Cut redcurrants - this is the perfect summer cut

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Blackcurrants - Ribes nigrum

Currants bear fruits for decades; without a perfect summer cut, but only very occasionally isolated, tiny berries. The article will tell you how to prevent the decrease in fruit size, berry count and fruit quality:

Why summer cut?

The summer cut is especially recommended for red and white currants. These blackcurrants ripen in summer, from the end of June the earliest varieties can be harvested. Cutting right after harvesting is almost the only way to keep a good overview of the fruiting shoots.
Because red and white currants carry best on the one-year and still quite good on the two- and three-year impulses. Of these, as many as possible should be on the wood, plus a few renewable new shoots, each replacing the oldest fruit shoots. The older shoots, which have been strong again in their third season, must now make room so that the bush can put all the strength into the training of new fruit shoots. The older shoots would continue to bear fruit (red and white currants and their related gooseberry fruit on one to several years old wood), but the shoots are getting shorter and weaker with age, which also decreases the fruit quality.
Since the currants branch out as shrubs directly at the base of the rootstock, it is important to always remove old wood to the base, so that the new wood can grow up from below. Only through this constant "all-round renewal" does the shrub always consist of a sufficient number of strong one to three year old rods.
Sounds so easy, but it is very difficult to keep track of when the fruit shoots already slightly declining in the fruit, not immediately removed after the third harvest. In addition, the summer cut greatly facilitates the currants' wound healing, and it allows light and air to pass on to the next growing shoots of fruit, especially in the case of a currant bush.

Cutting and education of currant bushes

redcurrant - Ribes rubrum

Red and white currants (white varieties of redcurrants) can be planted in spring or autumn or as container plants at any time, when it is not roaring hot or the ground is frozen. No matter when you have planted, first the shrub may rooted in peace, so in the year of planting should not be cut at all. The following year, it starts with the cut:
  • At the beginning of spring, pick some well-grown, strong shoots at a good distance from each other and remove the rest
  • The rest is made up of all sorts of faint little things that have grown during the planting season
  • The selected strong shoots will bear fruit for the first time, the best and biggest fruits of their lifetime
  • With them, the harvested side shoots are cut back after the harvest in the summer to a remaining piece of about 1 cm
  • In turn, the most vigorous shoots are selected as future fruit shoots from the wood that has regrown from spring
  • The messy, superfluous remainder of the newly arrived shoots is again removed
  • So it goes on for two more years, then the first fruit shoots have done their duty
  • They are now removed, very close to the ground, so that the shrub does not produce new, feeble shoots from the stumps / root knots
  • These old fruit branches are too strong to cut with the simple pruning shears, they should be tackled with pruning shears or a small tree saw
  • This removal of the oldest fruit shoots is done in the classic winter cut at the beginning of spring
  • However, cutting in the summer after harvesting helps you keep track of things
  • In addition, the shrub is fully in the juice at this time and can close the cuts best
  • After removing the old main branches, the side shoots of the "successors" are on the line
  • At the junior leaders, all branches are removed up to 30, 40 cm from the ground
  • Such ground-level side shoots bring no useful fruit, as they do not receive enough sun to mature
  • Furthermore, regrown competitive shoots are removed, which unnecessarily condense the currant bush
This will continue in the future in the life of currants. The fact that you ensure the continuous renewal of the fruit wood is the absolute priority in bush education. It is not just about the amount of harvest, which decreases significantly on the older branches, but the quality of the fruits on the old wood also noticeably.
The second most important thing is to promote the cohesion of the bush when pruning. Currants like to diverge slightly during their development, but even the broadest varieties can only do that if you let them.When selecting the shoots left on the bush, be careful not to let the next shoots go, but do not create too large gaps between branches that tend to be horizontal in any case. If a shoot declines under the weight of its fruits, it should be tied up and later replaced by a more upright successor. If you have selected a variety that has structural problems altogether, all shoots should be cut back one third each year.
How many shoots you pick each year depends on the currant variety. Normal are 8 to 10 shoots per currant and season; when more shoots stop growing in strong growing varieties, they bring more fruit, but the harvest becomes more laborious. The number of selected shoots is directly related to the third most important point, which should be taken into account in the currant section: the shrubs inside must remain loose and airy enough to guarantee each fruit shoot its share of sun (which brings flavor and sweetness to the fruit), The cut after the harvest is therefore always a Auslichtungsschnitt, in which you can rely on the following "law": The less fruit wood is currently on the bush, the stronger grow the fresh ground shoots that rejuvenate the currant.
In between, a tent long red currant high trunks were popular as an alternative to the blackcurrant bush. They arise by a wild currant species in the nursery is pulled eintriebig up to 1 m in height, on which the actual fruit-bearing currant variety is refined. First, abundant and comfortable harvest at breast height, as soon as is not properly lightened, berry size and grape length decrease; In older high strains, the fruit-bearing variety is getting worse and worse with the substrate and growing more and more. Also, the mechanical stability of the refining site suffers over time, so that the high stems often break off or die in the crown. That is why today hardly any high-stems are cultivated, if you do not want a shrub / shrub you prefer your currants today rather than spindle:

