How to take fruit bush cuttings

Do it:

Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb

Takes just:

two hours

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug

It's easy to propagate your favourite fruit bushes by taking hardwood cuttings from healthy plants. Suitable fruits include gooseberries, blackcurrants, whitecurrants and redcurrants.

You will need

Fruit bushes

secateurs

Spade

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Select a healthy stem of the current season's growth, and cut it from the plant right at the base. Select only one or two stems from each bush.

Reduce the cutting down to 25-30cm long, trimming just below a bud at the base, and above a bud at the top. Remove soft growth at the stem tip. With redcurrants, whitecurrants and gooseberries, remove all but the top three or four buds to create a clear stem. Leave all the buds on blackcurrants.

Choose a warm, bright site with free-draining soil, and make a vertical slit in the soil with a spade. Then put a layer of sharp sand or grit in the base of the slit trench.

Insert the cuttings to about half their depth, spacing them about 20cm apart. Firm the soil back around them, then water in well. Water in dry spells and the cuttings should be ready to transplant in about a year's time.

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