Cut redcurrants properly

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Currants (Ribes) are very robust and easy to cultivate berry bushes and a true miracle weapon for every food lover. Its round, sourish fruits are popular with young and old and are ideal for processing in the kitchen to cakes, jelly or desserts. So you can look forward to a fruitful harvest, you should cut your currant immediately after harvest. We explain what you should consider.

The right location

Currant bushes need a humus-rich, evenly moist soil and a sunny location, which should be somewhat protected in late frost-prone locations. A layer of bark mulch ensures the necessary soil moisture - it also protects the somewhat frost-sensitive root system in cold winters. Tip: Plant new currant shrubs so deeply that the top edge of the pot bale is covered about five inches from the ground. This promotes the formation of new soil shoots and reduces the frost effect.

Shrub or HochstÀmmchen?

Many hobby gardeners prefer the long, rooted rods of the golden currant (Ribes aureum) ennobled currant HochstÀmmchen. They have a slim trunk and a dense, compact crown. Although high stems take up less space than red currant bushes, they are not as productive and long-lived as these. Who has the appropriate space in the garden and wants a decent crop, should therefore opt for the shrubby variant.

Flower loss by trickling

The trickle is a phenomenon that occurs occasionally in grapevines - hence the name of the grape variety "Riesling". The berry bushes, for example, in drought or after late frosts throw off a portion of their flowers. This is a natural reaction to adverse weather conditions, similar to apple and plum fruit. Another reason for the trickle are low temperatures during flowering - they cause that only a small part of the flowers is pollinated. If you plant several types of currant close to each other and make sure that the soil remains evenly moist, you can reduce the trickle of your currants to a minimum. The berry bushes are basically self-fertile, but several plants of different varieties in a small space ensure that as many flowers as possible are pollinated.

Cut redcurrants after harvest

Red and white currants produce the most fruit on the side shoots of the two- to three-year-old main branches. From the fourth year, the yield is already noticeably declining. Every year after harvest, therefore, remove the two to three oldest main shoots near the ground. It is important that the shoots are completely removed and no short stub stops. Since the old fruit branches are too strong for a secateurs, you should use either a pruning shears or a small tree saw for the cut.

Currants cut back drawing

Summer cut with redcurrants: Cut off worn side shoots and competing shoots (left), remove old main branches (right)

Auslichtungsschnitt for vigorous growth

A clearing cut creates space for the long young shoots, which regrow near the ground, and ensures a good exposure of the berries next year. Leave two to three strong, well-placed specimens of the new rods as replacements for the removed main gears, and the remaining new ground sprouts will also be cut off or better torn out. These measures will ensure your currant bush has a maximum of eight to twelve major shoots that are no more than four years old.

Runners hats

Currants currants

Currants are lighted after the harvest in summer - with old fruit branches helps a folding saw

After removing the old main branches, take the side shoots of the younger ones. First, all branches of this so-called LeitÀste be removed to about 30 to 40 centimeters high. Ground-level side shoots are uninteresting for fruiting because the berries would not mature well due to lack of sunlight anyway. Also steeply rising competitive drives of the LeitÀste are removed - they condense the currant shrub unnecessarily, without even bear fruit.

Promote fruit shoots

All side shoots, which have already borne fruits, are cut back to about one centimeter long pin right after the harvest or at the latest next spring. From these arise new fruit shoots, which will bear fruit again at the latest the year after next. All newly created side shoots remain uncut - they secure the harvest for the coming year.However, if the new side shoots are very close together (less than ten centimeters apart), you should also cut back every second on a short pin. Tip: In case of doubt, leave less fruit shoots. The less fruit wood the shrub has, the more vigorous grow the new ground sprouts, which are needed for the rejuvenation of the crown.

blackcurrant in hand

Black currants form the fruits on annual wood

Blackcurrants: Special cut

No rule without exception - that's the same with the blackcurrants: The blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) is cut a little differently than the red and white, as the black variety on the long, one-year-old side shoots bears the best fruit. This allows for an "all-round cut" which allows the shrubs to be kept in shape very well. When cutting, remove all weak shoots at the base and at the main branches. In addition, every spring the main branches are cut directly above the second or third long side shoot. As with the redcurrants, the oldest main shoots are completely removed, leaving a corresponding number of new shoots from the shrub base.

Currants are self-fertile. Nevertheless, you should always plant at least two varieties for even higher crop yields. A recommendable red currant variety (Ribes rubrum) is the early, high-yielding classic 'Jonkheer van Tets' with its long berry grape and the feinsÀuerlichen fruit flavor. More modern varieties, such as the rovada maturing in July, have extra-long grapes and large berries with a balanced sugar-acid ratio. They are immune to mildew and rust. Relatively low in acidity and therefore particularly popular with children is the breeding 'Rosalinn'.

red currant Jonkheer

white currant

Red currant 'Jonkheer van Tets' (left), white currant 'Primus' (right)

White currants (Ribes rubrum) are strictly speaking not a separate variety, but actually only a color variant of the red currant. Varieties like the old and established 'White Versailles' are still valued. The newer variety 'Primus' carries longer grapes and tends hardly to trickle. White currants are usually milder - lovers of fine fruit acid would say fader - than their red relatives.

Video Board: How to Prune Blackcurrant Bushes.

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