Blackcurrant is dark purple berries filled with vitamin C. It is an easy-to-grow fruit that usually develops in mid-summer. Because of the tart taste, many brands use them to produce jams and pies. Other than jams and pies, you can also use blackcurrant in cordials and cassis.
You can also make delicious beverages using blackcurrants or white currant. The best thing about the blackcurrant is that it does not need more space to grow. You can even grow it in containers which makes it a space-saving choice.
Just like many other plants, blackcurrant also requires regular pruning for its optimal growth. Pruning will help you remove all the unwanted stems from the plant and make it deliver the best outcome.
You can enjoy the blackcurrant at their maximum capacity by doing proper pruning. Now you might question how to prune blackcurrants. If you do not know how to prune blackcurrants, do not worry because we will guide you about everything in this article.
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6 Easy Steps for Pruning Blackcurrants
Even if you are a beginner in gardening, you can still prune blackcurrant by following a few simple steps. These steps include;
Step 1: Decide When to Prune
First, you will need to decide when to prune blackcurrant. Most experts recommend cutting after all the leaves have fallen. However, most of the blackcurrant foliage falls within a year.
Also, keep in mind only to prune black currants if they are established. Cutting the branches of newly black currants will be of no use. So, to get the best results, make sure to prune it if the leaves have fallen and the fruit has been harvested.
Usually, the ideal time for prune is early winter or late fall. On the other hand, you will notice numerous blackcurrant fruits in the summer season. This plant grows fruits on multiple branches.
Therefore, make sure not to prune the branch that will produce fruits in the future. When the blackcurrant plant is around one to three years old, it will produce more fruits. At that time, you might require pruning blackcurrant so that you get better fruiting.
Step 2: Decide What to Prune
Another thing that you have to do is to choose the part of the blackcurrant that you want to prune. Experts recommend cutting branches that have old and dark wood. Old branches usually have a darker colour as compared to new branches.
This dark colour will help you easily decide what branch to prune. However, the old branches might still produce fruits, but if you compare the fruit production on old branches to the new branches, the new branch is usually the winner because of more fruits.
Cutting the old branches will provide space for the growth of new branches, resulting in more fruitful growth. You can also cut 1-3-year-old wood for new growth of branches. By this, you can get a chance for harvesting blackcurrants that are better in quality.
Step 3: Cut Weak Stems
While cutting, also try to choose the weakest stems. The weak stem does not produce many fruits, due to which there is no need to keep them. Instead of letting those weak stems grow, it is recommended that you should prune them.
After cutting weak branches, you will notice a growth of new branches that will be very beneficial for the overall growth of the plant. These new branches will also produce more fruits quickly.
Apart from weak stems, make sure also to cut those stems that are touching the ground. By doing so, you will allow blackcurrants to grow freely. Also, removing the branches drooping towards the ground increases stronger and healthier growth.
Step 4: Ignore Light Colored Woods
If you are a new gardener, you might struggle to differentiate between new and old branches. However, let us make it easier for you that the old branch has a darker colour while the colour of a new branch is light.
By looking at the colours of the branches, you can identify which branch is new and which one is old. Remember not to remove light-coloured branches as they are new. These new branches will begin to provide fruits next summer. Try to perform the annual pruning to get the best result.
Step 5: Use Garden Shears
It would help if you utilized garden shears to make the Pruning of the blackcurrants easier. Try removing all the branches that are present close to the base using the garden shears. The best thing about a garden shear is that it is quite convenient to use.
Even if you do not have any experience handling the tools, you can still use the garden shear with less effort. Therefore, while handling the garden shear, you do not need to hire any professional.
To use this tool, you will require opening the shears. After opening it, you will need to place the blades around the stems you want to cut. Remember not to cut light-coloured or new branches as they will benefit you in the future.
After placing the stem in the blade, the next thing you need to do is to squeeze the handles together. By doing so, you will be able to cut the branch off.
Remember, if you are cutting a large branch, you might have to put more force while squeezing the handles of the garden shear, while cutting small branches will be an effortless task.
We would suggest you choose a durable garden shear that has big blades so that you can cut easily. Try to cut all the drooping and weak branches for a better outcome.
Step 6: Use Pruning Saw
After using the garden shear tool, you might also require using the pruning saw to give a final touch to your blackcurrants plant. On cutting the plant with garden shear, you might end up making some uneven cuts.
The pruning saw will help you fix those uneven cuts. Using the pruning saw is similar to that of garden shears. You will have to put the branch that you need to cut in between the pruning saw blade.
To give a better shape to your plant, you can clip the blackcurrant bushes that are grown horizontally. A small pair of pruning shears will be enough to do this job for you. By doing so, you will attain a strong plant with an upright shape.
