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Cultivation Guide - Blackcurrants

Buy young plants from a nursery that is inspected regularly by the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure bushes supplied are disease free. All soils are satisfactory, an open sunny position is most suitable but they will produce a creditable crop on a partially shaded site. Avoid digging around the bushes, control weeds by mulching which will also provide a heavier crop. Space 5' apart, and plant slightly deeper in the soil then they were in the nursery, approximately 6' apart enabling a double row of strawberries to be planted in between. All shoots should then be cut back to within 1-2" of soil level. This stops fruit being developed in the first year, concentrating all growth into establishing new branches to fruit in the second year.

PRUNING

Hard pruning is not usually necessary for the first 3 years, after this time if the bush has become large and overcrowded cut out approximately one third of the old wood (black in colour) to encourage new young growth. The bigger the bush and the more young, 1 year old light wood, the heavier the expected crop.

FEEDING

A general fertiliser may he used, 3-4oz per square yard, but most beneficial is to feed each spring (February) with Nitrogen, preferably Sulphate of Ammonia.