Take hard­wood cut­tings

It’s an ef­fec­tive way to get soft fruit bushes for free

Garden News (UK) - - Contents -

Hard­wood cut­tings taken in Novem­ber is an ex­tremely sim­ple and ef­fec­tive way to pro­duce new soft fruit bushes such as black, red and white­cur­rants and goose­ber­ries.

Cut­tings taken now will root over the win­ter and next spring the dor­mant buds will come to life and pro­duce new shoots to form a young bush. From tak­ing the cut­ting to hav­ing a new bush to plant into the gar­den takes one year, and the per­cent­age of cut­tings that root is usu­ally very high.

To take cut­tings from your fruit bushes you need to se­lect this sea­son’s new growth and the plants need to be healthy and vig­or­ous. Never take cut­tings from weak or dis­eased plants.

The stems are trimmed to length and are sim­ply in­serted into a pre­pared area of the gar­den, or you can root them in pots in a cold frame. No heat is needed and the cut­tings will sit hap­pily out­side in the gar­den.

To help a good root sys­tem form, pre­pare the soil by fork­ing it over and mix in some well-rot­ted gar­den com­post, but don’t ap­ply any fer­tiliser. In pots, use a well-drained multi-pur­pose com­post as a grow­ing me­dia.

As well as fruit bushes, many or­na­men­tal shrubs such as bud­dleja, for­sythia, spi­raea, deutzia and weigela can also be prop­a­gated now by tak­ing hard­wood cut­tings. It’s a good way to stock your bor­ders at no cost.

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