15 November, 2019

Fruity problems and solutions

Q:   Despite feeding my black and red currants, the reds grow well but they carried little or no crop, whereas the black currants both grew and fruited well. Why?

A: Many thanks for your enquiry about your currant bushes. What it really boils down to is that you’re being too kind to the red currant. Don’t give it any fertiliser at all next spring and, from then on, stick to Growmore, sulphate of potash or farmyard manure every March; just one of them, not all three.

What’s happening at the moment is that the red currant has so much food that it doesn’t need to produce fruit; it just grows. The berries, after all, are the plant’s way of reproducing and, if there is no threat to it because it has more than enough nutrients, it won’t bother to fruit. Easy as that.

The black currant, on the other hand, is a greedy brute and you are giving it just what it needs to make new shoots for producing all that fruit.

Goosgogs come into the same category as red currants, as regards feeding, so I think you’ve been lucky that it too hasn’t grown like fury. I would still reduce the feeding to the same level as the red currant and I’m sure that you will get even better results. Their pruning is also the same; tipping and spurring.

I do hope this is helpful.

Peter Blackburne-Maze.


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