you must do it next week be aware that there is a high risk you will lose both.  If they survive they might need a couple of seasons to recover.  I just feel this is the wrong time of year.

Must it be next week? If you could wait until say, February, when the bushes should be fully dormant your chances of a successful move will be much much higher.

If you can take a large root ball covered with soil you will do less damage, but for large bushes that is going to a very heavy thing to shift.  If you cannot move the soil / rootball be as careful as possible not to damage the roots.  I would not attempt it but if you do, good luck and please report back, especially if successful.  It is always useful to know if things that are considered difficult or risky are actually possible with enough care.

Cheers



Thank you - it does not have to be next week - they are about 7 years old at least but so shaded they don't give fruit any more.  I will wait until February - unless someone has a cunning plan on how to do it.  Would November be to soon?  Or January?

Beersmith

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Re: Moving Gooseberry bushes
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2019, 19:52:40 »
I didn't have any specific month in mind, just sometime during winter when dormant.

Also, once moved consider pruning very hard.  I'm less certain about the wisdom of this advice but suspect this will mean the roots not having to support a huge volume of top growth next summer and will help the bushes recover more quickly.

Also you say they do not give fruit due to shade.   Would you say they get enough light for plenty of good green leaf growth?  If so I'd suspect the problem is incorrect pruning rather than being in a shady spot. Gooseberries usually do very well in partial shade.

The shape you want to achieve when pruning a gooseberry bush is a few sturdy old branches in a goblet shape with enough space between them to allow for good airflow through the bush.  Prune ALL other side shoots to a very short stub about 2 inches long, with the cut just above a bud.

Each season you can allow the main leaders to get a bit longer and now and then allow a new leader to develop to replace any diseased or damaged part of the bush.  That's all there is to it.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2019, 20:41:08 by Beersmith »
Not mad, just out to mulch!

Tee Gee

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Re: Moving Gooseberry bushes
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2019, 20:08:29 »
When I was planning to leave my allotment I moved my bush in October. I have always understood this to be the best time as the soil is still warm, my thoughts are that this allows the root system to establish itself quickly before the rest of the plant begins to put on new spring growth.

Subject to the weather they will have to be kept moist but as you are going to winter this may be done for you.

But then again, based on the amount of water that is falling now who is to say that we will have a wet winter,but you are right to say you will have to keep an eye on the watering.

BTW I had a good crop this year from the plant I planted out last October!

http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Content/G/Gooseberry/Gooseberry.html

Beersmith

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Re: Moving Gooseberry bushes
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2019, 20:27:30 »
Tee Gee

Well your suggestion of an autumn move makes good sense. The objective must be to get the move done in such a way as to cause least harm to the roots.  As you have tried this with success it would seem a period when roots could begin to recover is best overall.

What are your thoughts on pruning? In my humble opinion many people prune their gooseberry bushes far too lightly, sometimes just taking a few inches off all last season's new growth. This results in a bush dominated by new growth that does not fruit.  I have always followed the rules I gave previously and been rather harsh about it. Result? Very healthy bushes and very heavy yields.

But bearing in mind these bushes are seven years old, what would you advise?  There is likely to be a very large amount of top growth on bushes of this age!   Given the age and size of the bushes I suspect the roots are bound to suffer a lot of damage however carefully they are treated.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

Tee Gee

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Re: Moving Gooseberry bushes
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2019, 22:48:26 »
Tee Gee

Quote
What are your thoughts on pruning? In my humble opinion many people prune their gooseberry bushes far too lightly, sometimes just taking a few inches off all last season's new growth. This results in a bush dominated by new growth that does not fruit.  I have always followed the rules I gave previously and been rather harsh about it. Result? Very healthy bushes and very heavy yields
.

Agreed!

Quote
But bearing in mind these bushes are seven years old, what would you advise?  There is likely to be a very large amount of top growth on bushes of this age!   

Do your heavy pruning prior to lifting and transplanting into the  'goblet' shape I mention in the extract from my website.  See  below!

This will do a number of things;

1) it will allow plenty of air in around the bush when it leafs up again in the spring thus reducing the risk of mildew.

2) The disturbed root system will have less to sustain as it beds in!

