I’m in a coastal Zone 10 so I think currants might be out for me. I do grow Poorman, Pixwell, and Hinnomaki red gooseberries with good success. In fact we all just gather around the bushes and snack off the branches and they rarely make it back into the house.
Maybe not - we’re harvesting Crandalls successfully out at Point Reyes (10a). They’re slow-growing but bear well. Ours are in relatively poor, dry soil and receive little attention, but have been tough and resilient.
thats amazing that a plant can grow and produce fruit from z2-10b!
I agree. Currants are a great plant. The wood can be used in a BBQ too. They are nice looking, and some varieties take little space to provide a lot.
My main problem was picking it all in time. If a lingonberry picker rake will work that will help.
Currant leaves can be steeped in boiling water for herbal tea that is decafinated. Another wonderfull use for currants.
Hi, Jesse / The Wizard
I started about 6 years ago with Consort and Red Lake. Had success many years. Consort Grow to about 5 ft. Have 2 of them, and get 25 lbsor more from them. Flavor is odd and strong. I make wine , jelly and juice. The Red Lake not as many. the flavor is bland, I eat plenty, but sweetened up I do enjoy the wine jelly and juice. The Black Sept. currant has a better taste than the Consort. But grown in the of my flower beds, a more shaded area. So bushes not as big. I have 4 Pink Champagne. the berries get huge and taste the best to me. Also Have White Pearl , The bushes stay small and I get maybe a quart of berries out of 2 bushesAnd they are about 4 yrs. old. I have a Imperial red 2 year old plan to have fruit this year. Just purchased 1 Rovada and 1 Jonkeer Van Tets in search of the best tasting currant. Although in my experience sweetened up all have their good points. Looking forward to trying the Golden, Crandall , Primus, and many others. And thanks to you guys/girls I have better direction on what to try first.
One thing more to share, I believe, I did lose A bush or two from not pruning. I now make shore I cut all the old dead wood each winter. A pruned currant bush is a happy currant bush.
I’ll comment on my Goose Berries and Josta later.
Thanks from The Wizard ,Of Hamburg Pa.
Hi, The Wizard here again
Along with may Currants and many other odd fruits I grow Gooseberries. I started with Pixwell. Which propagated all on their on; so I have many. The bushes get pretty darn big, with tip reaching almost as high as me. 6’ 2’’. Spikes not so bad. The flavor is very good , spitting out the shell. Grand Daughter loves them.I can get up to 8 lbs. or more from each bush.They don’t get ripe all at one time , so I can hit the bush three or more times. Didn’t get to compare flavors yet. I have 1 Hinnomaki bush on it second year. Hopefully get some this year.The spikes look ferocious hoping not. I just purchased 2 Black Velvet. The ads. says the flavor has a hint of blueberry to them, can anybody confirm that? I’am shore I will buy some other types in the future. When I go to my wine racks. I don;t just want to pick out Gooseberry, I want pick from multi types of gooseberry. That’s way I have over 20 different types of Blueberries.I want to know the different flavors. I also grow Josta Berries, I like the flavor of them too right off the bush . A little more tany ,but good. My bushes are Massive over 6 ft. high. Get up to 12 lbs off each,and still plenty for the birds left. I seen in the catalogs that there is a new Josta , that’s crossed with a red currant. Anybody know if the flavor is different?
It;s April 21 2019 the currants, gooseberries, josta,and blueberries all starting flower.
I Love Spring !!! Good Luck everybody. From Jesse the Wizard.
I also wonder which varieties are smaller by nature?
I have a Jostaberry “red” that is now 3 years old and had quite a few blooms this spring. I will try the berries when they arrive. I don’t think it is crossed with a red currant though. I think it is just a different variety of jostaberry.
reds and whites tend to have smaller bushes.
I bought a 1 Crandall and 2 Consort black currants and then I was given over 60 black currants of unknown variety from an old farmer that was downsizing. I drastically pruned roots and tops before re-planting so most of them are still not fruiting but a few of them have done well. The flower aroma and berry taste seem to be the same a the Crandall, but I haven’t done an actual comparison between the two.
I also have Poorman, Pixwell, Hinnomaki Yellow and 20 “wild” gooseberries from the hardwoods around my house and a Jostaberry that I was given.
The aroma of the black currant blossoms is incredible. One of my favorite blossoms in spring. The fruit is delicious when fully ripe and I think that the key is waiting until “fully” ripe, like just before they fall off. We made jam and ate a lot of them fresh right off the bush.
The Poorman gooseberry is doing great and produces a big crop for a still small-ish bush (2 feet tall). The berries are excellent. The wild gooseberries produce an edible “spiked” fruit but in a good year they can be pretty tasty too. The Hinnomaki yellow and Pixwell have not produced anything yet. I’m trying to root about 20 cuttings from the Hinnomaki yellow this year. I had a total of 3 berries off the Jostaberry and they were OK but not great. I also have about 40 Jostaberry cuttings in pots.
I have all of my currants and gooseberries planted near fruit trees as companion plants, but the fruit trees are not yet shading the shrubs so they are pretty much in full sun and seem to be fine. I did notice that the Poorman gooseberry looked pretty stressed out after the fruit was all gone and the late season days got hotter and dryer.
Hi, Mike Wizard here
Yea, The regular 1st Josta berry is a cross with a Black Currant, and a Gooseberry,and the Red Josta berry is a cross with a red currant and a Gooseberry. It’s a genetically modified fruit.
If they taste is the same there is no need for me to get a Red. Because I get plenty so as it is.
Well, Mike have a good one. Wizard
Only 2 feet? Nice! Poorman may be a yes for me.
Get a Poorman or 2. My son and I fight over the ripe ones…
Ben Sarek is a very good all around blackcurrant. I can eat them fresh but they are better processed. Small but productive bush. They are generally considered at least somewhat resistant to WPBR.
I have Ben Sarek and it is the only currant that struggles for me. It just will not grow. All other currants grow like beasts. I’m not sure why? Mine is third leaf and only has one cane right now about 18 inches long.Other canes that grew died. It’s still alive at least!
i had one of my consorts that was like that at 1st. think i planted it too deep. the 2nd year it struggled and almost died. a clump of dead branches from half the plant broke off. was rotten. but what was left grew quickly. now its about the same size as the other one.
I hope that is the case with mine. It looks fine, what is left. It is leafing out and all. I’m waiting on 4 more plants to come in too.
just got a northrop mulberry and a adirondack gold apricot from cricket hill in CT. nice trees almost 5ft. and well pruned and packaged. 1st. time ordering from them but I’m impressed!