planting bareroot black currants

armyofda12mnkeys(7a, Philly, PA)May 7, 2012

Just curious, Raintree's lil' guide recommends for black currants to cut them pretty much a few inches off the ground.

I cut the foot long branches about halfway as I was a lil' scared to go all the way to almost ground level.

Most of the plants are European black currants and one is the Crandall black currant which was even taller, maybe 20in tall when I got it (i was even more scared to cut that one so far back).

Anyway just curious if I should heed their advice and cut super low. Maybe they recommend to cut a few inches off the ground since they think most of their bareroots won't have alot of roots to match the top of the plant, or is there some other reasons, like forming the bushy part of the plant lower?

Thanks,

Ari

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mrsg47(7)

Its just fine to follow Raintree's directions, they are absolutely correct. I have seven currant plants, four of which are black. I prune out the old dark brown wood every year. Black currants bloom on second year wood and yes, pruning with only four leaf buds showing is just fine. I usually take my new plants down to six inches above ground. That way your root systems get a very good start. They should be maintained at about 3' in height. They will bush out. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 2:01PM
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armyofda12mnkeys(7a, Philly, PA)

Cool, Thanks for the advice Mrs.G!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 4:22PM
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mrsg47(7)

Army! You're welcome. Have been growing currants for over 30 years, they are highly indestructible! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 8:43PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

BTW any pieces you prune off can be stuck in the ground and they are pretty sure to root. One of the easiest ever plants to propagate.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 4:39AM
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olga_6b

I never prune my currents to 3'. Why do you think it is needed? Most of black currant bushes are 5-6 feet in my experience.
MrsG , I didn't forget about Alchymist. I am just waiting when it finish its bloom to get cuttings.

Olga (who also grow her currants for 40+ years :( )

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:26PM
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mrsg47(7)

Thanks Olga. I have four very productive black currants. It I didn't prune them I'd be overwhelmed with black currants. I only grow what I can eat or give as gifts (jam and gelato)!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:26AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

MrsG, Are they all the same kind? If they are, you could probably handle more if you got a different variety which is earlier or later. :)

I planted 7 black currants last spring (5 varieties), most of which should bear for the first time this year. I had assumed that I would decide which I like best and plant a few more of it, but if 4 keeps you overwhelmed, I may not need more.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 12:39PM
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mrsg47(7)

Bob, I have two varieties of black currants (one different for extra pollination). I also have red, pink and white currants. Last summer I made 10 pints of black currant gelato, and ten pints of jam. Got currants? Yes! I pruned a couple of the bushes rather severely to give myself a break for this summer. The bushes are thriving as they do! Flora UK is so right. Clip off a six inch budding stem, plant it directly into the soil and a new black currant is born! The other colored currants are not the same (in taste as you know, either).

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:19AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

20 pints sounds good- I should be able to use that much without issue over the course of the year. I've saved a lot of jam bottles that I want to fill. :) I assume you ate some fresh as well? I'm not sure if I'll like them fresh, though I know I like red/white currants.

The red and pink currents propagate pretty well from cuttings too. Last August I tried tip rooting and cutting 2 varieties (1 red, 1 pink). The 3 cuttings all grew, neither of the 2 tip-roots grew. I planted them in the ground in November, along with 1 more fresh cutting, which also grew. As of now, all 4 cuttings seem to be doing well. Gooseberries also take well from cuttings (5 of 6 made it) and I believe one of the tip-rooted gooseberries actually took. Of course, it is possible I needed to start the tip-rooting process earlier. I don't think I'll mess around with it much in the future though, as cuttings seem to work so well.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:18PM
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mrsg47(7)

Love currants, all colors! Red, white or pink currant tart is the best!. Hot out of the oven with vanilla ice cream Or JUST on its own! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:19PM
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