Black currants

alexgwoodruffOctober 12, 2009

I would love to be able to grow some berries in my garden. My favorite being blackcurrants (very popular in the UK where I am from). I am not sure whether AZ is too hot for these fruit and wonder whether any forum members can give me some advice for this area and maybe offer some suggestions. Thanks.

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Tip one: If it thrives in the UK, it's unlikely to survive in Arizona. We have alkaline soil, dry air and hot weather.

Get two books:
Gardening in the Desert Southwest by Mary Irish
Sunset Western Gardens book

Check any plant you want to grow in those two and it will save you a lotofmoney and effort.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 2:18PM
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Also look at "Desert Gardening, Fruits and Vegetables" by George Brookbank (who is a transplant from England to Tucson!)
I've had the best luck with 'Navaho' blackberry, "Boysen" blackberry, 'Red Dorman' raspberry, and 'Sequoia' strawberry, all with shade from noon on; and European grapes (Vitis vinifera) in full sun. I keep hearing rumors that some southern highbush blueberries will work here in the low desert, but I'm still dithering over which variety to try.
Happy fruiting! : ])

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 3:29PM
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Thank you so much for the replies. You have given me a direction for study and hope for my back yard!!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 3:25PM
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Alex: don't let anyone discourage you. In Arizona, you can plant anything you like - you just have to learn how.

1) The seasons are different. Spring in England is winter in Arizona. Plant all your favorite spring flowers and edibles in October.
2) "Full Sun" means afternoon shade and/or filtered sun.
3) Dig out a space the size of the bed you want to create where you want to plant and refill with store bought soil.
4) Bulbs should be planted earlier and many become perennials. Even my tulips come back year after year - but they bloom in early March.
5) You will find some very fascinating desert adapted plants in the nurseries that are good for summer gardens. These are leafy green flowering plants.

I have a property in Tucson in which I insisted on having all my favorite east coast flowers. In Oct I plant pansies and petunias and enjoy them for 6 months. My low-chill apple trees are astonishing! I also have a plum tree, an Asian pear and a pluot. Near them is my hibiscus and orange tree.

The best part of living in Arizona is that you can combine the plants from all types of climates. Desert, tropical, cold climate and enjoy absolutely everything.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 4:16PM
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