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Thread: head for heights?

  1. #1
    BUFFS is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default head for heights?

    I have been wondering what is the proper height for blackcurrant bushes?, we had them a few years ago growing to 9ft 4in and this year they topped out at 8ft 7in max, we had to cut about 2ft off each branch to pick the fruit from the top stems as I cannot get on steps/ladders anymore, the variety I do not know, started as a stick from a pound shop, but the now 9 bushes just seem to love where they are. the area was used by the chooks to scratch around in , but that was about 6-7yrs ago so the added poo would all be well gone now. I am not going to complain but would love to know how big they are supposed to be. we picked the fruit and it has made 22 jars of jam, which will be used or passed to family. apart from tying them to a frame for winter support, we do nothing but pick the fruit, I know , it's a hard job but someone has to do it..
    Last edited by BUFFS; 11-07-2019 at 09:52 AM.
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    bario1 is offline Work in progress...
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    Mine never gets more than 3' tall!
    He-Pep!

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    BUFFS is offline Early Fruiter
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    that's what I thought and why I asked, as what was supposed to be a waist high row now has a habit of leaning over and dropping fruit onto the washing on a four arm washing line, 6ft in height, and SWMBO is not very happy when that happens, me? in the doghouse? more like a hamsters wheel or at the oars of a roman galley, she was not a happy bunny..
    Last edited by BUFFS; 11-07-2019 at 10:10 AM.
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    ameno is online now Rooter
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    Blackcurrants will keep growing upwards for quite some time. The reason they are usually smaller is because you are meant to cut branches right back to the base once that branch is about 3 or 4 years old, which means the bush will obviously never get any taller than the height it can achieve in that time frame.

    So the fact that yours is that big means you're not pruning it properly, and if you want to reduce it's size you need to prune it.
    If you want a compact bush again, this winter remove half of the branches right back to the base. The following winter, remove the other half of the old branches. From then one, remove about a third of the oldest branches in the same way each year. Blackcurrant bark gets darker as it ages, so use that as a hint: anything with black bark is old enough to cut out.
    Last edited by ameno; 11-07-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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    Snadger is offline Dundiggin
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    My blackcurants on my old plot used to grow to about 6 foot high which made it handy for picking as there was less bending down.
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    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    Blinking 'eck!
    I never prune mine and I brought over my MILs 10 year old ones last year...and none of them have ever topped 4ft!
    I'm seriously impressed by those height!
    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

  7. #7
    BUFFS is offline Early Fruiter
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    They ae now chopped back to about 6ft but I might bring them down to 4ft , that way I can pick them without having to lop 2-3ft off the tops, we cut them down to 3ft a couple of years ago but they soon regrew.....they taste lovely as jams,jellies and mousses..

  8. #8
    ameno is online now Rooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by BUFFS View Post
    They ae now chopped back to about 6ft but I might bring them down to 4ft , that way I can pick them without having to lop 2-3ft off the tops, we cut them down to 3ft a couple of years ago but they soon regrew.....they taste lovely as jams,jellies and mousses..
    You shouldn't be pruning blackcurrants like that in the first place, just by giving them a haircut. It's unproductive.
    Blackcurrants fruit only on last year's wood, and the older a branch gets the less new wood it grows each year, and thus the less fruit it gives. It might grow 18" in its first year, then 9" the next, then 5, then 3, and so on.
    That's why blackcurrants are best pruned by removing the oldest wood right to the base, which encourages new, strong shoots from the base, which will bear next year's crop.

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