Site selection and

preparation

Gooseberries, currants, and elderberries prefer cool moist locations; they will not thrive in hot dry places. They can be grown in partially shaded areas but should have good air circulation around the plants to reduce leaf and fruit disease problems. Soils high in organic matter are ideal for these crops. Do not plant in poorly drained areas where water stands for more than a day.

If possible, obtain a soil test before planting. Procedures for soil sampling and submitting samples for testing are outlined in Extension publication Sampling Lawn and Garden Soils for Soil Testing (A2166), which is available through your county Extension office. Apply and incorporate any phosphorus or potassium recommended from the soil test the fall before planting.

Eliminate quackgrass and other troublesome perennial weeds by frequent cultivation or use of non-residual herbicides such as glyphosate the season before planting. Before using any herbicide, read the package label to make sure the crop you intend to treat is listed.

In the fall or early spring before planting, thoroughly mix additional organic matter with the soil. Well-rotted manure, compost, granulated peat, or other partially decomposed organic matter are beneficial.

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