Rich harvest by spindle education


If you want to harvest many redcurrants (currant meringue cake, real red fruit jelly, Cumberland sauce), you will need several red currant plants. The pulled as a shrub can no longer be harvested very comfortable and durable only good, if the cut is really skilful and regular. Better then the education as a narrow spindle - it brings more yield, because only fruit branches grow on the plant, sweeter fruits, because all these fruit branches get sun, and easier harvest, because a spindle is very narrow and often from two sides to reach.
The spindle education is not very complicated:
  • After planting and rooting, cut off all shoots except for one shoot
  • Or buy a currant bush preferred to spindle culture in the nursery
  • This strong, straight shoot is tied to a 2 m long bamboo stick or similar
  • He is allowed to grow the first years uncut uncut
  • The shoot from the top bud is tied up
  • The side shoots are cut back to 20 cm as soon as they are longer than 30 cm
  • The result is a central axis with short fruit trees, on which develop long grapes with large berries
  • If this central axis wants to grow beyond the bar length, it is simply cut off at the top
  • Growing young shoots are torn away while they are still thin
  • Overlooked ground shoots can also be removed later with pruning shears
  • For about eight years the spindle currant bears 6-7 kg of fruit
  • Then a young shoot must be raised from below to replace the old one
  • The old shoot is completely cut away when the successor shoot has grown halfway up

Cut blackcurrants properly

Black currants bear the best fruit on the long, one-year-old side shoots and barely on the older wood. This makes the cut of the currant bush pretty easy: The shoots that are to wear in the season, are cut in early spring above the second or third longer runner, the remaining weaker shoots are cut without exception.
After the harvest, the harvested fruit shoots are removed (can also happen only at the beginning of next spring). And the shrub gets an "all-round cut", which keeps it in shape, is lightened and freed from all weak impulses (including those at the base and at the main branches).
That's it, if you repeat this pattern like a prayer wheel, you'll always be able to harvest enough blackcurrants to make new, delicious crème de cassis.
Tip: Spindle currants act like a narrow hedge when placed side by side to several. A pretty narrow hedge, currant spindles can therefore be very well planned as a "room divider for the garden"; around the terrace or to the delimitation of the vegetable garden for example.At harvest time, the "spindle hedge" with the rich red, pink, white hangings looks particularly attractive, and you should enjoy this beautiful picture for a while: the longer you hang the currants on the bush, the milder and sweeter they become. Incidentally, blackcurrants should be grown better as a shrub because they need a strong revival all around to be fruitful and reluctant to reduce to a mainspring for the spindle education.

