How To Plant And Grow Red Currants

How To Plant And Grow Red Currants

Planting currants in your own garden pays off every summer. With the right cultivation and good care, you can count on an abundant yield. Find out what you should bear in mind in our gardening guide.

Planting currants in your own garden

Their name already reveals a lot about them: The small, mostly red, but sometimes white or deep blue to black, berries are called currants because they are named after St. John’s Day in June. This day marks the approximate time when the first berries ripen.

With proper cultivation and care, you can reap an abundant harvest of the healthy, sweet-tart berries from your own garden every summer.

Planting currant bush: location and timing

How To Plant And Grow Red Currants

The ideal location

Currants prefer a sunny location. They also thrive in partial shade, but the aroma of the fruit is then not as intense and the berries remain smaller. The location should also be protected from the wind.

It is also important that currants have enough space. The bushes can grow up to two meters high and should not be too close together. Therefore, consider a distance of about one and a half to two meters between the bushes.

The soil is ideally rich in humus and nutrients and quite loose. If the soil is poor in nutrients, you can mix in mature compost. If the soil is too heavy, waterlogging can quickly form. Therefore, you should mix the soil with sand so that rainwater can drain off better.

The right time

It is best to plant currants in the ground in the fall, because then they sprout early in the spring. In autumn, temperatures should still be mild, but the soil should already be moist. This way, the currants hardly need water in the first weeks and you can do without watering.

If you miss the fall, you can still plant currants in the spring. However, this should be done early and you should always water the plants in the beginning.

Instructions: Planting currants

How To Plant And Grow Red Currants

You can plant currants in just a few steps:

  • Cut currants: To stimulate the sprouting of the bushes after planting, you should first prune them. That is, cut off all weak and damaged shoots directly at the point of attachment. Shorten the remaining shoots by a third to a maximum of half of their original length. Also remove kinked and dead roots and loosen the root ball a bit.
  • Prepare the soil: Dig the planting hole. It should be deep enough to allow three fingers of space under the root ball, and wide enough to allow ten inches of space all around the root ball. If the soil is too dusty, add some compost to it. If the soil is too heavy, loosen it with some sand.
  • Insert the shrub: Now set the currant bush in place and cover it with soil. Tamp down the soil and create a watering rim of several centimeters around the plant. This will allow watering and rainwater to flow more easily to the currant bush and not off to the side.
  • Water well: The freshly planted shrub now needs about ten liters of water.
  • Apply mulch cover: To help the shrub retain moisture well, you should apply a mulch layer of leaf or bark compost around the shrub.

Caring for and harvesting currants

How To Plant And Grow Red Currants

Currants are very easy to care for. For a rich harvest you should pay attention to two things:

  • Enough water: Currants need a lot of moisture. Therefore, you should water and mulch them regularly during the summer months. A mulch cover, e.g. of lawn clippings, prevents the moisture in the soil from evaporating too quickly.
  • Adequate nutrients: In spring and fall, you should fertilize shrubs, for example, with compost or nettle manure.
  • It is also a good idea to prune the shrubs after harvesting. In this way, the energy of the plant in the future will go into the formation of the main shoots. You can promote up to five main shoots of the plant and thin out weak and old shoots. This increases the yield and rejuvenates the plant.

The currant harvest begins in good weather as early as the end of June. Since the berries ripen unevenly, you can pick through each bush several times until harvest time is over at the end of July.