Author Topic: currants  (Read 947 times)

brownthumb2

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currants
« on: November 20, 2017, 15:46:12 »
 Advice please I am a member of a face book allotment club  One of the more experienced members said that currant bushes could be cut down to ground level with out destroying the bush and they would produce fruit again in two or three years is that correct  ? was thinking about sacrificing those years fruit  to enable me to put card board down as a munch around the stems that's left with wood chipping on top  to anchor the card down  Good idea or not ?

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currants
« on: November 20, 2017, 15:46:12 »

ed dibbles

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Re: currants
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2017, 16:42:47 »
The advice you have been given is correct. Gooseberries, red/white/pink currants, blackcurrant/jostaberry etc. all rejuvenate from at or below ground level. They should begin fruiting again from year two after stooling them.

Clearing the top growth certainly allows you to deal with weed growth more easily so your cardboard idea would work.

Any overwintering or unwelcome pest removal is another benefit. :happy7:

Beersmith

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Re: currants
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2017, 20:39:37 »
I rely on mulch to keep my fruit cage weed free. On its own, it doesn't totally eliminate weed problems, but careful use of cardboard and other mulching materials will reduce the work involved in keeping your fruit bushes weed free by a huge amount.

However I'm not sure why you couldn't use your mulching strategy without taking everything back to ground level. As others have explained, the bushes will rejuvenate but you will get one season without any fruit and a  second less productive year. You will probably be back to full or near full production by year three.

My suggestion would be to give each bush a severe pruning but not going as far as ground level. Take out every branch that is old, diseased, or overcrowded and take out a lot of the young growth too, especially if thin and weak. Aim to leave just four or five healthy strong young stems that are well spread out. After this the bushes will be comparable to what you would get after one years regrowth from ground level.

You should have enough room to be able to embark on your weed removal and mulching program but will save yourself a full season in getting back to full production. There is also an opportunity should you choose to leave just two or three stems on some bushes (say your redcurrants) and train them into cordons rather than stooled bushes.

Whatever you choose it is a great project. I hope it goes well.

Cheers
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 20:44:23 by Beersmith »
Not mad, just out to mulch!

ancellsfarmer

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Re: currants
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2017, 21:28:15 »
Surely its more simple than that? Cut your bushes to remove unwanted , weak growth. Cut your cardboard so that you have a "U" in a position to surround the stool. Cut another to be the same shape but introduced from the 'open' side. Slide together to overlap by 4" or so. Add mulch.
Presuming your bushes are planted on a regular grid or row configuration, think of it as being "tiled", overlapped not grouted.
Freelance cultivator qualified within the University of Life.

Digeroo

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Re: currants
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2017, 07:11:21 »
I think it is possible.  But it would still be possible to put cardboard round them during the winter without such a brutal cutting.  If you prune a lot of the bush you will still get a little fruit.  If you do remove everything I would feed well in the spring and again beginning of September. 
Has the plant produced any new growth this year from the bottom?  If so I would consider leaving those.
How many bushes do you have, I would suggest being brutal with 1/4 of your bushes each year.

brownthumb2

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Re: currants
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2017, 10:36:34 »
 love all your ideas now planning on  just cutting down each bush by half  leaving this years growth and opening up the middle  placing cardboard around the stems I can use the flaps to go round the bush and wood chip on top