By pruning currant bushes you will increase yields of fruit, get bigger fruit and keep the plants in a manageable condition and your garden will look more tidy.
This will give you plenty of these wonderful sweet fruits to enjoy in desserts and cooking and for freezing to use during the winter months
A red currant bush bears its fruit on spurs formed along its branches and for this reason the pruning differs from that of blackcurrant bushes.
When a redcurrant bush is started in life from cuttings, the lower buds on the selected wood are rubbed out before the cutting is inserted, so that the young redcurrant bush is grown on a short leg and remains free from basal shoots.
From the start it should be the aim of the cultivator to produce a redcurrant bush with an open habit with its branches arranged evenly.
To accomplish this, somewhat hard pruning is required until the framework of main branches is laid and, if the leaders areselected with care, a well-shaped redcurrant bush is formed.
Recurrant varietes of upright growth such as Raby Castle, Laxton’s No 1 or those of the Scotch Red type, require to be so pruned as to encourage an open habit; while those of weaker arid more spreading habit such as Fay’s Prolific and New Red Dutch, can be built up to a shapely bush by pruning the leaders to an upward- pointing bud.
In later years the pruning becomes quite simple and entails only the cutting back of the lateral growth along the main branches to the fruit buds at the base.
Leaders should be allowed a few inches of growth each season, and summer pruning of the laterals when the fruit is about to colour will assist ripening and make picking easier.
In a two year old bush cut each branch back halfway to an outside bud. New branches will then be formed.
Subsequent winter pruning will depend on on the growth made; shorten the the leading shoots of the redcurrant bush to about 6 inches and cut back the laterals to within a short distance of their base.
When the redcurrant bush is a few years older it will be necessary to cut the year's growth back to 1 inch or less. Old branches should be cut out and new growths allowed to take their place. This will create an attractive bush in the garden.
If growing redcurrants as cordons in your fruit garden cut back the laterals to about half an inch and shorten the leader.
At the end of June shorten the laterals on redcurrant bushes to about 5 leaves, DO NOT shorten the leaders.
Prune the laterals on redcurrant cordons to 5 leaves, but don't cut the leader until the desired height is secured.
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Expert advice about pruning redcurrant bushes - when and how to prune redcurrants to increase fruit yeilds from the bushes in your garden