Gooseberry and currant bushes – pruning after harvest
If you want a great harvest of gooseberries or currants, you need to care properly for you fruit-bearing bushes. If you do, you will enjoy plentiful harvest (maybe even more plentiful than the previous year…). Pruning makes fruit bushes less prone to diseases and allows for better air flow. When pruning you should focus on small and unhealthy shoots including four-year-old and older branches. Get rid of them. If you have created an empty space direct other branches towards the empty space. This is how bushes should be rejuvenated every year.
Fruit bushes deserve proper care
In addition to pruning, you mayperform additional care. For example – rid the soil around the bush of weeds and loosen the soil afterwards. You can also add a well-matured compost. Water each bush thoroughly and you may even place mulch around it– cut grass is also suitable (and the cheapest) option.
Caring for currant shrubs
Currant bushes and trees are the first ones that you need to prune.If you choose bush or shrub currants, with proper care, your bushes will bear fruit for a very long time (usually more than 20 years). Shrubs are also very resistant to winds. Trees take up much less space, but will not live as long as bushes (around 10 to 12 years) and you need to provide a firm support to prevent branches from damage.
Bushes which are two to three years old will give you the biggest harvest. To maintain high yield you need to remove older branches (side growth) after harvest. Cut them close to the ground and replace them with three to four shoots (one year old shoots) instead. One single bush should not have more than eight to twelve branches. Every year, you should cut one third of the bush. Do not shorten one-year-old shoots after harvesting.
If you opted for currant trees, then you should shorten all branches by about one third. Remove all dry and unhealthy shoots. A tree currant should not have more than eight to ten branches. The centre of the crown also needs to be aerated. Pay attention to supporting stakes and whether branches are tied properly.
You can also get gooseberry as a bush or tree, but trees are known to produce better fruit. After harvest you should prune gooseberry in a similar way as you would currant. Leave six to seven main branches. If you have bush gooseberries prune them after harvesting to lighten it up and remove unhealthy shoots. The next pruning both on gooseberries and currants should be done in early spring.
Preview photo: Pixabay
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