A Blackcurrant bush can yield 4.5 kg of fruit and remain productive for 15 years. They are very vigorous and a satisfactory plant to grow.
• A sheltered spot
• Sunny, although will cope with partial shade.
• They need plenty of room to grow out, can grow 2m square.
• Avoid frost pockets.
• Prefer rich soil but any well drained soil will do. Digging in well rotted farm yard manure, leaf mould or compost, will produce higher yields.
• Avoid dry ground.
• Do not like acid soil. Add lime if necessary.
• Clear the soil of all weed roots.
• Buy bushes which are certified free of virus diseases from a reputable nursery
• Any time between November and March, when the ground is frost free.
• 2 m apart
• In a large hole is big enough to hold the roots spaced out. Cover the roots with soil so that the stem is about 5cm deeper in the soil than it was previously (there will be a slight mark on the stem). Firm the soil down well.
• Then cut back the stems to just above a bud about 5cm above ground level.
• Fertilise in February with 3 handfuls of general fertiliser at the base of the plant
• Mulch thickly (about 8 cm) in late March to retain soil moisture and to prevent weed growth
• Remove weeds as they appear.
• Water well in dry times
• In winter, when leaves have fallen, cut out to ground level all the spindly, weak branches & any old branches. Try to thin out the centre so that it does not get overcrowded, but leave two thirds of the branches in place.
• Protect the fruit from birds with netting. Net in winter if bullfinches are around as they will eat the buds.
• July to August
• Pick the berries when they are ripe.
• The strings of berries can be cut off, and a fork will pull the berries off if run down the string which is held tight at one end.
Pests and Diseases
• Big bud mite