[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 


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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