Black currant: the history of cultivation and stages of agricultural technology
How wonderful it is to feast on the sweet and sour fruits of black currant in the summer! Winter preparations from it are just as tasty and varied. Jams and jams are prepared from berries, compotes and juices are cooked, they can be dried and frozen. Currants are not only tasty, they are extremely useful, they contain a champion amount of ascorbic acid. Thirty eaten berries satisfy the daily need of our body for vitamin C. Currant fruits contain macro- and microelements, a huge amount of other vitamins and acids necessary for our body.
How the blackcurrant bush grows
Black currant is a berry shrub of the gooseberry family. Its main characteristics:
bush height - 1-2 m;
The black currant bush is slightly more than a meter in height
- the root system consists of fibrous roots located at a depth of about 30 cm;
- currant shoots are at first light and pubescent, then turn brown;
- the edges of the leaves are serrated. The length and width of the leaf is 3–12 cm, the shape is triangular-lobed, the middle part of the leaf plate is elongated. On the veins of the leaves are located golden glands, which are the source of the famous aroma;
Currant leaves 3-5 cm long and wide, with jagged edges, three-five-lobed with golden glands along the veins
- the shrub blooms in the last month of spring or at the beginning of summer with inflorescences of several (up to 10) flowers of a lilac, grayish-pink hue;
Currant flowers - bell-shaped, lilac or pinkish-gray
The skin of ripe fruits is bluish-black. The size of the berries is up to 1 cm in diameter.
Black currant fruits up to 1 cm in diameter have a glossy black skin
Currants have been growing on our lands for many centuries. Initially, it is a wild-growing shrub, especially common in temperate and even cold climates. Until now, on the territory of the Caucasus, Siberia, especially Eastern, in the European part of Russia there are thickets of black currant bushes. There is an opinion that the original name of the Moscow River - Smorodinovka, was given to it because of the thickets of this shrub along the banks. And the name currant has truly Russian origins: currant - to emit a strong smell.
The official name of the currant is Ribes. In the 8th century, the Arabs who conquered Spain did not find among the local flora their favorite plant - rhubarb, without which food seemed tasteless to them. The replacement for rhubarb was a red berry with a pleasant sour taste (red currant), which they began to call, like rhubarb - ribas.
In Ancient Russia (approximately in the XI century), currants began to be transplanted from forests to princely and monastery gardens, to diversify its nutrition with berries.
Currants were grown in all monasteries and were used by monks for food, as well as for medicinal purposes. Therefore, another, widely known name for currants is monastery berry.
They began to cultivate currants in France as a medicinal plant, and preference was given to red currants, and only then was attention paid to black. Currants accumulate the largest amount of nutrients in sunny, but not hot weather.
Berries were used for food much later. The currant still remains a European product; in the conditions of a suitable climate in North America, the berry has not become widespread.
Stages of agricultural technology of black currant
The main stages of black currant farming are completely standard:
- Plant care.
- Pest control.
Planting black currants can be carried out with seedlings and cuttings.
Preparation of seedlings
When choosing a seedling, first of all, you need to pay attention to the quality of the root system. It should be strong, healthy and moist. Saplings can easily tolerate a slight overexposure before planting (a month without sacrificing quality).
- Prepared seedlings must be dug in a shaded place.
- It is better to prepare a pit for a ditch with a southern slope (the northern edge of the pit is steep, and the southern edge is at an angle of 45 °), it should be shallow (50 cm), elongated.
The southern wall of the dig hole is inclined
- The seedling in the hole is placed at an angle, not only the root system is covered with earth, but also part of the shoots.
- Watering is in progress.
Preparation and rooting of cuttings
Propagation by cuttings is the easiest way to breed currants. Planting is carried out in early spring or at the very beginning of autumn.
- For the cutting, choose a shoot not thinner than 5 mm in diameter.
- The tip of the shoot is not used. The rest is divided into cuttings about 15 cm long.
Selected shoots are divided into cuttings 15 cm long
- The upper cut of the cutting should be straight, 1.5 cm above the kidney, and the lower one - oblique and located under the kidney.
- Cuttings are planted in prepared soil. Planted obliquely in rows with a distance of 15 cm between plants in a row and about 40 cm between rows.
- Watering is carried out.
- If you take care of the plants in the summer (water, feed, loosen the soil, remove weeds), then by autumn you will get strong small bushes of black currant that can be transplanted to a permanent place.