The vigor of currants

redcurrant - Ribes rubrum

If you have to decide how many fruit shoots you can leave per season, or if a spindle education could succeed, the currant is still small and young. Without information about the vigor of each variety you would have to make a decision "into the blue", so you will get an overview of the vigor and growth habit of some currant varieties. Not necessarily the most well-known cultivars, about which there is enough information in the next garden center or hardware store.
But here redcurrant varieties have been selected that bear delicious fruit AND do not annoy you, because they have shown in the trial cultivation of the Bundessortent good resistance to the leaf fall disease, mildew and blackcurrant bladder. Because the most beautiful currants do not taste anymore, if you have to deal with sick shrubs again and again - a big shortcoming of the varieties of modern fruitful cultivations sold in garden centers and hardware stores like 'Rotet', 'Rovada', 'Rolan' and Co. These varieties ended up in trial cultivation of the Bundessortenamt (which is carried out without the usual numerous pesticide jaunts in the acquisition cultivation) in terms of disease susceptibility all in the lower ranks and are therefore not mentioned here.
The currant varieties listed below may not be traded everywhere, but can really be recommended for planting in home gardens. Not only because the Bundessortenamt certified them good resistance to the most common blackcurrant diseases after trial cultivation, but also because the various growth strengths and forms are included, so that you can choose the currant that fits the intended location:

Red currants

  • Ribes rubrum 'Fertödi hosszu': Old Hungarian variety, medium growth with broad growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'Maarse's Prominent': Old variety from the Netherlands, strong growth, very broad growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'Rode Rebel': Dutch breed, since 1982 in the trade, strong growth, very broad growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'Rolan': Breeder Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands, Junction of 'Jonkheer van Tets' x 'Rosetta', since 1981 in the trade, strong and broad growth
  • Ribes rubrum 'Rondom': Breed from the Netherlands, since 1949 in the trade, very strong growth, broad growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'Red Vierländer': In England around 1900 as a random seedling of 'Red Dutch' read out, very strong growth, bushy growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'Stanza': Syn. 'St. Anna berry 'from the experimental farm St. Anna-Parochie, the Netherlands, since 1967 in the trade, very strong growth, bushy growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'Tatran': Breeder experimental station Bojnice, Slovakia, since 1985 in the trade, very strong growth, bushy growth habit


  • Ribes rubrum 'Bar-le-Duc': old white variety of unknown origin, probably originated in France, strong growth, bushy growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'Blanca': Breeding from the experimental station Bojnice, Slovakia, since 1977 in the trade, medium growth, bushy growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'Heweista': Breed from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, created in 1950 from the free flowering of a mutant, medium growth, bushy growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'White Dutch': Old white-fruited variety of unknown origin, medium growth, bushy growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'White Versailler': Parent varieties unknown, since 1850 in the trade, strong growth, bushy-wide growth habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'Witte Parel': Old white variety of unknown descent from Belgium, strong and broad habit
  • Ribes rubrum 'Zitavia': random seedling from Zittau, since 1976 in the trade, strong and broad growth


blackcurrant - Ribes rubrum

- with good resistance to the most common injurious ones mildew, column rust and bud gall mites -
  • Ribes nigrum 'Ben Loyal': Breeder of the Scottish Crop Research Institute, lnvergowrie, Dundee, Great Britain, strong growth, bushy habit
  • Ribes nigrum 'Ben Sarek': The next barely susceptible strain from the Scottish Crop Research Institute, medium growth, bushy growth habit
  • Ribes nigrum 'Black Reward': Breeding Plant Breeding International, Cambridge, United Kingdom, commercial since 1970, strong growth, bushy habit
  • Ribes nigrum 'Ceres': Breeding of the Research Institute of Pomology and Floriculture, Skierniewice, Poland, strong growth, broad habit
  • Ribes nigrum 'Hedda': Breeding of the Agricultural University of Norway, As, Norway, strong growth, broad habit
  • Ribes nigrum 'Mailing Jet': Breeding Plant Breeding International, Cambridge, UK, strong growth, bushy habit
  • Ribes nigrum 'Ometa': Breeder of R. Bauer, Breitbrunn, cross between the mildew-prone 'Westra' x mildew-resistant clone, very strong, broad growth habit
  • Ribes nigrum 'Titania': Breed from Tollarp, ​​Sweden, variety protection since 1985, very strong growth, broad growth habit


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