Nowadays, in stores, besides local varieties, exotic and surprisingly shaped and tasted berries and fruits are also sold. But this is fun. Summer residents know that the results of their own work are preferable in taste, benefit and beauty. The most common and grateful culture on the plots is currant. Therefore, gardeners are looking for new varieties, plant bushes, cut shoots, forming a crown so that it is pleasant to watch and it is convenient to pick berries. After all, the process of care and observation of plant development is no less important and interesting than the collection of fruits.
Do I need to prune red currants
Overgrown currant bushes come across in abandoned areas. And if in the early spring they delight with brushes of elegant flowers, in the summer on the twigs - only rare small berries, and the bushes themselves most often look sick and miserable. Planting currants needs care, because it loves lighting and top dressing, as well as air access, so that pests and diseases do not develop in shaded and dense thickets. Pruning regulates growth and forms a crown, as well as heals and rejuvenates bushes. After all, with a decrease in the total number of shoots, the plant gives out targeted power, while the brush develops in favorable conditions, and the berries are formed exceptional in taste and size.
What branches of red currant need to be cut
Before you begin pruning, we will figure out which branches the bush needs and which interfere with growth and fruiting. The lightest shoots extending from the roots are zero, otherwise they are called renewal shoots or first order shoots. In the first year they are straight and do not branch. By the second year of life, lateral branches appear on them - shoots of the second year, etc. The shoots grow especially rapidly in the first three years, then their growth slows down and fruiting decreases. To constantly stimulate the growth of new shoots, shoots of the second and subsequent orders are cut off.
However, you should not get too carried away with pruning, otherwise spinning tops can form - vertically arranged branches that appear on the perennial wood of old skeletal branches. They are characterized by intensive growth and weak branching. If there are not enough zero shoots to rejuvenate the bush, you can cut the old branches not completely, but only to a top shoot, which is then shortened to a suitable external bud to stimulate branching.
Fruit buds on red currant are laid mainly on the tip of the shoots. Therefore, when pruning, it is not necessary to shorten all branches: fewer fruit buds are formed on old branches, so shoots older than 4-5 years are cut.
Redcurrant pruning in autumn
The best time for pruning is autumn, when the crop is harvested, the sap flow in the plants is slowed down, but the frost has not yet hit. Sometimes pruning of old branches is carried out during harvesting, cutting into a ring (thickening at the base of the branch) four- and five-year-old shoots together with brushes, and you need to cut them as close to the base of the shoot as possible. Then the berries are calmly peeled.
Video: Autumn pruning of red currants
Spring currant pruning
If, for some reason, the pruning failed in the fall, you can do this in the spring before the sap flow begins. The period of possible spring pruning is very short: from the end of frosts to the blooming of leaves.
Video: spring processing and pruning of redcurrant bushes
Types of pruning red currants
Before cropping, you need to decide what it is for. There are anti-aging, shaping and sanitary scraps.
When rejuvenating, the most hardened and unproductive branches are removed. Cut the shoots to the ring, it is advisable to keep the secateurs perpendicular to the shoot, and carry out the cut at the soil level.
When performing anti-aging trim, the procedure is as follows:
- On the bush, the darkest and thickest, as well as branches affected by lichen are selected.
- Cut them to the root, leaving no stumps.
- Slices are treated with garden var. This is a special viscous mixture of wax, vegetable or animal fat and rosin.
- If many zero shoots grow in the depths of the bush, part is removed, leaving only the strongest.
- After pruning is completed, fertilizing is done under the bush, carefully mixing with the surface soil layer so as not to harm the roots.
- Abundantly water and mulch the trunk circle.
Video: anti-aging pruning of red currants
When forming pruning, they try to give the currant bush a certain shape and continue to maintain it. Depending on how often the plants are planted, leave more or less shoots on each bush. With more frequent planting, the bushes are pruned more intensively, retaining fewer branches. The main thing is that the bush consist of shoots of different ages. This will provide the currant with constant fruiting and further recovery.
In our gardens, the most common form of redcurrant is bush. The standard form of currant (standard - part of the shoot from the soil surface to the level of branches) is more common in European gardens, but we are also trying to grow currants in this way. The bushes look elegant during flowering and are very attractive when hung with ripe scarlet tassels.
