Whether red, white or black, currants bear a particularly large amount of fruit if they are pruned in summer. What there is to consider and until when is a summer pruning useful, we tell you in the article. Cutting currants, made easy!
Table of contents
- Can you cut currants in the summer?
- Pruning black currants: This is what you should pay attention to when pruning in summer!
- High trunk currants are brought into the right shape in the summer.
Can you prune currants in the summer?
Heavy pruning is out of the question in summer. But maintenance pruning after harvest is critical to next year’s yields. You should definitely do this every year, so that the bush continues to produce abundant flowers and subsequently bear fruit.
By law, only maintenance pruning is allowed in the months between March and October. Of course, it makes a difference whether the shrub is grown in a container, planted in a kitchen garden or part of a wild hedge. It’s best to check with your local authorities to see if you’re allowed to cut the currant bush. To be on the safe side, check for nesting birds before pruning.
Until when is it okay to prune currants?
If the goal of summer pruning is higher yields, then you should prune the fruit tree right after harvest. If you want to give it a topiary, or simply thin out the bush, then you can do this until about mid-September. However, currants need time to heal, otherwise the first frosts can cause damage.
Pruning and fertilizing the fruit tree
After summer pruning, currants need nutrients to recover. Late summer is the right time to fertilize the bush with compost, horn meal or horse manure.
Pruning white and red currants: What to consider when pruning for maintenance?
Both white and red currants flower and bear fruit on the new shoots. After three years, the flowering and, accordingly, the number of fruits on the shoots decreases significantly. Therefore, they must be removed annually to encourage new sprouting the next spring. In the end, about eight to twelve new shoots should remain after maintenance pruning.
Also cut off are shoots close to the ground that do not get enough sunlight. Also cut off diseased, inward-growing or broken shoots close to the ground.
Shrubs that are four years old or older also need to be thinned annually. Good air circulation is critical; this can prevent disease and pest infestation, among other things. Shoots that compete for sunlight won’t bear large, healthy fruit anyway because of the lack of light. So take them out.
How do I recognize old shoots on currants?
Even inexperienced amateur gardeners can easily identify old shoots by their color. They are dark brown and woody. A tip: you can use green twine to mark this year’s shoots, then next year mark the new shoots in yellow, then orange. This is a quick way to identify old shoots. Use a hand saw to cut them off.
Cut white and red currants: Instructions
First, remove any old shoots that are diseased, injured, or growing too close to the ground. Then cut all shoots that have already borne fruit above a branch. The stub should be left in place. Leave about 10 shoots, preferably those that are high on the plant and get as much sunlight as possible.
Pruning black currants: This is what you should pay attention to during summer pruning!
Unlike red and white currants, black currants bear fruit on this year’s wood, especially on the side shoots. The purpose of pruning in summer is to promote new shoots in the following spring through precise thinning. In doing so, you should be guided by the plant in question. With young plants, often only the diseased shoots are cut back and the main shoots are left. This is because young plants often have fewer than eight main shoots. For plants that are already rooted and have developed magnificently in recent years, the main shoots are also thinned out. The goal – to leave about nine to ten main shoots and cut the others above a flower bud pointing outward.
High-stem currants are brought into proper shape in the summer.
High-stem currants can also benefit from a nurturing pruning in summer. They are primarily given an educational pruning. Overhanging shoots that grow inward or downward are completely removed so that the plant retains its typical high trunk shape. Otherwise, you should follow the species and thin out the fruit tree as needed.
Whether in a tub or in a kitchen garden, you need a caring pruning so that the currants bear fruit abundantly. This involves removing or cutting off only individual shoots in the summer, after the end of the harvest season. This allows the bush to sprout vigorously again the next year.