Blackcurrant Cultivation Tips

Recommended AGM Varieties

  • Ebony’s large berries can be ready as early as June. Branches may need support.
  • Big Ben crops well and a good all rounder.
  • Ben Connan compact bushes with easy to pick fruit. My choice for my small garden
  • Ben Sareksaid to acidic and have short strings.
  • Ben Hope Not a strong currant flavour
  • Ben Tirran easy to manage with late fruiting and good flavour – I have just picked a good crop

Quick Tips

  • Plant new bare rooted blackcurrants 2-5 inches lower than they were grown in the nursery to encourage branching from the bottom. This helps to create a strong shrub.
  • Best fruit yields are obtained from wood grown in the previous year so one third of the older wood can be pruned out to an inch from the ground each year.
  • Older black coloured branches will bear fruit, but quantity and quality decline with age.
  • Combine pruning with picking the fruit by cutting the branch prior to harvesting. Alternatively wait until winter to prune.
  • Buy disease free plants and watch out for big rounded buds harboring gall mites. Pick off and burn infected buds and if badly infested destroy the plant.
  • You can get a yield of up to 8 pounds from a strong bush. Net bushes if birds are a problem
  • Favourite include varieties Ben Lomond, Titania and Ben Hope.
  • Planting should be completed by the end of March. Discourage fruiting in the first year to build up strength.

Cultivation Tips

Protect from strong winds and they will tolerate shade.
Prefer fertile soil with plenty of compost.
Vigourous plants need space up to 5 feet.
Mulch well but not up to the stems.
Water well whilst fruit is setting and ripening.
Beware of Blackcurrant gallĀ  mite – infected buds should be removed.
Grow as stools with mulit branches from ground level

Prune after leaf fall removing a quarter of the wood including the oldest branch back to the ground.


One Response to Blackcurrant Cultivation Tips

  1. Sally July 5, 2011 at 16.03 #

    Very concise and useful – feel more confident about pruning our blackcurrant bush now!

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