Black Currants 2017


Interesting, what is ARS? Got links to info about those varieties? Im interested in getting some Big Ben but not sure if anyone has it available. Anyone got a lead on a source stateside?


Evidently Im awesome…

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Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges?


my Crandall came from Whitman’s so should be interesting how it turns out. i also noticed the leaves are smaller than my consorts. how did your Crandall taste?


It was good, like a mild black, no musky taste, Had hints of red currant. Hard to evaluate from a few on a couple skinny branches. I can say I’m not worried about it producing. Seems like a productive plant to me.The thing is a twig and produced fruit. Impressive so far.


mine came to me with a few flowers but they never developed. should see some this summer.


Agricultural Research Service. Their GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) has info on all the plants they maintain.


Hi, can you give me your advice on how big these actually get? Everywhere online says 4’ spacing but would I regret planting at 3’ spacing in many years?


No, three feet apart is great. The love fertilizer (mine do) and the are mulched every spring to keep down weeds. Once they flower and the berries are formed, I net them. Cat birds can eat them faster than they can fly! After all of these years I keep them between 3-4 ft. Tall I prune out all of the deadwood when I harvest in July . They are fabulous and I cannot live without the jam!mine are in the shade in the afternoon and like it.


Thanks!! I’m just wondering if they grow into each other at 3’ more like a hedge, and thus more prone to mildew? Most online sites say 4’ for blacks and 3’ for reds and gooseberries. I have some extra plants and would rather squeeze them all in at a closer spacing, but don’t want problems later.

So if blacks are fine at 3’ full grown when 4’ was advised, do you think gooseberries and red currants can manage 2’ without too much crowding, when 3’ was the recommendation? Or should everything be at least 3’??


Mine grew together almost close enough to make it into a hedge. I never have mildew on my currants.


I believe 3’ will be fine.


Thank you!!! Those pictures were so helpful :slight_smile: Do you have gooseberries too, at 3’ or 2’?


At three feet, they have thorns and will use them, you want room. if they are overlapping it would be very difficult to harvest without a blood transfusion.

Also you remove old canes on currants, so you can prune them any way you want. I always remove a few canes each year. Not at first but once mature plants. Each cultivar is a little different some produce too many canes, others do not. I remove short, skinny or mis-directed canes each year. More goodness for those left. A plant can only produce so much sugar and nutrients. Keeping the plant fit and trim results in large outstanding fruit.


Any suggestions on how to prune gooseberries that have been in the ground now for their second year? I have three such plants. Some of the taller canes are about a foot tall now. Do they all need to be pruned back a bit, or just let them grow this year?

Remember that GB that got run over by a truck last year? Half of its four canes were laying on the ground afterwards, but I stood them back up and spliced them together with some twine. Now all the canes have new leaf buds on them!

BTW, I got another Hinnomaki Red to replace the one that didn’t make it last year. I found it at Tractor Supply for $8.


I grew Bagira many years back in Russia. It was my favorite currant out of many others. I did not even know that I can get cuttings of it here in US. The name of the second one Dikovinka can also be translated as curiosity or wonder.


**gooseberries **No longer. There were much taller and skinnier.


Well I’m learning as I go too. The Brits do a cordon with a single trunk. I’m not even sure how that is possible with this plant?! The canes are only productive for so long. Three or 4 years. You should remove them. Don’t tip or head existing canes. You can, if in the way or something, but no need to. Remove older ones (3-5 years old), thin out new canes by removing short, skinny and crowded canes. You want 3-8 good canes every year. It’s not just for the health of the plant. Keeping canes spaced makes harvest easier, these things will be drawing blood many times.
Basically you have red, yellow, green, orange and purple types. I just want one of each, I don’t have a yellow yet. I bought Hinnomaki Yellow, and it turns out to be Hinnomaki Red! Or some unknown red? I have Poorman which is a very good red. I have purple in the form of Black Velvet. The reds to me my first thought was grapes, they have a little of the concord taste, along with their own flavor. Oh and I bought an orange too, one I really wanted! I have a nice in ground spot for it. So I need a good yellow, or white, some are deep yellow, some are almost white. I was looking at Langley Gage as one to fill the yellow niche. It is almost white.


So, for these young plants, don’t prune them at all just yet? After many years, how can you tell which canes are the older ones?

If you’re looking for a yellow, Oregon Champion is one, we have one, got it from Tractor Supply for $5. It’s an older variety, but it’s been our most vigorous grower, it was the one that got run over!

Speaking of thorns, our Jeanne is almost thornless. Some varmit did some pruning of it this winter, but it’s doing OK, I guess. All three of our GB seem to be waking up.


Only if it produced a lot of canes last summer, any weak or small. I find these take 3 years to fruit.

You can, the bigger ones, they keep growing. Plus I’m going to wait and see how long they are productive before I remove, so I might not prune them all the same. Once I know the plants, I’ll know more on how/when to prune.

Yeah besides Jeanne is “Friend” which I guess is thornless. These plants can over produce, and the quality will suffer, I would think anyway, true for most plants. So once mature leave only the best canes.

Also one can do cordons, V, Fan, Standard, or others. They take lot’s of pruning and you lose fruiting years forming it. Still they are awesome looking. here is a row of Standard pruned gooseberries. Not my photo.
standard gooseberry2