May 7, 2010

Anyone have or know where I can get a definitive answer on the legality of growing currants in Alabama? Also, where to buy plants.

I am wanting to plant some gooseberries, black and red currents along with my blackberries. Have yet to find anyone in AL growing any ribes.


Comments (8)

  • terramadre

    You may want to read about that

    Here is a link that might be useful: currants and gooseberries in the south

  • heathcates

    I had already read extensively including that basic google search before posting here but there is little info regarding the South and nothing I could find in AL. Looking for someone with experience and contacting the extension about legality.

  • heathcates

    I have seen conflicting info... ie. currents ok to 7, goose to 8 and others say they can't be grown this far south. There is actually a nursery about 1.5 hrs east of me in GA that grows them and grapes and sells them online but I wanted a non-bias opinion.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Ison's

  • terramadre

    I finally received an answer from a Regional Extension Agent/Commercial Horticulture in Athens, AL (Limestone County) through ACES/"Ask an Expert".

    "According to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, there are no restrictions on growing black currants or gooseberries in Alabama. However, it is very likely they will not thrive in our heat and humidity."

  • heathcates

    I actually got a very similar answer from my Lee Co. extension recently. Though I am stubborn and decided to give them a try anyhow. I'll add a link to a blog post I did about the planting and try to keep updating as they (hopefully) grow. I am not going to be hurt if they don't and I know there are several things going against me but with no concrete examples in my area I decided to take on the challenge. Thanks for the info and if anyone has any other info please let me know.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Currants in Alabama

  • alabamanicole

    Please keep us posted. I have some semi-shady morning sun/afternoon shade spots that I had considered trying ribes in. The afternoon shade might help protect them from the worst of the heat. (In theory.)

  • tedposey

    Many,many years ago, when I was a teenager, I came upon an abandond house place in the woods while squirrel hunting in DeKalb Co, NW of Fort Payne. There were a couple of large bushes there with grenish berries on them, I broke off a limb and took it home.
    Both my parents recognized it immediately as gooseberry, so they had obviously seen them before. So Goose berries do thrive in North Al. Don't know about currants. I've read that they don't do well.

  • lucky_p

    I took a small, native(?) gooseberry plant(tiny little green gooseberries) back home to my parents in Lee Co. one time, from the farm where I was living in mid-MO, while I was in grad school there. It lived a couple of years, and turned toes-up.
    You *might* be able to grow them there, but they probably won't be really happy, and I'd certainly want to put them in a spot where they'd at least be in shade from the broiling summer afternoon sun.
    Glenndale and Pixwell would be the first gooseberries I'd try there - they've gained a reputation for doing better in hot climates than many of the 'dessert' quality gooseberries; fruit quality on those two might not satisfy real Ribes connoisseurs, but they make a decent pie.
    If you have success with Glenndale/Pixwell, then you might consider trying some other varieties.

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