[NAFEX] Decline in vigor of red currants

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Tue Apr 19 18:04:38 EDT 2005


My uncle's domestic red currants (red lake) have been in decline for 
several years.  I have assumed the problem was the deer, but it is 
possible it is the weeds.  (or both)  I am curious to hear others' 
experience.  He gets random seedlings from time to time, some of which 
live for years, although none gets a large as the one I transplanted 
into rich soil and keep weeded several years ago.  (I had two, planted 
close, but the larger one finally overwhelmed the smaller one last 
year.)

Ginda

On Apr 19, 2005, at 5:29 PM, Brungardt, Sam wrote:

> I wanted to ask fellow listers' assessment of a situation that I see 
> developing in my red currant planting, which I put in maybe 10 to 12 
> years ago.
>
> In particular, I'm seeing a decline in vigor of the Jonkheer van Tets, 
> Redstart and Rovada plants (I have one of each and the Redstart seems 
> the most affected), to the point that they are not producing enough 
> replacement branches.  I suspect that the problem is poor stewardship.
>
> The first several years I had the currants in, I mulched them very 
> heavily with composted ensilage/dairy bedding each spring.  This did a 
> fairly good job of keeping the quackgrass at bay.  However, I lost my 
> source of mulch a couple of years ago and have not found an 
> alternative mulching material or been able to keep the quackgrass down 
> very well.
>
> Would the competition affect the currant bushes to the extent that 
> they would not replace the old branches I've pruned out with new 
> growth?  Or, do the European cultivars of red currant, which bear so 
> heavily, not compete as well with weeds?  Or, could they be weakened 
> by the cold North American winters? -- Sam Brungardt, St. Paul, Minn. 
> (USDA hardiness zone 4b)
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