[NAFEX] black currant productivity
Kieran and/or Donna
holycow at frontiernet.net
Thu Jul 1 09:09:17 EDT 2010
Alan, Yes, currants and gooseberries are supposed to be pruned yearly, to remove older branches. I think anything older than 4 years. I have neglected my original gooseberry, and though I weeded it last winter, I didn't think to prune it.
The books say that Ribes tend to become very overcrowded with age, that each new shoot develops enough side shoots to make a bush in itself. I think if you get in there in the winter and thin them out some the fruit size will improve considerably. Have you got any outlet to sell rooted cuttings? You could have a nice little sideline there at least till you get them thinned out. I guess if you thinned in summer they'd send more energy to the branches you leave behind. You could sell the idea to your customers and plant the rooted cuttings for them in the fall. What I read is that Ribes come out so early in the spring that fall planting is highly recommended. I realize now's a busy time of year for everyone, but if you buy some potting soil, throw it in some pots, and stuff whatever you cut off into the pots, come fall you would probably be proud of yourself. I have a friend who always has spare rose bushes. Whatever she prunes off in the summer she sticks in pots in a nice shady area, gets lots of takes that way. I think it's mostly the timing and the shade. That area is where she keeps potted plants so they get a spray with the hose now and then. Donna
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