Red Currant Bush

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by HenOrRoo1, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. HenOrRoo1

    HenOrRoo1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2016
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    We live in the Salt Lake Valley area in Utah and I have a red currant bush we bought back in late spring/early summer. It says on the tag that it likes full to mostly full sun, so I planted it in a spot where it could have that.

    I put peat moss in the bottom of the hole for drainage and then used composted steer manure to fill in the rest and cover the roots. When we bought the bush, it had some green berries on it that ripened after I planted it and we picked and ate them. They were delicious!

    Unfortunately, the poor thing is looking awfully scorched now. Most of the leaves have dried up and fallen off. The ones that are left are drying out and browning badly. I know it isn't that it's under watered. I water it every other day and until today, I had straw around the base to hold moisture in. The soil stayed plenty damp between waterings.

    I moved the straw and added more composted steer manure this morning when I noticed some of the little roots were slightly exposed. Now they're all covered. There were itty bitty little bugs flying around the base of the bush when I was fussing with it. Gnats, maybe? Could they be the cause of the drying out, or does my currant need to be relocated to a shadier spot?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I think you've got too much of a good thing in that hole! You might try pulling it out, inspecting the roots, and re-planting with your native soil, top dressed with a bit of compost. Check the pH requirements of the plant before deciding to loosen the soil with peat moss.
     
  3. HenOrRoo1

    HenOrRoo1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Our soil is a lot of clay in the spot I planted the bush, hence the peat moss for drainage. The native soil is pretty alkaline and worthless, so we have to fertilize anything we plant or the salt in the soil will kill it. Working with desert soil is tricky.

    It says on the tag that the plant is tolerant of cold temperatures down to 40 degrees below zero, so could the heat of mid-late Summer be more than it can handle? We got up into the 90s and 100s for a couple weeks. It's cooler now though, so is it possible for the bush to revive?

    I've never had a currant bush before and my thumb is decidedly not green. I'm just trying not to kill it in the course of this learning curve.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Currant is on my list of "really want it really really bad". But if I obey the laws of my state I can't have it b/c of the threat of it being a carrier of Pine Blister Rust. So, I can't speak with experience. But, lack of water, or too much heat may be the issue. I also think it is an acid lover.
     
  5. HenOrRoo1

    HenOrRoo1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I added some coffee grounds around the plant today to keep the bugs away. Think that'll help acid-wise?
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    NO idea. But coffee grounds couldn't hurt!
     
  7. HenOrRoo1

    HenOrRoo1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I guess I'll wait and see what it does.
     

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