Home > "Boots", Cherries and Berries, How To's > On the Brink – Saving a Cherry Bush from Drying Up

On the Brink – Saving a Cherry Bush from Drying Up


Cherry Bush Not Doing Well

Cherry Bush Not Doing Well

About three weeks ago, I noticed that one of my cherry bushes was not doing well at all. The temperature at that time was well above 90 degrees for a few days straight, and there wasn’t much rain. The leaves on my plant had begun to drupe, and the cherries it tried to produce were very small and unhealthy looking.
Since I had trans-planted this bush from my sisters garden in the fall of last year, I figured the roots might not have been covered enough to protect them from the heat. I decided to take a four layered approach to fix this problem, starting with a fresh layer of soil.
Start with a Layer of Pot Ash

Start with a Layer of Pot Ash

 After the soil layer, I added a layer of “Pot-Ash” or what’s left when burning wood. I had a good deal of this ash in the pit where I make bio-char. I mixed the ash with water, and sprayed a bit of Miracle Grow into the mix. The nutrients in the fertilizer should sink into the ash, and be released slowly as the plant grows.
A Layer of Manure

A Layer of Manure

 On top of the ash, I added a layer of composted manure. Again, I put this layer on top so that some of the nutrients would leach into the ash below, and hopefully be stored in the soil longer. The manure was composted for at least a year and a half before being applied.
Straw to Hold in the Moisture

Straw to Hold in the Moisture

 To hold the moisture in the ground, I finished off the layering with some old straw I had sitting around. I layered it thick enough so that the sun could not directly hit the soil below. This should prevent the soil from having it’s moisture sucked out of it.
Once the layers were complete, it’s time for some serious watering. I dumped ten gallons of water around the cherry bushes base, hoping to hit the roots, and the soil directly around them. I followed up with a couple more gallons every few days during hot spells.
"Boots" carrying a snake

"Boots" carrying a snake

 While I was trying to save this excellent growing cherry plant, my cat was also hard at work hunting down snakes in the field. He is a very friendly cat, well to humans anyway…
Crazy Cat.... Who Knows What he is Doing ?

Crazy Cat.... Who Knows What he is Doing ?

 After he dragged the snake out of the field, he decided to take a break and sit on the snake…. while purring away.
Growth Once Again

Growth Once Again

Three weeks later, my hard work had payed off, and you can see the bush is growing once again. After spending a good deal of time around plants, I’ve discovered a very simple method to see if the plant is healthy. Look at the very top of the plant, or anywhere where you would expect to see new growth. If the plant is a bright or light green, it’s quite healthy. This holds true for many indoor and outdoor plants.

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