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How to grow redcurrants


Redcurrants are both a visual and culinary treat. They prefer fertile, well-drained but moist soil. Keep them well supplied with nutrients by adding a mulch of well-rotted manure or garden compost a couple of times a year. A sunny spot is preferable, although they should still crop well in semi-shade.

As a rule, opt to grow currants in open ground, as they fare much better and are much easier to maintain. However, if needs must, they can be grown in large containers, such as a half-barrell, filled with loam-based compost. Once established, plants are easy to maintain. They key thing is to keep the soil moist, especially when the fruits are forming. Additionally, it's a good idea to feed and mulch the plants to keep them vigorous and cropping well.

With minimum effort you'll have a reliable and abundant crop, and just one or two bushes will provide pounds of juicy fruits for puddings, jellies and sauces.

How to do it


The optimum time for planting bare-root or container plants is between autumn and early spring. Pot-grown redcurrants can also be planted successfully when in leaf, if watered regular in dry weather. Dig lots of garden compost into a hole large enough to accommodate the root ball of the plant and knock it out of the pot.


Position the roots in the hole, backfill with soil and firm thoroughly. Redcurrants may be grown as bushes, spaced about 1m apart. If you're short on space, you could grow cordons, on a single stem, spaced 50cm apart. To do this, simply prune out all the stems to leave just one single, central leader as a framework.


With soft twine, carefully tie in the selected lead stem to a sturdy cane support using a figure-of-eight knot. As the plant grows during its first year, tie the main stem in at regular intervals. Once the stem reaches your desired height (up to a maximum of about 2m), prune back the growing tip to a bud.


As the cordon grows, it will produce sideshoots which should be cut back to two buds from the base, in July every year, to encourage 'spurs' which will carry the fruit. As the main stem thickens, check the ties regularly and replace them if they're getting tight. Your cordon should fruit in the second year after planting.

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Talkback: How to grow redcurrants
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michael barrett 26/02/2014 at 12:19

have acquired an allotment with 10 substantial redcurrant rovada.when & how do i prune them?

Dave Morgan 26/02/2014 at 15:14

Micheal, try this link to the rhs, pretty comprehensive.

michael barrett 27/02/2014 at 09:11

thank you will do