The best timing for planting currants is September - October, so that the plant has enough time to root. In the spring, it is better to plant before sap flow.
When choosing a site for planting black currants, they are guided by the following requirements:
- the shrub grows well both in individual areas and in the aisles of fruit trees;
- black currant easily tolerates slight shading;
- low-lying areas with waterlogging should be avoided, as well as open hillocks;
- the northern and northeastern slopes are comfortable for the plant.
Preparing the soil and planting a seedling
For the successful planting of black currants, you must:
- Dig up the soil to the depth of a shovel bayonet, remove the roots of perennial weeds, with increased acidity of the soil - liming.
Before planting on soil with high acidity, liming is carried out
- Dig holes (50x50x50 cm) at a distance of about 1.5 m from one another and 2–2.5 m between the rows.
- Fill most of the planting hole with the top layer of soil, rotted manure (half a bucket) and ash (1 glass).
- Place the seedling at an angle of 45 degrees, water, cover with soil and mulch.
The seedling is placed at an angle of 45 °
- Trim the tip of the shoots.
After planting, the seedling must be cut
Caring for black currants is mostly standard: removing weeds, loosening tree trunks, watering and feeding. Five to six times during the summer period, the soil in the trunk circle should be loosened. Compulsory loosening should be carried out in the spring and after harvest. Watering is carried out with insufficient precipitation during the growing season, two weeks before harvesting and two to three weeks after harvesting berries. In the fall, the soil is dug up near the bushes, organic matter is embedded in the trunk circle. Top dressing is done several times over the summer using organic fertilizers, ammonium nitrate, wood ash and superphosphate.
A feature of caring for black currant bushes are pruning (sanitary and formative). Without them, you cannot get a good harvest of currants. With sanitary pruning, old, dried, diseased branches are removed. Formative pruning allows for the formation of a shrub with a wide base. Starting from the first year, the shoots in the center of the bush should be thinned and powerful marginal ones should be left.
It is imperative to remove all branches older than 5-6 years due to their low productivity. A good result is obtained by shortening the tops of annual shoots: they branch more strongly, the number of flower buds increases on them.
Diseases and pests
The currant bush tolerates cold winters, temperature extremes, and other vagaries of the weather quite well. But the consequences of shocks are diseases that are dangerous for black currants and lead to a decrease in yield or death of the plant.
Photo gallery: the main diseases of black currant
There are over 70 species of insects that pose a threat to currants.
Photo gallery: the main pests of black currant
In order to prevent the spread of diseases and pests, you should know the signs of damage, methods of treatment and neutralization. For prevention, you need to carefully examine the plant for lesions, burn fallen leaves. In addition, it is necessary to remove damaged parts of the plant in time, timely and correctly prune the bush.
Currants begin to bear fruit 2-3 years after planting. Harvesting is carried out as the berries ripen in a brush, that is, in several stages. You can harvest with both individual berries and whole brushes. Moreover, when picked with brushes, the berries are better preserved.
It is better to collect currants in those containers in which storage is supposed. When poured, the berries wrinkle and are worse preserved.
Video: Oktyabrina Ganichkina about the secrets of a good harvest of black currant
Reproduction of black currant
The fastest and most reliable way to propagate black currants is by cuttings.
Another simple way to breed currants is by layering. In this case, it is necessary:
- In the spring, choose a strong two-year-old branch in the lateral part of the plant
- Lay its middle part into a prepared ditch about 10 cm deep, leaving a part of a branch about 30 cm long on the surface.
For reproduction by layering, a strong two-year branch is chosen.
- Over the summer, a strong root system will develop on the layer, several shoots will appear.
- Already in the fall, the cuttings will well tolerate separation from the parent bush and transplant to a permanent place.
You can propagate black currants by dividing the bush.
- The bush is carefully dug out, being careful not to damage the root system.
- Then cut into several pieces.
When dividing a bush, it is important not to damage the root system.
- Old and diseased branches are removed, and young shoots are shortened.
- They are planted in prepared pits and watered abundantly.
- Such a plant will bear fruit in a year.
Standard form of black currant
The standard form of black currant is becoming more and more popular with amateur gardeners. It is used not only for the sake of harvesting, but also to decorate the suburban area.
A stem is a part of a tree trunk from root to crown.