Stages of standard pruning of red currant:
- After planting, only the central shoot is left, shortening it by half on the outer bud (located on the outside of the branch).
- After a year or autumn, when planting, two-year-old seedlings were taken, the buds were removed to the entire height of the stem, leaving only four multidirectional shoots to indicate the future skeleton of the bush. Cut them 50% of the length to the outer kidney to improve branching.
- In the third year, all basal shoots are cut, that is, zero shoots, and growths on the stem. Strong shoots of the second order are selected, shortened by half on the outer bud. The length of the conductors is saved.
- Later in the early spring, weak and broken branches are removed. In the summer, when the berries begin to tie, unproductive side branches are shortened by 10 cm, improving the nutrition of the remaining shoots and facilitating harvesting.
Cordon-like shaping is also used on a high trellis. Formation by the type of cordon is used to increase productivity, since the bush does not have to spend a lot of energy on extra branches and leaves, and to save space in the garden.
When forming a currant cordon, they act as follows:
- Immediately after planting, the central conductor is shortened by 50% of the length, tied to a support.
- Side branches are removed, leaving only 2-3 cm.
- Each year after this, in the spring, the main conductor is cut to the kidney, opposite to last year's pruning, leaving 15 cm of growth. The following year, the procedure is repeated, with the slice facing the other side. This provides a relatively direct, albeit zigzag, shape of the bush.
- Lateral branches cut each spring to 2-3 cm, stimulating branching.
- In the final version, the height of the cordon reaches one and a half meters or higher.
The formation of a bush on a trellis resembles a cordon with outgoing horizontal shoots. With this method, plants are better pollinated, it is convenient to fertilize, pick berries. Currants on a trellis are grown as follows:
- Choose an annual seedling with three distinct shoots.
- The central conductor is formed from one shoot.
- The two remaining shoots are located opposite, forming the first tier approximately at a height of 30 cm from the surface of the earth.
- As the bush grows, tiers grow, placing them horizontally similar to the bottom.
In height, such bushes grow up to one and a half meters with a length of lateral branches up to 90-100 cm. Typically, currants have four tiers on a trellis. After the final formation of all tiers, the central conductor is annually cut to the lower kidney, while the side branches are shortened to 2-3 cm. In July, the main shoot and side branches are re-trimmed by 10 cm.
Sanitary pruning begins in the spring, when damaged by frost, broken, thickening, growing inward crowns and spinning shoots are removed, and they do not stop throughout the summer. If buds or shoots affected by pests are found, they are immediately removed and destroyed.
When cutting currants, several conditions are met:
- try to free the middle of the bush so that all branches are evenly lit;
- every autumn, lateral shoots are cut halfway to the outer bud, stimulating branching;
- after pruning, they keep four shoots of all ages, so that the bush and fruiting, and could fully grow and branch;
- when shortening the shoots, the cut is carried out at a distance from the kidney of not more than 5 mm, so as not to damage it. Secateurs are kept at an angle of 45about to the branch;
- do not touch the tops of the shoots of two or three years, since it is on them that the main fruiting of red currant is provided;
- if the shoot branches out and one of the branches grows down or horizontally, it is removed from the branching point;
- do not allow thickening of plants. Leave one or two strong zero shoots every year, the rest are removed;
- starting from the fourth year, old frigid branches are cut at the root or to a strong top;
- in spring, weak, top and root shoots (located near the surface of the soil in the zone of the root neck) are cut into a ring, second-order shoots are shortened by 10 cm in the autumn to a bud growing outward;
- unproductive old branches are cut under the root into a ring without leaving stumps.
In addition to competent pruning, currant bushes provide care, including regular watering and top dressing, mulching the trunk circle, preventing diseases and identifying pests.
Video: mulching red currants in autumn
All this is done in order to enjoy their own berries at the end of the season. Although the season ends not with the harvest, but with the preparation of the site for winter. And there is spring and new chores.
For the sake of pleasure, to enjoy delicious jelly or fresh juicy berries of red currant have to plant bushes, water, care, cut. But this work gives gardeners joy and bears fruit.