Moreover, you can also cut the crisscross branches. Cutting such branches will prevent the blackcurrant bush from tangling resulting in better growth. However, remember not to remove the fruit bushes that have soft fruit on them.
The ideal situation for the growth of blackcurrant is the colder area. If you like in the colder area and are planning to establish a blackcurrant plant, you should start the planting process without any delay as it is an ideal condition for the growth of blackcurrant.
Apart from winter, this plant also grows well during the sunny and warm sessions. So, even if you plan to plant blackcurrant during spring or summer, you can do that. The prime advantage of planting a blackcurrant is that you do not have to put much work into maintaining it.
It is straightforward to grow and does not need much care. Another thing that many gardeners like about blackcurrant because it can even tolerate conditions that are not even suitable for its growth.
Due to its high tolerance, you can grow this plant in various parts of the world. However, if you provide the ideal condition for the growth, the blackcurrant will give you the best reward in the shape of delicious fruits.
Even from a single plant of blackcurrant, you can get a good crop. However, to get the best result from this plant, keep all the insects away because insects can harm it. You can grow blackcurrant at any time of the year.
But if you are planting it during late summer or late spring, you will have to provide a greater amount of water. Experts usually suggest choosing October to late March as the plant grows better during that time.
Factors to Keep in Mind While Planting Blackcurrants
Like other plants, you have to keep various things in mind before planting blackcurrant. Following are the things that you should focus on if you want to grow a blackcurrant.
No matter what type of plant you want to grow, the first thing that you need to look at is the soil. If the soil is not optimal enough for plantation, you cannot grow your desired plant.
Therefore, you should check the condition of the soil. Make sure also to examine the pH level of the soil. Blackcurrant will not grow in soil that has too low or too high a pH.
So, you should prefer soil that has a moderate pH. A pH between 6 to 6.5 will be ideal for the growth of blackcurrant. However, if the soil pH is not optimal, you can use compost, mulch, and fertilizer to adjust it.
Apart from the soil, you will also require focus on the location before planting. If you have a place on your lawn that gets sunlight during the morning and shade in the afternoon, try planting blackcurrant in that area. The reason behind it is that blackcurrants do require sunlight as well as shade.
If possible, plant it in an area that gets around 6 hours of sunlight in a day. By getting that much sunlight, your plant will grow much better. However, try keeping the plant protected from birds, bud, and mildew.
Further, you will need to take care of the feeding of the plant. Make sure to provide proper and correct feeding, which will be beneficial for its growth. Try applying the fertilizer during the late fall because, at that time, it gives the best outcome.
However, while spreading fertilizer, try to add a layer of around 1 inch over the plant roots. By doing so, you can fulfil the essential nutrient needs of your plant quite easily.
Keep in mind that if you are feeding slow-growing plants, you may require applying the fertilizer at a different time. Most of the slow-growing plants need fertilizer during early summer.
Health Benefits of Blackcurrants
The best thing about blackcurrant is that it has several health benefits. It has a high content of vitamin C, which makes it a suitable choice for many people.
Not only vitamin C but also this plant has high anti-inflammation properties. It is also popular because of its ability to treat asthma. So, you are going to enjoy a lot of benefits after consuming the blackcurrant fruits.
Blackcurrant is a great source of multiple vitamins. You will get vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B-5, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C with the blackcurrant fruit.
As compared to oranges, the blackcurrant has four times more vitamin C. This high amount of vitamin C will improve your skincare and promote anti-ageing. These vitamins will help you improve your health.
Apart from this, it also has a high content of antioxidants. If you compare the number of antioxidants in blueberries and blackcurrant, you will find that that blackcurrant has a double quantity of blackcurrant in it.
Improve Immune System
Most people usually struggle with their immune system, due to which they become an easy target of several diseases. However, with blackcurrant, you can improve your immune system, which will prevent you from various harmful diseases.
Besides, it will also help you soothe sore throats and minimize flu symptoms. Also, the blackcurrant leaves have many beneficial properties such as antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. One study has also shown the result of blackcurrant seed oil on older adults.
The use of seed oil on healthy older adults will also enhance their immune systems. Not only the seed oil but various supplements made from blackcurrant are also beneficial for the immune response.
Another important benefit of blackcurrant is that it helps improve the skin. It works as a skin soother that gives effective results on skin conditions. However, experts suggest that the blackcurrant seed oil will ease the psoriasis symptoms.
Consuming blackcurrant may also minimize the dryness and itching in your skin. Therefore, you should use blackcurrant if you want to enjoy all these health benefits.