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  • How to grow whitecurrants

    Thanks to John Harrison of Allotment & Gardens

    Whitecurrants are a sport form from the redcurrant. They have a grape like flavour and are perfect served fresh.

    Varieties of Whitecurrants

    White Versailles is a favourite variety. It crops well and consistently in Early July. Its fruits are pale yellow and sweet.

    Pests and Problems with Whitecurrants

    As with redcurrants, white currents do not suffer from many problems. They are best grown under netting or in a fruit cage to protect them from the finches that will peck out the buds and other birds who love to eat the ripe berries.

    Cultivating Whitecurrants

    • The ground should be prepared and cultivated for whitecurrants in the same way as for blackcurrants .
    • Plant bare rooted plants in winter when they are dormant. Prepare the soil in the same way as for blackcurrants but plant them to their original depth rather than lower in the soil.
    • Container grown plants can be planted at any times of the year into ground that is not too wet or frozen.
    • Whitecurrants should be pruned in the same way as gooseberries as they fruit on spurs from the main stems, on old wood and at the base of new wood.
    • They can be grown as espalier or vertical cordon plants, but are usually grown as bushes.
    • At planting time cut back the main stems to an outward facing bud to about half their length. Cut off any shoots on the main stem that are within 10 cm (4 inches) of the ground .
    • From the second winter onwards shorten the main branches by about one third, cutting just above an outward facing bud. Then remove any dead, crossing, inward or downward growing branches by cutting back to the first bud. This will keep the centre of the bush open and airy and allow easy harvesting.

    Harvesting Whitecurrants

    Whitecurrants can be harvested in June and July when the fruits are ripe and shiny . A taste test is a good idea.

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