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Video: Growing Colored Currants In Garden Plots
Currants - a storehouse of vitamins
In Russia, red and white currants have been known since about the 15th century. In Siberia, this berry is called "oxalis", and in Germany, "Ivan's berry", as it ripens by Midsummer's Day - June 24.
Features of culture
Red and white currants can be called colored, because, depending on the variety, they can be pink, purple, as well as beige and yellow.
The shrubs of these plants are more durable than black currants. On average, they grow and bear fruit for over 15 years. They are a perennial shrub 1–1.5 m high with a semi-spreading or upright crown. Bouquet twigs are the main type of fruiting shoots.
Red and white currants bloom earlier than other berry bushes. Their raceme is 5–20-flowered, flowers are greenish, large. Leaves, unlike black currants, do not have a characteristic odor, since they lack aromatic glands. The leaves are three-lobed, with a jagged edge, rather dense.
Colored currants begin to bear fruit at the age of 3-4 years and reaches a peak of productivity 9-12 years after planting.
These perennial shrubs have a powerful root system, which is located at a depth of 30–40 cm, and individual vertical roots penetrate to a depth of 1.2 m, as a result of which the plants tolerate drought better.
In terms of biochemical composition, red and white currants are almost the same. Their fruit is a multivitamin product. They contain vitamins B1, B2, B9, H, E, PP, K, and in terms of vitamin C they surpass oranges and lemons. Also, berries contain organic acids, sugars, carotene, iodine, pectin and tannins necessary for a person.
Colored currants are considered the leader among berry bushes in terms of frost resistance. But, despite this, it is a rather thermophilic and light-loving culture, therefore it should be planted in elevated places on the leeward side, where snow accumulates well. It can be cultivated on many types of soils, but works best on light fertile soils. Another feature of these crops is their good tolerance to soil salinity.
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The area for planting red and white currants should be protected from the wind, as their shoots break off easily. In amateur gardens, these crops are traditionally planted along the fence along the boundaries of the site. The best time for planting in central Russia is late September - early October.
At the site of the future planting, 5-10 kg of humus, 30 g of potassium salt, 50 g of superphosphate per 1 m2 of area are brought under digging. Planting holes are dug at a distance of 1–1.5 m from each other, 50 × 40 cm in size, and 4–5 kg of humus, 50 g of superphosphate, 30 g of potassium salt or 300 g of wood ash are added to them. Fertilizers are mixed with the top layer of soil and covered with 2/3 of the hole. Plants are planted obliquely, with a 6–8 cm deep root collar to stimulate the growth of shoots and roots.
After planting, the land around the bush is compacted and watered (1 bucket of water per bush), and then mulching is carried out with peat or humus.
Caring for plants of red and white currants includes watering, loosening and removing weeds in the spring and summer and digging in the fall.
Red and white currants are very demanding for watering. It is also necessary to mulch the trunks with manure, peat or sawdust with a layer of 5-15 cm.
Caring for these perennial shrubs includes pruning. After planting the seedlings in a permanent place, the shoots are cut off, leaving 3-4 buds. During the first 4–5 years, formative pruning is performed. Many varieties of red and white currants are prone to thickening, so 3-5 strong basal shoots are left annually, and the rest are cut at the base of the bush.
The berries of the colored currants are picked with brushes to avoid damage, and the berries must also be dry.
Reproduction of colored currants
Red and white currants are propagated in different ways. Reproduction is possible both by lignified and green cuttings and layering.
Lignified cuttings are planted in August-September, since their shoots finish growing earlier and with this planting period they manage to take root before the onset of cold weather.
Currant pests and diseases
Of the pests for colored currants, the kidney mite is the most dangerous, but it does not do as much harm to it as to black currant. Measures to combat it are rarely used.
Also, red and white currants are affected by leaf gall aphids and gooseberry sawfly.
Aphid larvae settle on the underside of leaves and feed on them. In this case, dark red or yellow swellings are formed on the upper side of the leaves. To combat aphids, spraying with 0.5% mineral oils is used in December or January.
Good results are obtained by spraying in late April - early May with organophosphate preparations. Also, in addition to chemical control agents, many gardeners plant tomato bushes next to currants.
Gooseberry sawfly caterpillars eat up the leaves, leaving only thick veins. To combat them, spraying with infusions of wormwood, tobacco and garlic is used. And in the summer, you need to collect the caterpillars by hand, shaking them off the branches.
The most dangerous diseases for red and white currants are powdery mildew, anthracnose and septoria.
Powdery mildew is a white powdery coating. After a while, it turns brown and thickens, and the shoots die off. To combat powdery mildew, experts recommend in early spring, before the buds awaken, spraying with a 3% solution of 60% nitrafen at the rate of 300 g per 10 liters of water or copper sulfate at the rate of 300 g per 10 liters of water.
With anthracnose, small brown spots appear, then they merge, and then the leaves curl upward and fall off. Diseased leaves must be collected and burned. Before bud break, you can treat the bushes with nitrafen at the rate of 300 g per 10 liters of water and 1% Bordeaux liquid before flowering and after harvesting.
Septoriosis affects red and white currants, especially in wet years. In May, small spots with a brown border appear on the leaves, which then turn white, then the leaves dry up and crumble. The chemical measures for controlling septoria are the same as for anthracnose. Experts recommend regularly pruning the bushes and feeding them such trace elements as boron, copper, zinc and manganese.
Colored currants are also damaged by birds. Bullfinches and sparrows often cause serious kidney damage during the winter months, and blackbirds damage ripe berries. Old tapes tied to branches can be used to scare them away.
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Medicinal properties of currants
Red and white currants have long been valued for their medicinal properties. Their berries are used as an antipyretic and anti-febrile remedy, and their juice is drunk for colds. Their juice perfectly quenches thirst, stimulates appetite, activates intestinal activity, helps to remove toxins and heavy metal salts from the body.
Also, berries of red and white currants have a diuretic effect, they are useful for urolithiasis, and in addition they are indicated for patients with diabetes mellitus and people with low acidity of gastric juice.
Not only berries are useful, but also seeds: they significantly improve intestinal motor function.
The use of colored currants for cosmetic purposes is also known. Its juice helps to whiten the skin, remove age spots and freckles.
Berries of red and white currants are consumed both fresh and processed. They are used to make preserves, jams, jellies, marmalade, compotes, juices and even wines, which are in no way inferior in quality to grapes.