Black currants produce dark purple to black fruit in bunches from midsummer. The currants have a tart flavour and are a great source of vitamin c. You can make tarts and cordials using the currants straight from your garden.
Blackcurrants prefer well drained, moisture retentive soils, but can tolerate many soil conditions. They like full sun but don’t mind a bit of light shade. 2-3 weeks before planting remove all weeds and add some well rotted manure and a balanced fertilizer.
Plant in a hole twice the diameter of the root ball, spreading the roots and place in the hole carefully, back fill with well rotted manure mixed with compost firm the soil around the rootball and water in well.
Planting in a Container Use John Innes No 3.
Water during dry spells in the growing season, feed with a Growmore in late winter.Hand weed the soil around the base of the bush, using a hoe may damage any new shoots, add a mulch of well rotted manure, this will help suppress weeds and should be done in late winter.
Prune in late autumn to late winter, try to remove older wood as the fruit grows on young wood, but leave young shoots. Cut out any low weak shoots that maybe leaning towards the ground, every year from planting remove any wispy and weak shoots. Making a structure of 6 to 10 healthy shoots. After the 4th year using a pair of loppers or a pruning saw remove about 1/3rd of the old wood at the bottom of the bush this will encourage younger healthier wood.
Birds are the biggest pest for all soft fruit growers, cover the fruits in a fine garden netting.
Blackcurrant Gall Midge.
These tiny white maggots feed on the tips of the shoots, thus preventing the leaves from reaching full size. Shoot tips die back and the leaves dry up and die. Remedy-- Pick off any infected leaves, you can see the white maggots on the leaves and shoots, removing too many leaves will have an impact on the crop yield. No chemical control.
Big Bud Mite
This mite infests the buds. Remedy-- Pick off and dispose of any infected buds on infested plants in the winter. Remove and dispose of any heavily infested bushes after the fruit has been harvested, replace new bushes in autumn.
Harvest by cutting the strings, Bunches of fruit, as they start turning black, pick the fruit individually as older currants ripen at different times, currants at the top of strings ripen first.
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