Happy Equinox & Planting Blackcurrants

Happy Equinox! Today is the autumn equinox and summer is over. It’s not been a bad summer if not the blistering one I was hoping for. Fingers crossed the winter isn’t too bad. One nice cold snap to kill off the pests, please, but not months of well below zero weather, thank you. At the price of fuel we can’t afford it!

I always thought the equinox was when day and night length was equal but apparently it’s do with the sun’s crossing the celestial equator (don’t worry if you’re confused, that makes two of us) and the equal day and night length is a few days after it.

One day it’s as if winter has arrived, missing out autumn and the next as if the summer is back. Not that I’m complaining about the good weather days, I just wish I could make more of them I’ve been working hard on a new project which I can’t say too much about yet so getting time on the plot has been difficult to say the least.

At the side of the house, the grass and weeds were already threatening to reclaim the patch to the side of the new greenhouse. Or to be precise the new greenhouse base as I’ve yet to get it erected. Still, an hour with the hoe had that clear again. It would have been half that but some docks had sprung up and you need to get the roots out to win with them.

The plan for this area is blackcurrants and possibly underplanting with strawberries. We’ve got 5 bushes in total which is probably overkill but they happen to be my favourite fruit. Surprisingly versatile, not least when turned into a rich blackcurrant wine.

The bushes really need spacing at 120cm (4′) apart which gives me a row of 5 over 6.00M (20′). Into the base of each planting hole I put about 250gr (8oz) of bonemeal mixed into the soil. Then some mixed bonemeal and calcified seaweed went in and on the sides along with some slow release general fertiliser and mycorrhizal fungus powder.

They’re pot grown bushes so they can be planted at any time and I’m hoping they’ll be well established and producing like mad next year. The calcified seaweed is supposed to help microbial action in the soil and that should work with the mycorrhizal fungi to establish good roots. The general fertiliser will give overall strength and in the spring I’ll give them some nitrogen rich feed to get them building quickly.

If you’d asked before I started how long it would take to plant them out, I’d have guessed an hour but it took nearly six. The curse of the stony soil strikes again! I never thought I’d miss heavy, sucking brown clay.

Still, the beauty of fruit is the return for effort. OK, it’s a lot more effort to plant out a currant bush than a cabbage but from now on all I have to do is weed, feed, prune and harvest.

Of course, the easiest fruit to look after are tree fruit. Once established, you don’t even need to worry about weeding. The trick is to get the right variety and plant in the right place.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
One comment on “Happy Equinox & Planting Blackcurrants
  1. Louise says:

    it was a blistering summer by North Wales standards, quite hot enough for me anyway! I’m enjoying reading all your entries, very helpful and interesting

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