In the spring, all work in the garden is aimed at preparing the plant for summer fruiting. The size and taste of the berries, their quantity, as well as the health of the entire bush depend on how well you prune the currants. Plants need to be pruned when there are no leaves on them and all branches are clearly visible.
Spring Pruning Benefits
Many gardeners prune blackcurrants in the fall, but it remains to be seen how the bush will survive the frost. If the bush is too weak, then he will direct all his strength to the restoration of the green mass, and not to the harvest. In addition, there are several more arguments in favor of spring pruning:
- By pruning currants in the spring, you can simultaneously rejuvenate the bushes and remove damaged shoots.
- The dormant plant will tolerate this operation painlessly.
- In the early spring period, insects are still immobile, hibernating on shoots and inside them (aphids, ticks, glass). By removing the pest infested parts of the bush, you will reduce their population.
The most beautiful and delicious berries grow on strong and well-lit shoots
Be sure to prune before the start of sap flow, when the buds have not yet blossomed.
Video: about the timing of pruning and the productivity of shoots of different ages
The structure of the currant bush
It is very easy to determine the age of a currant branch by the color of the bark (the older the shoot, the darker the bark):
- Age zero - young, green, not yet lignified shoots that grow from the center of the bush in summer.
- Annuals are the lightest (almost white, light yellow or olive), without lateral branches.
- Two-year-olds are branches with bright brown bark and side shoots.
- Three-year-olds are thick and dark shoots, highly branched.
- Four-year-olds and older have cracked ash-black bark, often covered with moss or lichen.
Each currant bush consists of branches of different ages: the lightest are annuals, and the darkest are three and older
In turn, each branch for the second and subsequent years is overgrown with one-year increments (they differ from the main one in color). By the size of the increments, one can judge the productivity of the branches: the longer they are, the more berries there will be. In a healthy and productive currant, annual growths can reach a length of 80 cm. If they are short, it means that the bush is growing in the shade or it lacks food.
Currant shoots increase their productivity from the first to the fourth year of life, and then their productivity decreases.
The currant bush should consist of 10-15 shoots of different ages:
- 4–6 annuals;
- 4-6 biennials;
- 2-3 three-year-olds.
Of the zero shoots growing in summer, 4–6 of the strongest should also be left.
Correctly formed bush: sparse, there are branches of all ages, old ones are cut for a vertical shoot, have good growth
Spring currant pruning
Currants are prone to thickening of the bush, every year it builds up many extra shoots of replacement. In conditions of poor ventilation and illumination, diseases begin to develop on plants, pests settle. To avoid this, the bush must be formed and thinned out, as well as sanitary measures must be taken.
A lopper can be used to trim the currants. Its long handles will allow you to easily reach any part of the bush.
Conveniently use the delimber for cutting thick branches and removing hemp
Formation and thinning of the bush
The main purpose of cutting currants is to obtain the maximum yield of berries. To achieve this, during the formation, the biological characteristics of the plant should be taken into account:
- Fruit twigs of currants are short-lived (berries are formed on them within 2-3 years). The main crop is concentrated mainly on two- and three-year shoots.
- With age, fruiting moves to the ends of the branches, the ability to form new young shoots is gradually lost.
- The maximum number of berries is tied on vertical, well-lit and heated shoots. The fruits on the lower branches, if tied, will ripen later than others because of the shade and dampness, will be sour, and may rot.
The main crop of currants is formed on vertical shoots
Remembering these features, you can start forming a currant bush:
- First, cut out all horizontal branches that bent to the ground.
This bush has a lot of horizontal branches located near the ground that need to be cut
- Cut out all the oldest branches from the remaining upright branches, with small annual growths. Remove old shoots completely, leaving only hemp at ground level.
Old branches are different from others - they are thicker, the bark on them is dark, covered with cracks
- In the next step, thin out the young replacement shoots that grew from the root last summer. Leave only the strongest and tallest, and remove the thin and short ones.
The grower removes excess, weak replacement shoots that thicken the center of the bush
- After that, cut off all branches growing deeper into the bush, rubbing and intersecting with others.
