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Soft Fruit Growing Guide

gooseberry plant pax [mh224]

This guide provides cultural hints for growing the following soft fruits: Blackcurrants, Redcurrants, white currants & Gooseberries

Upon Receipt

Plant currant plants without delay, providing soil and weather conditions are favourable. Should this not be possible your plants can be kept for a short while in a cool place having first opened the top of the bag. Do not, however, remove the protective covering from around the roots until you are ready to plant.

Fruit Growing Guide: Blackcurrant

Site & Preparation

Blackcurrants prefer a well drained, fertile soil, in a sunny position which is sheltered from cold winds. The site should be well worked to a depth of 25cm (10″) incorporating plenty of organic material such as well rotted manure or garden compost. Care should be taken to pick out all roots of perennial weeds. Apply a
base dressing of general fertiliser as per the manufacturers recommendation.

Planting

This should take place as soon as possible, provided soil and weather conditions are suitable, e.g. not overwet or frozen. Remove the protective covering from around the roots and soak in water for 20 minutes should they appear at all dry. Dig a planting hole large enough to accommodate roots easily and plant about 2.5cm (1″) lower than it was previously grown in the Nursery, firming the soil well. Plants should be spaced 1.2m (4′) apart, with a 1.5m (5′) space between rows.
Immediately after planting, prune each root to 2-3 growth buds from the ground. This will encourage strong new growth which will carry the following seasons’ fruit.

Pruning

In the winter, following the first season of growth, prune to ground level all weak or damaged shoots. Thereafter pruning should take place after the fruit has been harvested, retaining strong new shoots that arise from the base of your bush. If new shoots are plentiful cut out most of the old wood which has fruited otherwise remove a third of these old branches, pruning to a strong young shoot near the base of the bush.

Further Cultural Treatment

It is essential to prevent the plants from drying out in the first year. Keep well watered. It may also be necessary to water in dry weather as the fruits begin to swell.

Fruit Growing Guide: Redcurrants & WhiteCurrants

Site & Preparation

As per Blackcurrants.

Planting

As for Blackcurrants except plants should be set in the soil at the same level as they were grown in the Nursery. There should be a short stem, known as the ‘leg’, above ground level. Plants should be spaced 1.5m (5′) apart with a 1.8m (6′) gap between rows. Immediately after planting, prune each main shoot
by half, to an outward facing bud unless branches are drooping, in which case prune to an upward facing bud.

Pruning

In the winter following the first season of growth, prune leading shoots by a half, to an outward facing bud. 8-10 branches should be pruned in this manner to produce the main framework of your bush. Any additional shoots should be shortened to 5cm (2″). Remove all damaged, weak and overcrowded shoots. Repeat this process each year, try to develop a strong bush with an open centre.

Further Cultural Treatment

As per Blackcurrants.

Fruit Growing Guide: Gooseberries

Further Cultural Treatment

As per Blackcurrants.

Site & Preparation

As per Blackcurrants

Planting

As per Redcurrants, Gooseberries are also grown on a short ‘leg’.

Pruning

As per Redcurrants.

Further Cultural Treatment

As per Redcurrants.

We’ve hand-picked some of our favourite shade loving plants for you to grow in your garden.

Soft fruits are simple to grow and all of our varieties are delicious and also provide a great source of vitamins and fibre making a great contribution to a healthy diet.

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