Thursday, April 12, 2012

CURRANT EVENTS

Red lake Currants (Ribes rubrum)
Red Lake Currants are considered to be the best red cultivar.   The later ripening, large bright red fruist are borne in long stemmed clusters, which make for easy harvesting.   Plants are vigorous, stron and usuaully more productive than other cultivars.


Fertilizing
Stable manure is the best fertilizer for currants
Young plantings do not need much manure.  After the plants start bearing fruits, apply ½ bushel of manure per bush annually.
If stable manure is not available, use green manure or mulch to maintain humus supply.  Commericial fetilizers can be substituted for manure to supply nutrients.  Apply approx  100 to 150 grams  of 10-10-10, or 12-12-12 per bush annually.  Apply late in fall or early in spring before growth starts.

Pruning

Prune when the plants are dormant in the late winter or very early in the spring before growth begins. The plants are bush-like, varying in height from 2-5 feet. They bear some fruit near the base of 1-year-old wood and produce the most and best fruit on spurs of 2- and 3-year-old canes.  At the end of the first season, remove all but 6 or 8 of the most vigorous shoots. At the end of the second season, leave 4 or 5 1-year shoots and 3 or 4 2-year canes. At the end of the third year, keep 3 or 4 canes each of 1-, 2-, and 3-year old wood. This will make a total of 9-12 canes on each plant.
Canes 4 years and older produce very little fruit. Pruning mature plants, therefore, should consist of thinning out the old “fruited-out” canes and he weakest of the young canes.  Cut them off at ground level. Remove canes over 3 years old, and by thinning, select the proper kind and number of younger canes to maintain a productive bush. If properly pruned, a dormant bush will have 6-10 bearing canes plus 3 or 4 new ones coming along to replace the oldest each year.