Red Currants

Red currants are a bright red, small berry ideal for jams, jellies and desserts.

These plants grow best in cooler areas and so are ideal for the Melbourne area. They do need some sunshine and protection from strong winds. The plants are versatile in that you can plant them in your garden in rows or as individual bushes. For an average size family 3 to 4 bushes are recommended.

If your plants become heavy croppers, bearing in mind that they may grow between 1.5m high and 1m wide, then it is a good idea to stake them. If you visit us in the nursery, our staff will be happy to show you to our range of available stakes.

PREPARATION OF SOIL

The soil needs to be worked fairly well before planting. Fertilise in spring with a slow release fertiliser. Devotion™ Time Release Fertiliser is recommended.

PLANTING

The time to plant is during July and August. Plant the canes at a depth up to the old soil
level, just above the roots. If planting in rows leave approximately 1.5m between the bushes.

WATERING

These plants do not require very much water before cropping but in the dry season must be watered regularly. They should also be watered well in the months of January, February and March as this will promote healthy vigorous new growth in preparation for the next season.

PRUNING

Unless the plants have been pre-pruned when you buy them, then you should prune them before planting. Count the buds up from the shoot to the fourth bud and cut off the branches. In the following year this will encourage 3-6 new shoots to form.

The shoots should be pruned back in the winter to a third of their length with the aim to produce 8-10 main leaders but leaving the centre of the bush fairly open. By the time the bush is fully grown, which should be after 4 years, you should still prune the canes but only down to a quarter of their length.

In the sixth year remove the main leader 10 cm’s from the base of the bush. A replacement should grow. Remove all dead wood.

DISEASES

Currants can be sprayed to reduce the risk of leaf infection. Please ask a member of staff about the best types of sprays.