I am thrilled that my black currants, Ben Serak and Consort have never had so many blossoms as this spring. Last year my harvest was sparse and the Cat birds were a huge nuisance. The cat birds return every year, but this year they noticed my dog and their song changed. I look forward to making black currant Jam in July! Time to buy more netting!
i have 2 consorts and they make the hands down Best jam I’ve ever had!
mine are just leafing out. gave them their 1st pruning this year. they’re in 4th leaf. hope i didn’t hurt productivity too much. i also have a crandall i put in last year and 2 crandalls and 3 golden currants i put in recently. should be up to my armpits in currants in a few years. yours look very happy!
is ben serak WPBR resistant?
I believe so. Even though we are in New England WPB has not occurred in generations in RI and is no longer a threat. It was all of the logging in Maine that created the alarm many years ago. To be on the safe side I will say I do not know for certain, however, that is probably why I bought it, for is resistance.
Maine still has bans for all currants and gooseberries in the books but doesnt enforce. i don’t know why as there isn’t much white pine in n. maine and the disease hasn’t been a issue for a century. i find many of our states ag. laws are unnecessarily strict with no reason to be. the big lumber companies control the policies here. even though i do make sure i plant WPBR immune cultivars to be on the safe side. hell, our clearcutting practices have killed more white pines in the last 50 yrs than WPBR has since it came here!.
We grew them in southern Maine, where I lived in York Harbor. Gooseberries and Jostaberries too.
next to ever bearing raspberries, blackberries and elderberries they are the easiest bush fruit to grow. I’ve propagated my consorts in spring by taking a pruning and just pushing it in the soil where i want it. 95% of the time they root! I’ve given away dozens of plants to friends ,family and neighbors. suprising how many people have never heard of these berries.
True! They taste so good as jam on toast! So worth the effort if you can grow them!
Do you have to do this while they are dormant, or just any time?
the chances are better if dormant but the last 3 i did they were leafing out. i rub off all except 2 leafs and stick them in the ground up to the bottom leaf. they usually root. elders , aronia, blackberries, raspberries, serviceberry, blueberries and mulberry cuttings all root pretty easy. its crazy how much they sell these plants for at the nurseries considering how easy they are to propagate.
the jam is also great as a side with venison , chicken and pork chops! really adds a flair to the dish!
Love it with venison. Served it at New Years for years! Yay!
Netted my black currants two days ago and I am happy I did. My cat birds are nuts for the green berries, so when I saw a few stripped strigs, the serious green netting went on . Today is a total gardening and orchard day! Time to dig in and finish planting.
At my place nothing touches the currants. Rabbits won’t even chew on them in the winter.
You are lucky! The cat birds here love them, eat them at all stages so the sooner you net the safer the berries. I will have currants this summer. My shrubs are now about 4 1/2 ‘ tall.
The catbirds and robins sure go after the gooseberries and blueberries here. If I don’t net I would guess they steal 80-90%. they hit the grapes hard too.
They leave my grapes alone , but I net those as well.
the crows hit my bloobs but not too bad.