Author Topic: Jostaberry pruning method  (Read 665 times)

Beersmith

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Jostaberry pruning method
« on: July 11, 2018, 18:35:46 »
I have a Jostaberry. Big healthy bush and I like the flavour of the berries but it is not very productive. I have been pruning it in the same way as a blackcurrant and this seems to be the standard advice. But the bush is described as a cross between a gooseberry and a blackcurrant.  Has anyone any thoughts on how productive it might be if instead I pruned like a gooseberry? I  plan to have a very close look next season at how the flowers and fruit form and may give it a go.

The bush is on borrowed time.  I feel I'd get far better returns for the space it occupies in my fruit cage by getting it out and replacing it with something else.

Not mad, just out to mulch!

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Jostaberry pruning method
« on: July 11, 2018, 18:35:46 »

lezelle

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 10:43:14 »
Hi Ya, So glad to hear I am not the only one with these bushes. I was not sure about pruning so left them to go this season, their second, and see how they perform. Allowing for the dry weather they do not seem that productive and have spread 4 feet wide and 6 feet tall and I have 5 in a line on the edge of the plot. A lot of new growth with berries forming at the join between new and last years growth. They, like yours, are on borrowed time as I seem to get little return from them. I will give them a severe pruning this winter but am considering getting rid. Perhaps they should be restricted in pots? I will take a couple of piccies on way home and have another good look to see if any berries are ripening. It seems a lot are dropping maybe due to lack of water and the dry. They make excellent jam and taste good by all accounts but seem to big for the return. Interested to hear from others on how they treat them.

pumpkinlover

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 11:58:30 »
I had fantastic crops when first planted then go huge and no fruit for a couple of years.
This was pre internet days and memory not up to remembering pruning method. Presumably it was incorrect or this is what tends to happen to the plants as I have heard the same story at times.



johhnyco15

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 12:56:04 »
josta berries fruit on old wood so if you cut it back hard you will not get much the following year prune as you would a gooseberry shorten new growth by a third you can still do this now and you will get a good crop every year hope this helps
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you

lezelle

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2018, 07:32:35 »
Hi Ya, Will give it a go JC15, I will take a photo when I get a minute of my plants. I have fresh new green growth coming from older woody growth. So I assume you would cut them back a third or just the green? They need a good pruning as I didn't realize just how big they would go.

Beersmith

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 10:52:09 »
Thank you all for the helpful responses.

I will study the bush and give it a lot of careful thought before doing anything. Winter pruning is many months away!!

One thing I intend to check is the growth habit at the base of the bush. Each season a blackberry will produce a healthy set of new wood from its base. By comparison on a gooseberry (and redcurrants and white currants too) the new wood tends to grow from existing wood rather than springing from vey low down. I am beginning to suspect that the woody growth behaviour is closer to a gooseberry but the flower and fruit formation is closer top a blackcurrant.

PS I always prune my gooseberries in very much the same way as my cordon redcurrants. That is leave a few main structural stems in a very open formation, allowing them to increase a bit each season, but all side shoots get taken back to two or three inch stubs. It always seems very harsh and removes a lot of material but on redcurrant cordons especially it produces heavy crops and also allows the cordons to be tightly spaced.


Interesting and thoughtful comments as ever.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

johhnyco15

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2018, 13:09:09 »
took this today  jostas by the bucket full
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you

Vinlander

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2018, 11:45:17 »
Be aware that Jostaberries ripen before blackcurrants and so the birds hit them hard - especially as they are also less sour.

Even when the currants catch up the birds seem to prefer the Jostas - not surprising because I prefer them too -  though they have considerably less flavour - a mix of the two makes a really nice mouthful.

They are big bushes even when pruned as currants - the first thing to try when they slow down is fertiliser and mulch - especially good manure.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

squeezyjohn

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2018, 19:37:14 »
Birds eat fruit in the summer mainly because they are thirsty.  The bigger or juicier the fruit, the quicker it will be taken.  If it's really dry I try and leave water out for them, the results so far are inconclusive, but I like to think it helps ... it helps the birds anyway!

lezelle

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2018, 12:09:49 »
Hi Ya, your bushes look like mine JC15, Mine are over 6 foot tall and the branches stick out a good 3/4 foot so advice on the way forward would be most welcome. The lower picture showing the new growth this season but very few fruits.

johhnyco15

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2018, 16:59:34 »
Hi Ya, your bushes look like mine JC15, Mine are over 6 foot tall and the branches stick out a good 3/4 foot so advice on the way forward would be most welcome. The lower picture showing the new growth this season but very few fruits.
Id shorten all the new growth by a third this year then reduce the amount of main branches next year just take out one main branch a year and shorten all the new groth thats left by a third within a couple of seasons you be back incontrol of the bush and harvests should improve hope this helps
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you

lezelle

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2018, 09:33:24 »
Hi Ya, thanks for the info JC15 and I will give it some this winter. I didn't know wether to prune the new growth or not as the fruit that was forming was at the bit where the hew growth joined on old. I will be pruning this week end, Cheers

Digeroo

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2018, 10:18:07 »
I think you need to treat like gooseberry.  There is a bush on one of the plots and it changed hands last year, so the plot hold and I took some cuttings, mostly quite young stuff during the winter.  This year has fruited very well, further down the bush.   They do not seem to fruit on the new growth like blackcurrants.

ACE

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2018, 17:21:06 »
Interesting reading, There is a couple of these fruit bushes on the allotment I am taking over. I think the mattock will be busy, can't be doing with hit and miss faddy things. Wasted space where there could be onions.

Digeroo

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Re: Jostaberry pruning method
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2018, 13:42:46 »
They do not ripen before Big Ben and Ebony.  The birds seem to prefer them to the blackcurrants, so I might be scrapping them as well.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 13:44:26 by Digeroo »