Last month I planted 3 new blackcurrant bushes on plot 33, extending my little fruit patch which is really exciting. I just adore blackcurrants, even the fragrance released from crushed leaves gets my taste buds going wild, although I’ve heard many say the smell is similar to cat pee. Well, I guess I’m just a bit odd.
The bushes are losing their leaves which means they’re going into a period of dormancy, this is the perfect time to show them some love by cutting all shoots back to the ground. It seems so harsh but they will come back all the stronger next year, cropping the summer after that on 2 year old growth. You only need to cut all shoots down with newly planted bushes, but of course you can totally leave them alone to fruit sooner but fruit yields will be sparse.
In spring I’ll show my blackcurrants even more love by mulching with a mix of well-rotted manure and compost. The following autumn I won’t prune and for future pruning methods I’ll aim to remove 1 in 3 of the oldest stems back to the ground late autumn to winter to encourage more fresh young growth. As a general guide, older stems are thicker and darker in colour.
I’m so looking forward to making the first blackcurrant jams from plot 33!