Whitecurrants

Whitecurrants

How to Grow Whitecurrants

It is easy to grow whitecurrants. It produces fruits in mid-summer. The white berries of the whitecurrants are rich in vitamin C. The tart flavour allows the manufacturing of cassis, cordials, jams and pies. 

Even you don’t need to worry about the short space for whitecurrants. They are even easy to grow in containers.  

Growing 

  • Feed the plants with high potash fertiliser in early spring. One and a half handfuls of fertiliser are enough for each square metre/yard. 
  • Apply well-rotted mulch around the plants’ base to ensure the suppression of weeds.   
  • Never hoe near the bushes base because it can damage the developing shoots. 
  • Water the plants regularly in the dry weather conditions.

Pruning 

The best time to prune the currents starts from late autumn to late winter. While pruning, you must remove the older woods because fruits develop best on the younger woods. 

  • Remove the weak shoots in the fourth year after planting the currants. While removing the shoots, make sure there are at least 6-10 healthy shoots there.  
  • Cut out around 1/3rd of the older wood in the 4th year with the help of pruning saw and loppers. It will encourage the development of healthier and younger wood. 
  • Remove the weaker and leaning shoots.

Containers

  • Repot the currants grown in a container in late winter every 2-3 years. 
  • Cut down some of the old roots.
  • Replace the old soil with fresh John Innes No 3 compost.
  • Pot the currants back into the same container or in a slightly larger pot.
  • Feed the plants with liquid fertiliser in the summer months.
  • Apply general purpose feed and fresh compost on the top layer of soil.

Planting 

Although whitecurrants can grow in different soil conditions, moisture-retentive and well-drained soil are what whitecurrants love the most. Besides, they prefer to grow in sunlight. 

Whitecurrants are available in the market in two forms: 

  • Bare-root stock: the roots of the plants will be exposed. You can plant them starting from autumn to early spring.
  • Containerised plant: the roots of the plants will be in containers. You can plant throughout the winter. However, winter is preferred.  

Here’s the step-by-step process for planting the whitecurrants.

  • Buy certified stocks so that there is less risk for viral diseases. 
  • Remove the perennial weeds from the soil.
  • Feed the soil with well-rotted manure.
  • Feed the soil with fertiliser.
  • Dig a hole. Ensure the diameter of the hole is twice the rootball diameter.
  • Spread out the plants’ roots in the hole.
  • Ensure that each plant goes in the depth of at least 2.25 inches. With deep planting, you’re ensuring the development of vigorous shoots.  
  • Firm the soil well before watering.
  • Prune the shoots to 1 inch if you’re planting the currants in the dormant season. Pruning means you will not get the fruit in the first year. 
  • Never hard prune the plants are grown in the containers during the growing season.  

Containers

While growing the currants in the container, follow these tips.

  • Choose a container that is 18-20 inches in diameter.
  • Cover the draining hole with a crock.
  • Take high-quality compost, mix it with 1/3rd volume of grit, and apply it into the plants grown in containers.

Harvesting

You can harvest the modern varieties “White Grape” and “Blanka” by cutting the white strigs. 

The ripening time for older whitecurrant varieties varies. For instance, the currants at the strig top ripen first. Therefore, you have to pick the fruit one by one. 

You can eat the fresh whitecurrants within few days of harvesting. You can also cook them, freeze them or can make jelly, jam or smoothies. 

whitecurrants

Common problems

Birds

Birds, especially pigeons, can cause damage to the crop. They can eat seedlings, fruit, buds, leaves, and vegetables.  

Remedy

  • Cover the plants with fleece or net.
  • Bird-scaring or scarecrows could also help.

Blackcurrant gall midge

They are tiny maggots that eat the tips of whitecurrant shoots. Unfortunately, these are white and don’t allow the shoots to develop.

Consequently, the leaves and shoot tips die.

Remedy

  • Remove the infected leaves if the attack is minor. However, picking off too many leaves will ultimately decrease the yield.  Sow varieties resistant to whitecurrant gall midge. Such types include “Ben Sarek” and “Ben Connan.”

Big bud mite

The whitecurrant bushes are prone to infestation by the mites. The “Ben Hope” is a big bud mite resistant variety of the whitecurrant.  

Remedy

  • Pick off the affected buds of lightly infested plants.
  • Discard the plant, which is infested heavily. Make sure you have picked the fruits.
  • Always buy certified plants from the nurseries. One such certified and mite resistant variety is “Ben Hope.”

Gooseberry mildew

It appears on the stems and leaves as white fungus and powdery grey. Besides, it also infects the fruits, leading to problematic ripening. Finally, poor circulation of air is the cause of Gooseberry mildew.

Remedy

  • Remove the infected leaves and stems.
  • Ensure the maximum distance between the plants.

Check out Yummly for some recipes using these delicious berries.

For more information or assistance with this article, or if you want to add something that you feel is relevant, we would love to hear from you via the Contact Us page.

08/26/2021 | Fruit | 0 Comments

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