Garden And Gardener

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Picking blackcurrants

by Sarah - May 14th, 2011.
Filed under: General Gardening.

blackcurrantsMy dad’s hint for picking them is to use cutters and take the fruit off using secateurs. You just cut off the branches that have fruit on them, right back to the base of the plant. This gets the pruning done too! Don’t worry about the leaves and stem – you then sit down somewhere with the radio on and take the berries off the stalks!

The same applies to red, white and black -currants too!

Why not plant some currant bushes in your fruit garden?

Ben Sarek Bush grows to about 3ft high.

Redcurrant Rovada – heavy crop with high quality large fruit of a good flavour.

Whitecurrant Blanka – Heavy cropping variety, with almost transparent ivory-coloured berries in August. The sweet currants can be used to make a good medium dry white wine.

Plant from Novemeber until about March.

You can plant well spaced apart in a fruit cage if you have one. As they stay in the same place for many years ensure the ground is well weeded, deeply dug and enriched with well rotted manure or compost. They need a slightly acidic soil – around pH 6 to 6.5

They don’t like a waterlogged soil so it’s important to dig well down to ensure there’s no clay pan that will hold water underneath them. When you plant you should prune back hard to encourage new growth.

The bush fruits on last years growth so it’s important how you prune. You prune when the plant is dormant in winter. You should prune to get rid of bent and damaged branches, plus any non-productive woody branches that are more than 3 years old. You can prune very hard – professional growers cut it right back to the ground but that does mean they only harvest every other year. Don’t be afraid of pruning hard – you should get bigger and better berries – but beware if you take too much growth off you’ll have nothing to produce fruit the next year.