Pros of standard growing:
- the crop of currants is much easier to harvest, since the entire crown of the plant is at eye level;
- branches are at a fairly large distance from the ground, so the plant is less susceptible to disease and attack by wintering pests;
Standard cultivation has many advantages, including the convenience of harvesting and caring for the plant, as well as better protection from pests
- shoots do not interfere with soil cultivation in the trunk circle;
- under the standard currant, you can plant such plants as onions, garlic, St. John's wort. They have phytoncidal properties and can repel pests.
Cons of standard growing:
- the plant requires more care for the formation of the form;
- standard currants may suffer from strong winds, since they will be much taller than an ordinary bush;
- the plant is more susceptible to the threat of spring frosts and winter freezing.
Methods for obtaining a plant on a trunk:
- Vaccination on a stem former. The ideal stock for black currants can be golden currants. This method allows you to get more expressive standard plants and does not require large physical costs.
- Formation of a plant into one trunk.
The result of efforts to form the standard currant shape will be a tree that will give your site an unusual look
The formation of a standard form of black currant in one trunk is carried out as follows:
- In August, a thick summer shoot is planted in a permanent place and pinched at the top.
- The next year, you need to pinch the tops of all the shoots that have appeared on the main one.
- Foliage, basal processes and shoots below the established line of the trunk must be removed.
- In the third year, the tops of each regrown twig are pinched and the root shoots are removed again.
The formation of the standard form of black and red currants is the same
- In addition to pinching the tops, in the fourth year it is necessary to remove the aged branches.
- The procedure for pinching the tops and removing old branches should be repeated annually.
This is how a currant tree will be formed instead of an ordinary bush.
For centuries, black currant has been the queen of gardens. And this was determined not by the amount of attention that needed to be paid to the culture, but by the benefits received. Let's not deviate from traditions and take an interest in growing the black pearl of our gardens!
My name is Ludmila. Higher education, graduated from the Minsk Institute of Culture. I live in Belarus.
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Black currant: planting and care in the open field.
Black currant is the most common berry in the gardens and vegetable gardens of compatriots. It is a perennial shrub from the gooseberry family. The berry is appreciated for its taste, beneficial properties and ease of self-cultivation.
Planting and caring for black currants in the open field it is not difficult, since the shrub grows to a height of 1.5 m, and yields a crop already in the second year after planting. Breeders have bred many varieties of shrubs that differ in taste, shape, size of fruits and brushes, and ripening time.
Black currant care
Caring for black currants depends on the period of the year, age, as well as on the specific variety of berry bushes.
In the spring
Spring care is divided into three stages:
- Early period (last days of March - mid-April). By this time, the snow should already melt or partially come off the garden, but the currant buds did not have time to swell. Use nitrogen as a fertilizer, as it helps the shrub grow green mass quickly.
Pour the purchased mixture for the bushes on the ground. They are poured onto damp ground and sprinkled with soil a little on top. To prevent pests from attacking, collect and destroy all round buds. Collect organic residues left over from the fall and take them to the humus mixture. Some summer residents pour boiling water over the plants to awaken the bush.
Place humus under the plants, you can use compost. Also, this period is suitable for planting new seedlings. Treat old plants with iron sulfate (3-5%). You can use other means, for example, Fitoverm or Kleschevit.
Read more about caring for currants in spring here.
Weeds grow quickly, so loosen the soil regularly, just be careful not to damage the roots. Inspect the culture constantly. The moth pest is especially active; a weak solution of nicotine sulfate helps to get rid of it.
Summer care is divided into three stages:
- Before harvest... Pour wood ash under the root. Water abundantly. Increase the amount of water during drought. At this time, caterpillars appear. Manual collection can be used, but it will not bring significant results. Spray the plants with special products, for example Iskra. Cut off all dry branches.
In the autumn period of the year, caring for black currants is as follows:
- Feed the plant with superphosphate or ready-made mixtures. How and what to fertilize currants in the autumn, read here.
- As soon as the shrub has completely shed its leaves, be sure to powder the soil with wood ash, add compost or new nutrient soil.
- Remove any large, swollen kidneys.
- Cut off infected branches, collect fallen leaves.
- Plant new layers at the end of September, just do everything carefully so that the roots of the plant do not suffer.
- In early October, transplant the cuttings into the open ground.
- Do water recharge irrigation.
More about caring for currants in the autumn period is written here.
As soon as the plant has lost all the foliage, tie the bushes with rope, put boards under some branches and make one large frame of wood. If this is not done, then in winter the plant will crush the snow, and in the spring it will not have most of the branches.