4) you will get less 'wind rock thus giving the bush better condition to root without further disturbance

5) you can get at the fruit easier at harvest time

Quote
Given the age and size of the bushes I suspect the roots are bound to suffer a lot of damage however carefully they are treated.

True! But carrying out  the procedure as described above should minimise the effect of this!


Week 44 or altenatively circa week 10 the following year;

Prune out dead or diseased stems, and any shoots that are growing into the centre of the bush to form a goblet shape and keep the centre of the bush open.

This will form a balanced branch structure and make harvesting easier; it will also improve air circulation through the bush thus reducing the risk of mildew.

Cut back shoots of two-year old gooseberries by about a half, pruning them back to a suitable bud.

Cut back to an inside (upper) bud if the variety has a drooping habit, or to an outside (lower) bud for erect growers.

Slightly older bushes can be treated similarly, but here the laterals (side shoots) may also need shorting back to about 75mm (3).

Established bushes may benefit from having weak shoots and a proportion of older branches pruned out to avoid congestion.

Vinlander

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Re: Moving Gooseberry bushes
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2019, 10:58:55 »
All good advice from Tee Gee, but there is one more factor to consider if you have to move any plant in summer and that's shade.

It's often overlooked if you are expecting dull days - but it can become the biggest factor when the sun pops out, and if you can't prune the plant hard it will be the biggest factor.

Last year I moved a 2m high runner bean plant that was already flowering from my polytunnel bed to outside (it wasn't getting pollinated - probably it was just too hot). Last year it was really obvious that shade was the only thing that could save it.

When it had been puddled and planted I coiled it up like a hose above the soil on 2 x 1m canes (otherwise the slugs would have eaten it whole) and surrounded it with 4 sturdy (& slightly taller) posts.

I then draped a 3 x 1m piece of carpet over the posts so it could only receive light from due E and due W and watered everything including the carpet. I then put another piece across it to block the SE and SW and watered the runner daily for a few days, then I uncovered the E and W and watered it for a few more days. I gradually removed the carpet (starting from the N) and by the 10 day point it was obvious it could hold its own for the rest of the summer so I put in a wigwam and tied it up. It only lost about 25% of its leaves from being under cover and I got good crops from the subsequent flushes of flowers.

So my advice is if you really can't prune them hard then shade them hard for a couple of weeks. When you think about it both methods reduce water stress but shading is a much less invasive cure.

In the case of plants that are being moved from too much shade to somewhere sunnier I'd recommend using BOTH methods because the plant will be shocked to the core by a double whammy of sun and damaged roots - in fact it would be worth keeping some shade over them until late autumn - at least what they had in their original spot.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 11:31:58 by Vinlander »
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Tee Gee

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Re: Moving Gooseberry bushes
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2019, 15:50:14 »
Just to add to my previous article based on my experience although it may not be required this year.

As you will recall last year it was very hot and dry and as a result the soil was very dry particularly 12"to18" down where the base of the bush/s would be sitting. What I did before planting was to flood the hole with a bucket of water and let it soak in before planting. As I saw it if I didn't do this the soil at bottom of the hole would have acted like blotting paper and pull all the moisture out of the root ball something you definitely don't want!

This year might not be so bad as the soil might be quite moist,but having said that I don't think it would do any harm to give the base of the hole a good soaking.

Another thing is before backfilling the hole I scatter a few handfuls of a general slow release fertiliser  over the heaps of soil that will be going back.

What I find is; when you are backfilling the fertiliser and soil mix together. I do this rather than placing the fertiliser in the foot of the hole. This means that the fertiliser is where it is needed most  rather than the heavy concentration you get at the top/bottom like you get when you top/bottom dress.

I always think that putting fertiliser in the bottom of a planting is a bit of a waste of time as it leeches downwards into an area where there are not any plant roots,well at least initially there isn't!

Get it to the areas that need it is my motto!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 15:53:04 by Tee Gee »

davholla

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Re: Moving Gooseberry bushes
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2019, 18:36:45 »
So in conclusion maybe wait until October? There is no way btw that they can have the same shade where they are going to where they are even temporarily.  It is not possible.
I don't have to plant in summer - I think waiting is the best idea.