Thursday, 12 August 2010

So come on, come on, do the growth-promotion with me...

It's about that time when the blackcurrants have fallen (or been gently plucked) from their branches and thoughts are turning, as with the strawberries, to how to make them even more productive next year.

The BBC said this about pruning the blackcurrants on their gardening site:

Pruning blackcurrants

  • Blackcurrant bushes need constant renewal to ensure heavy crops. Older branches will bear fruit, but quantity and quality decline with age.
  • For this reason new bushes are planted deeply so that the plant produces vigorous young branches annually from below ground.
  • These are then used to replace older ones cut out after harvest.
  • Each year remove about one third of the oldest stems - the bark is very dark to the point of being black - and any that are weak or very low.
  • Always cut back to ground level or to a strong new shoot.
  • You can combine pruning with picking the fruit, or wait until winter.

So the boy-child and I have been out doing just that. The stems hadn't gone too dark but were certainly much darker than the newer growth so we'll see how it goes. One of our bushes was, literally, fruitless this year so we can't do any worse regardless of how cavalier we've been with the secateurs.

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