Exit strategy

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HLS

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Exit strategy
« on: March 02, 2012, 14:45 »
I've decided that I should stop making a half-hearted effort to keep up with both a plot  and a back garden and concentrate on the back garden.  I've enjoyed the plot but it's not fair for me to take it up when there's a waiting list and I'm not really using it properly.  There is also a lot I need to do to my back garden.  However, I would really miss the fruit bushes (blackcurrants and gooseberries, all two years old or less) and the rhubarb.

Firstly, can I move them now, or should I keep the plot going a bit longer and move them in the autumn?  (The rhubarb needs dividing anyway - I wouldn't take all of it.)

Secondly, where can I put them?  I know the rhubarb should be able to tolerate a bit of shade and I think I've got a good spot for it (partial shade, near the compost bin), but I'm a bit short of sunny spots in my garden.  Which would be better, a shady border or a sunny container?  And does anyone have any tips for putting fruit bushes into an otherwise ornamental garden?  I won't have space to keep an entirely separate fruit section, at least not somewhere they'll get any sun.

Thirdly, I reckon I could do with a bit of help sorting out my back garden (lawn full of moss, hedge to replace with something else, and general ideas on what I could/should change), so does anyone have any advice about finding a professional or recommendations in the York area?  I know half the fun is in doing it yourself but I know I'm better at making small changes than big ones and if it's not going to be extortionate I'd rather pay someone than never get round to doing it myself.

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Trillium

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Re: Exit strategy
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 16:48 »
If you don't feel you can keep up the allotment now, then there's little point continuing until the fall. Best to let someone else make a good spring start.

Yes, the fruit bushes can be lifted now while they're dormant. Just get a nice bit of soil left around the rootball and make sure the new ready dug hole has been watered and a bit of rotted manure added, and they won't know the difference. If you wait until fall, they'd still be actively growing and resent any moving.

Semi shade spots are fine for currants, and I'm sure gooseberries will cope as well. And yes, do add them to flower borders - but out of reach of passersby if using the front gardens. They'll average up to 3 ft high so that's you placement guide - in front of taller plants, behind shorter ones, but not too close to hedges. Currants are shallow rooted so they won't compete well for moisture and nutrients. Rhubarb will grow anywhere, just try and stop it  :D

Can't help you on the rest, but if you get your fruit bushes in place first, it will eliminate later planning problems.

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grinling

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Re: Exit strategy
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2012, 17:22 »
Do a google search for gardener reviews and your location. Try for free quotes. You might prefer them to do the hard labour and you choose the plants yourself.

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HLS

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Re: Exit strategy
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 14:31 »
Thanks, both!  Have been a bit overwhelmed with stuff to do so haven't managed to get down to the plot - I suspect it may be a bit late to dig things up now as everything seems to be springing away early this year.  Why do things turn up every time I make a plan to do something else? :)

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Agatha

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Re: Exit strategy
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 16:28 »
I'd ask around for recommendations for gardeners.  There are some really awful ones out there (I work as a gardener - in Wiltshire, so not much help to you! - and have come across some real horror stories of appaling work standards/behaviour.)  If you can't find a personal recommendation, then any good gardener you contact should give you a free no-obligation visit to discuss your requirements, be clear about what they can/can't do and not pressurize you to accept their terms or ideas.  If they try charging you for the first visit or put pressure on you to book them up, then avoid them!   
'The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies, but always grows and grows to an enduring and ever-increasing source of happiness.'  Gertrude Jekyll



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