Saturday, 26 June 2010

Red Currant

I have six bushes of Red Currant ( Ribes rubrum) planted in a line at the end of my vegetable garden. The spot is sunny and sheltered from wind. They prefer well drained soil too.
Bare-rooted currant varieties are available for planting between October and March. I have bought mine in autumn 1998 and have pretty well developed bushes now. They were two year old plants when I bought them and expect hem to last at least 15 to 20 years. I always put grass clipping mulch around them. In spring, I add some well-rotted manure.

fresh picked up fruit

I will prune back side shoots now to half their length. The bush should be open centered to allow light and air to flow freely around the branches. Currants are self-pollinating plants that bare fruit at the base of one year old shoots.
Currants are easy to propagate from hardwood cutting of mature branches. They should be about 25 cm long. Simply insert about 3/4 of the entire cutting length into the ground. It can be also propagated by layering.
 A number of pests can bother the plants. I have aphids this year that cause curling and bubbling of the leaves. They are mostly on the tips of the branches and I am going to cut them off. The twigs and branches should be burnt.

aphid infected leaves

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