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How to get the most out of currants? Planting and pruning

Photo large currants after trimming

Planting and pruning currants are important elements of proper care for this popular berry.

Currant is a perennial shrub up to two meters high. The plant has a powerful root system and produces many young shoots. Currant leaves are toothed, three or five-lobed. Light flowers are collected in racemose inflorescences, which produce juicy and healthy fruits. The most common currant is black-colored berries, but other varieties of this crop deserve attention.
In the Middle Ages, shrubs began to be actively introduced in European countries. This plant was also known to the Arabs, who liked the sour taste of the berries. The cultivation of currants in Russia began in the 18th century, but mentions of it are found much earlier.

Currants are thermophilic, so the planting site must be chosen on a sunny, windless side. For planting, choose two-year-old seedlings with a well-developed root system.
Planting is carried out in early autumn - this is the best time to ensure that the seedlings are properly strengthened and prepared for winter. Later planting dates are acceptable if warm winters with little snow prevail in the region.

Important: Planting in spring can affect the poor survival rate of seedlings.

The soil for planting should be light and non-acidic. If the acidity level is exceeded, you can add up to 800 g of lime. The soil is dug up, organic matter, superphosphate and potassium sulfate are added.
The planting hole should be about 45 cm deep and up to 55 cm wide. A distance of about two meters is left between the bushes. After the soil and fertilizers have settled, you can begin planting. This should take about two weeks. The seedlings are immersed in the hole, carefully straightening the root system, and sprinkled with earth.

When planting, you must ensure that the root collar is at least 6 cm deep into the soil. The seedling should be positioned at an angle of 45° during planting. These conditions will help the seedlings grow stronger and form a healthy root system and young shoots. After planting, the soil is compacted and the plant is watered. To keep moisture in the soil longer, it needs to be mulched. Humus or compost is used as mulch.

After planting, the seedlings need to be trimmed, leaving about 15 cm from the ground. There should be no more than 5 buds left on the shoots. If you do not prune, the plant will begin to bear fruit in the first year after planting, but will be weak and poorly developed. This may result in poor seedling survival and low yield.

If planting is carried out in spring — seedlings also need pruning, which will help the plant grow stronger.

If, after planting the currants, you plan to fix them on a trellis, then you do not need to maintain the angle of inclination - in this case, the seedling must be planted straight.

Currants actively form new shoots that need to be pruned annually. In addition, old branches, diseased and dry, are removed. It is necessary to regularly thin out the bush so that it does not suffer from lack of light. First of all, mature branches that no longer bear fruit are removed. They will take away from the plant the resources necessary for the formation of new shoots. Pruning is best done in early spring or mid-autumn.

Black currant - top dressing

Blackcurrant nutrition is often not enough, so the soil must be fertilized regularly.

The first feeding is applied when planting and provides the bush with the necessary nutrition for full development. In spring you can feed the bush with urea.

From the third year of life, currants are fed with organic matter and potassium fertilizers. Superphosphates also work well on shrubs. In subsequent years, the amount of organic matter will increase, but it is necessary to focus on the composition of the soil. Light soil requires less organic matter than loamy soil. The amount of urea during this period is reduced by half.
In addition, currants are responsive to fertilizing with manure and bird droppings. They are especially useful for plant growth, during flowering and in autumn.

To strengthen the plant’s immunity and prevent the occurrence of diseases, foliar feeding is carried out in mid-summer. To do this, the bush is treated with diluted boric acid, potassium permanganate and copper sulfate.

Black currant - hedge

A blackcurrant hedge is an excellent option to decorate your area. In addition to valuable fruits, the shrub is also an ornamental plant. Depending on the chosen variety, you can create a variety of hedges that match the overall style of the site.

Currants will delight you all season with their well-groomed appearance, neat fragrant flowers and juicy berries.

You can choose the height of the desired hedge by selecting low-growing creeping currant varieties: Colorado or Sakhalin. If you want a more powerful hedge, you can choose varieties that grow up to 3 meters in height: fluffy, golden.

To diversify the area with an abundance of colors, you can combine several types of currants with different shades of flowers and berries. This combination will look impressive and elegant.

Currants - shelter for the winter

Sheltering currants for the winter is an important part of preparing the plant for winter.

Currant has good winter hardiness, so when it grows in the south or central zone of Russia, it does not require special preparation. After harvesting, it is enough to treat the bush to protect it from diseases and pests, as well as fertilize the soil. To do this, fertilizing is applied to the dug up soil, which can be urea. Then phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are applied to the soil. The old mulch is replaced with a new one - dry grass or sawdust.

Proper pruning will also help the plant survive the winter. During this process, old and diseased shoots are removed and burned along with fallen leaves.

In harsher climates with cold, snowy winters, currants may require tying and shelter.

To prevent branches from being damaged by bad weather, they must be tied in a vertical position. They tie the bush with twine, starting from the bottom and moving up. The top should be pulled tighter than the base. The branches are distributed in a spiral manner.

Important: Do not pull the branches too tightly so that this does not cause damage to the stems.

In severe frosts of -30° or more, currant bushes can be covered with insulation. The covering material must allow air to pass through well, otherwise the plant may suffocate. The use of polyethylene to cover bushes is unacceptable.
If there is no need to cover the plant with special materials, you can simply cover the base of the bush with a thick layer of snow.

Where to buy currant seedlings

If you want to grow this shrub on your plot, the natural question is - where to buy currant seedlings?

First, you need to decide on the choice of variety, since even high-yielding varieties will not always give the expected harvest if they end up in the wrong region. Proper seedlings should have one or more healthy shoots up to 40 cm long, depending on age. The root system of seedlings is represented by several semi-lignified roots up to 20 cm and small shoots.

The seedling must be healthy without damage or visible defects. The leaves of the seedling should be healthy and the branches straight.

Buying currant planting material is not a problem due to the wide distribution of the crop. It is best to purchase seedlings from a nursery. Special growing conditions and carefully selected material allow us to minimize all risks during planting. As a result, you get high-quality seedlings with a high rate of survival on the site. Such seedlings will have good disease resistance and high yield. The correct choice of seedlings is very important for the good development of the shrub.

If all planting rules are followed, currants will delight you with good harvests.