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Growing Redcurrants

Find out more about growing your own redcurrants

Growing Redcurrants

grow your own | fruits

Grow Redcurrants

Redcurrants are another of those fruit and vegetables which are very simple and inexpensive to grow, but which are so expensive to purchase in the supermarkets.

Redcurrants are delicious tart fruits which can be eaten fresh or cooked into sauces, preserves, and pies and other desserts. They are perfectly suited to the climate in the United Kingdom.

Growing Redcurrants

Currant bushes like a bit of sunshine, but strong sunshine can damage the leaves. Therefore look to plant currant bushes in a location with a bit of shade in the afternoon. Redcurrants are fast growing, with each bush growing to around 6 foot high and 6 foot wide.

Redcurrant Bush

One mature redcurrant bush can provide 10 pounds of redcurrants per year, so you do not need a lot of space in the garden to grow more redcurrants than you and your family can eat.

Planting a Redcurrant

Redcurrants are winter-hardy, cope well with shady damp conditions unsuitable for most fruits, and will grow in most soils. Two-year old bushes should be planted in late autumn when the plant is dormant. The roots of a red currant are quite fragile and need to be carefully spead out underground, so dig a big hole for the bush and carefully backfill with soil. Make sure you remove all perennial weeds before planting, as these are difficult to remove later without damaging the redcurrant's root system.

Caring for Redcurrants

Redcurrant bushes have very fine shallow roots. Therefore it is essential to water them frequently. A porous pipe or dripper system is perfect as this will keep the roots moist without getting the foliage wet. If the plants are not kept well watered, they will grow less leaves, smaller leaves, and less fruit.

Redcurrants should be well mulched to prevent moisture around the roots from evaporating, and also to suppress weeds. Well-rotted manure or compost will feed the redcurrants.

Flowers - which turn into fruit - grow only on one-, two-, and three- year old wood, therefore every autumn you should prune back all four year old wood (since this wood can never fruit again). Doing this each year will keep the bush healthy and keep it cropping heavily.

Redcurrant crop ready to be harvested

The redcurrants can be picked in mid-summer in delicious grape-like bunches of 8-12mm diameter fruits. If you have a problem with birds eating the fruit, cover the bush with netting.

Redcurrant Propagation

Redcurrants are very easy to propagate to give you new plants. One way is to plant foot long pieces of mature wood 3-4 inches deep in a pot of compost. Roots will grow from the wood under the soil giving you a new redcurrant bush.

Layering reducurrants to propogate new plants

Layering also works well in autumn and spring. Simply pick a low-growing cane and carefully bend it to the ground. Weigh it down with a rock to hold it in place,and cover it with soil. Again roots will grow from the stem creating a new redcurrant bush.

Buy Redcurrant Plants

Click here to go to our Buy Fruit Trees page which has numerous links to sellers of fruit trees and young soft fruit bushes.

Article Published: 09:02, 21st Jul 2008

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