Friday, 1 April 2011

Black currant pruning

Right, this is a tricky one.  As blackcurrant branches get older they tend to go blacker and these are the ones that you want to take out to encourage young fruiting growth.  What I try to do is stimulate growth from the lower part of the plant so I cut back quite hard to a bud 2 or three inches above soil level. This produces long light coloured fruiting stems from near soil level, which could increase your yield quite a bit.

However, if you cut out all these stems then you will not get any fruit because you have to cut off the new wood too.  So you have to be crafty and only take out the stems that do not have a lot of new growth on them or ones that are crowding the others.  Sometimes you just have to hold your breath and take out old branches that have a lot of new growth on them just to encourage new fruiting growth for next year. You can, of course, do this after the blackcurrant has fruited.

An old Shropshire gardener I knew always cut half his blackcurrants back to a bud a couple of inches above the ground each year and alternated the pruning.  I have never been brave enough to do it this way, although I will have to take drastic action this year because I have big bud on most of my bushes.

Black currants with a horse manure mulch
This time of year the blackcurrants appreciate a good feed.  They have produced their flower buds and the flowers are just about to open.  I give them a good dose of comfrey liquid and if there is any horse manure they will get a mulch as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment