I have always found The Black Currant a good crop to grow. I have five on my plot.
They are quite easy to grow without many pest, however they will need netting against birds. The bush is very profitable crop. I harvest them, freeze and eat every day with strewed apple for my breakfast.
A mature bush should yield 6 kilo of berries.
If you are just stating out with Black Current, there a few things you must do to get good returns;
: Select a site partly shielded from the north and easterly winds.
: Deep dig in manure, for this crop is one of the of the grossest of feeders (along with Rhubarb)
: This plant loves rich soil so much it is good to give an annual dressings of organic manure.
: Give the plant plenty of space by allowing at least six feet between each.
Black Currants are easily increased by taking cuttings during October/November/December. Make sure that you select young, healthy growths with well-ripened wood, making each cutting about fourteen inches in length.
Do not remove the basal buds– that is the buds that would be below the soil after the insertion of the cutting. This is important to make sure that Black Current plant is bushy in growth.
These cuttings should be inserted firmly to a depth of four inches in sandy soil.
The first year after insertion the cuttings should be induced to throw out side branches by pinching out their top. at least seventy-five per cent of these cuttings should strike, and the second or third year after insertion should see them large enough for transference to permanent quarters.
How to Prune Black Currants:
Black Currants fruit on the young wood, which means that as much of the old wood that can be spared must be annually cut out.
A well grown Black Current bush has plenty of basal growth and if these are allowed to remain at full length, they will replace branches that are destroyed by pruning.
This pruning should be done any time after the crop has been gathered, and the earlier the better. The reason is that the young branches that are left make quick progress once the rooting system is relieved of the burden of supporting old and useless wood.
There can be no question that if this system of pruning is more generally adopted, we should hear less about the pest know as “big bud”.
Because Red and White Currants fruit on the old wood, therefore the method of pruning is entirely different.
If we assume that each bush is equipped with nine or ten main branches, the leading growths must be shortened ever year or so that only about two-third of the wood made during the current season remains.
The side growths are shortened to within two or three buds of their bases.This is called winter pruning, which is generally carried out in January.
In summer the same bushes may be pruned by just pinching out the tops of the leading growths and reducing side shoots so that five or six leaves remain on each.
Summer pruning not only induces the basal buds on the pruned shoots to develop, but also helps the crop to mature quickly by admitting more light and air.