Although young blackcurrant bushes are easily available it is effortless to grow blackcurrant bushes from simple 8" cuttings (twigs of blackcurrant bushes). We would recommend that you chose 'Ben Hope' for best disease resistance. These cuttings can be bought from grower recommended nurserymen such as William Price in Somerset, Welsh Fruit Stocks on the Powys Welsh borders or Tippets in Essex (details are listed below).
These cuttings can be kept upright in sand for up to a few weeks, as long as the buds are dormant, while your planting area is prepared, and the planting conditions become favourable.
For single cuttings:
- prepare a large flower pot with a mixture of soil and compost and place the cutting in the centre, pushing around ¾ of the cutting below the soil surface and pushing the soil against the cutting to hold it upright.
- leave the pot outside for the winter. The buds will start to move in around April (depending on the variety you have selected).
- you may want to use some basic fertiliser for nitrogen and a Phosphorous and Potassium mix to stimulate best growth and yield.
- the first year you should generate a good show of new shoots; the second year there will be a smattering of fruit and the third year your crop may offer you a pot of jam – your fruit should be ripe in mid to late July.
- keep the pot well weeded, and you should not need to spray for pests or diseases.
- you will also need to water the plant from time to time.
For multiple cuttings:
- plant at 12" – 18" intervals.
- prepare the ground to a reasonable depth and incorporate a good compost in the process.
- if you have an old piece of carpet cut small holes along it into which you can insert the cuttings. This will prevent weed encroachment and save a lot of back breaking weeding during the many seasons to come.
- if you prefer to plant in open soil then you will need to keep the cuttings weeded throughout the season.
- as with the single cutting above you will create bushes in the first year, the second year a small crop will form and the third year – jam for yourself and other members of the family.
- it is not necessary to water the plantation but if you do you will probably get a better yield. During the bushes subsequent development you will need to prune out the dead wood, and regularly prune up to ¼ of the bush to keep it thoroughly healthy. The bushes should continue to yield fruit for at least 10 years and provide the lovely tangy blackcurrant smell throughout the year, even during the dormant period.
Cuttings can be purchased from registered nurserymen:
William Price - 01823 461 260
Welsh Fruit Stocks - 01497 851 209
David Tippett & Partners - 01787 222345