This currant bush has many strong shoots, but needs thinning
As a result of formative pruning, you will get a bush of powerful shoots with large annual growths. The branches should be evenly spaced without shading or touching each other.
Currant bush before and after pruning: removed short root shoots, old ones, as well as branches located close to the ground
The older the bush, the more branches it has, and the more difficult pruning is:
- In the first year after planting, it is enough only to shorten the existing branches in half to activate their branching and the growth of replacement shoots.
- All subsequent years, the bush must be formed, cutting out all thickening, crooked, weak, old and diseased branches.
Currant pruning scheme depending on the age of the bush
In one place, a currant bush can grow and bear fruit well for up to 15 years.
Video: how to properly cut currants
The purpose of sanitary pruning is to cut and burn shoots damaged by frost, pests and diseases. Such damage is most common at the tops of the branches.
You will have to remove:
- Frozen and dried out tips of the shoots - they can be recognized by the wrinkled dark bark. Shoots in this place break with a crunch. You need to trim them to live green wood.
- Aphid-damaged tops. In summer, pests settle on gentle growths with young leaves, suck out juices, as a result, the shoot grows crooked. Cut and burn these crooked areas - on them, at the base of the buds, the eggs of aphids overwinter.
- Shoots inhabited by glass. If you cut off the top and saw a black core, it means that a glass caterpillar has settled in the branch. Cut off such a shoot to a healthy place (it is often struck down to the ground).
Shoots affected by glass should be cut to healthy wood
- The branches on which kidney mites live. They are very different from healthy ones, the kidneys on them are much larger, swollen, have a round shape. If there are a lot of infected buds, but there are almost no good ones, you need to cut and burn the entire shoot or bush. Actions should be chosen depending on the degree of infection.
The branch is curved as a result of the activity of aphids and powdery mildew, and at the very top you can see a spherical bud inhabited by a kidney mite
If you remove the entire shoot, then cut into a stump as close to the ground as possible, and if only part of the shoot, then cut it over the outward bud.
Rejuvenation of currant bushes
To rejuvenate currant bushes, most often they make a transfer of an old branch to a vertically directed young shoot. If all the branches on the bush are old, clumsy, without growth and there is nothing to leave, then cut off all the shoots at ground level. In the summer, young branches will begin to grow, the first berries will appear in a year, and in three years you will be able to form a new bush.
In weak, low-growth currant bushes, cut off all branches at ground level to stimulate the growth of new shoots
If the shoots are highly branched and curved, twine around other branches, then you need to cut them into several parts. Pulling out such a shoot entirely, you can hook and break many good twigs.
Video: spring pruning of old black currants
Spring pruning of currants is an important agricultural technique with which you can get rid of diseases and pests, as well as form a strong and productive bush. The pruning scheme is not difficult even for novice gardeners. The best time to work is before bud break.
I live in Siberia. I have my own house and my own plot) In the articles I share my experience, I learn something myself with you)
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Pruning black currants in spring for beginners in pictures step by step
A properly organized garden is a great place to relax, and planted shrubs and fruit trees are a source of natural vitamins for family health. However, without the systematic maintenance of the harvest, you can not wait. The formation of perennial plants is one of the main tasks of the responsible gardener. Currants are no exception, therefore, in order to prolong the life of a bush, you need to know the rules of growth and fruiting and take them into account when pruning.
Black currant pruning is an effective agricultural technique aimed at regulating the fruiting of a plant. Knowing the features of the structure and growth of the shrub, even novice gardeners can carry out the operation according to all the rules.
Timing of spring currant pruning
Spring is the time for the awakening of plants and the active movement of juices, therefore, it is important to finish all work related to the violation of the integrity of the bush before the beginning of this period. The signal for the beginning of growth is the swelling of the kidneys. Since this process begins early in currants, pruning should be carried out in early spring, in March, even when the snow has not melted yet. If you have to do this later, then the sections, the diameter of which is more than 2 cm, must be covered with a clay talker or garden pitch.
Clay talker is prepared from clay and cow dung: you need to mix them in an arbitrary proportion and dilute with water to a semi-liquid consistency. Any damage to the bark, cuts and even breaks of branches can be covered with such a composition, which should then be tightly wrapped with a rag.