Weed management

Currants, gooseberries, and elderberries do not compete well with weeds. Weed management begins by controlling perennial weeds before planting the bushes. After planting, frequent shallow cultivation will keep weeds out of the planting. Grasses are particularly competitive and must be controlled.

Mulches will aid in suppressing weeds as well as retaining soil moisture. Suitable mulches include shredded bark, bark chips, wood chips, sawdust, compost, straw, or lawn clippings. Apply mulches 3 to 4 inches deep around the plants. Time of application is not critical, but check the

'GURE 2. Pruning currants and gooseberries

mulch depth annually and replenish the mulch as needed. Don't get mulches too deep or you'll create a habitat for rodents.

Grass can be planted in the aisles between the rows. A grass walkway will let you harvest fruit following rains. Cultivate along the grass edges to keep the grass from invading the bushes.

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