Fruiting currants thrive in the UK’s cooler climate. Blackcurrants are delicious in pies and jam, white varieties are sweet enough to devour straight from the bush while redcurrants are the perfect addition to rich gravies and jewel-coloured jellies. Here, some of our favourite bloggers, Instagrammers, and vloggers share tips on how to grow your own bountiful buckets of delicious, colourful currants.
Browse our full range of currant plants for delicious red, white and black varieties.
Grow gorgeous redcurrants to flavour sweet and savoury dishes
Redcurrants are“a fantastic addition to jams, syrups, baked goods, as well as some savoury dishes,” enthuses Simon Rogan and his team at @ourfarm led by dedicated head grower, John Rowlands. Based in the gorgeous Lake District, Simon’s “excited to be blessed with their flavour” as the latest crop of delicious redcurrants is ripe and ready for use in his Michelin-starred restaurant – L’Enclume. Follow on Insta to see how they produce Michelin-worthy currants and other fresh produce for the chef’s table!
Eat delicious whitecurrants straight from the bush
Ribes rubrum, more commonly known as the whitecurrant, is the star of Katelyn’s July harvest over at @inatinygarden. Showing off her allotment crop of perfect, pearlescent currants, she says “they’re sweet and tasty and so beautiful.” And unlike her other fruit, they’ve been completely ignored by pests. With no cooking or preparation required, simply pick and enjoy this seasonal bounty fresh from the bush!
Protect blackcurrants from late frosts
“Site your blackcurrant bushes in a sheltered spot and protect them from frost,” advises the horticultural team at Thompson & Morgan’s blog. Heavy frost in the spring plays havoc with the flowers and can cause them to drop, so keep your bushes well protected with fleece to ensure they stay on the plant and turn into lots of delicious berries in summer. Read the full article to find fascinating facts and useful blackcurrant growing tips.
Use currant bushes to create an edible hedge
Permaculture and forest garden designer Jake Rayson from Nature Works recommends using currant plants to make an edible hedge! He says that blackcurrants and redcurrants may look small when they’re newly planted bare root whips but, within a couple of years, they will grow up to form an attractive boundary. What’s more, you’ll have a healthy crop of edible berries every summer. Find lots more design snippets at his friendly YouTube channel.
Transplant redcurrant bushes to improve fruiting
If your redcurrant isn’t producing much fruit, it may just need a change of scenery. Hannah from @talesfromagarden took a gamble when she transplanted a redcurrant that was being strangled by brambles to a new, sunnier spot. Luckily, her intervention paid off and she was quickly rewarded with vigorous fresh growth and much bigger harvests. In fact, she says “it’s got about 90% more fruit than last year and generally looks a lot happier!” Visit her Instagram post to see the evidence for yourself!
Plant blackcurrants in containers if you’re short of space
Growing your blackcurrant bush in a container? YouTuber Ian from DIY Home and Gardening uses a thick layer of gravel in the bottom of the tub to provide drainage for his new plant. He recommends using a soil-based compost like John Innes No. 3 which holds moisture and provides plenty of nutrients. Watch his full video to pick up a watering trick that encourages better root growth in your container currants.
Mulch around the base of your currant plants in spring
Over at @danielles_allotment, Danielle applies a thick layer of mulch around the base of fruit bushes each March to keep her plants happy for the coming season. Her yields speak for themselves – check out her impressive tresses of redcurrants and heaving bowls of blackcurrants over on Insta for inspiration. Danielle uses some of her blackcurrants to make a flavoured gin. What would you do with yours?
Keep an eye out for currant blister aphid
Currant blister aphids shouldn’t affect your yield too much, says Jake from Pot&Petals. However, if your plants are in their first year or if you dislike the appearance of the discoloured leaves, then it’s worth squirting the aphids off the undersides of the leaves using a diluted spray of washing up liquid, he says. Watch his full video to take a tour of his enviable fruit cage and learn exactly what to look out for. He also shares some handy tips to prevent future infestations.
Net your fruits to protect them from birds
Jackie from @my.allotment.escape grows whitecurrant ‘White Versaille’ at her bountiful Stourbridge allotment. Sharing top tips for keeping your current bushes healthy, she recommends keeping an eye out for blister aphids and quickly removing any affected leaves to nip the problem in the bud. A bigger issue for Jackie is protecting her precious crop from birds. This year she’s planning to use a net to prevent them from stealing all the currants. Follow her on Insta to see if it works!
Try a berry comb for quicker harvesting
To make harvest time easier the expert duo behind the food forest YouTube channel Freedom Forest Life – Off Grid have a few tricks up their sleeves. One of their tips is to use a berry ‘comb’ to harvest lots of currants in one go. Later in the season, when the fruits are too soft and ripe for the scoop, they use a time-saving ‘prune and harvest’ technique to tackle two birds with one stone. Watch the full video for tips and take a peek at their incredible food forest at the same time!
Prune currants in November
When it’s time to prune blackcurrant bushes in November, “remove up to a third of the older wood which can be identified by its darker colour,” instructs Woody at his YouTube channel, Cumbrian Homestead. He demonstrates how to cut away the older wood, along with any crossing branches, and explains that, done correctly, this should increase the yield. If you’ve got a really tall bush like Woody, prune back the top shoots by about a foot or so, cutting just above a bud. This will stop the top bowing under the weight of currants in the summer.
Propagate mature currant plants
Do you want to have a go at making new currant plants for free? Fiona, from the YouTube channel English Country Life, demonstrates her March ‘layering’ technique that works equally well for blackcurrants, redcurrants, white currants and gooseberries. All you need to do is gently bend a young pliable branch, scratch away a small section of bark near a new bud, and pin the bare section down with tent pegs so that it’s in contact with the soil. Within a few months, new roots should form and it can be cut away from the old plant. Watch her full video for more tips and to learn how to make an easy fruit hedge from pruned cuttings.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our roundup of the best currant plant content out there. If you think we’ve missed a gem, do get in touch via email or tag us at our Instagram or Twitter page, we love to hear from you.Enjoy more currant focused content at our info-packed hub page.
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