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Video: How To Properly Care For Currants And Gooseberries
To make the basket full
The yield of berry bushes in your garden depends to a large extent on proper site selection, soil preparation, varietal composition and soil and plant care. For black currants, it is better to choose a sufficiently humid place, for red, white currants and gooseberries - a higher, dry place, well lit and protected from the winds. Soils for currants and gooseberries in all cases should be sufficiently water-absorbing, fertile, with a high humus content, light. The acidity of the soil should be low; on acidic soils, lime is added for digging at the rate of 0.3-0.8 kg / m².
Before planting currants and gooseberries, level the area, scatter organic and mineral fertilizers per 1 sq. m: organic fertilizers - 3-4 kg, superphosphate - 50-60 g, potassium salt - 15-20 g and dig up the soil on a shovel bayonet. Then mark the places for the planting holes and, 2-3 weeks before planting, dig holes 35-40 cm deep and 50-60 cm wide.Place the upper fertile layer on one side of the hole, and the lower one on the other, mixing it with organic and mineral fertilizers, which must additionally be introduced into each pit.
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Planting currants and gooseberries is better in autumn, although you can plant it in spring. Planting in spring as early as possible (before bud break). Planting density depends on the variety, soil fertility, pruning and bush formation. Plant varieties with a spreading crown at a distance of 1.25-1.5 m in a row, and with a compact upright crown - 0.7-1 m between bushes.
For planting, purchase pure-grade, pest and disease-free 1-2-year-old seedlings in specialized nurseries for the release of healthy planting material. In standard seedlings, the root system should have at least 3-5 skeletal roots 15-20 cm long and a well-developed lobe. The aerial part should consist of 1-2 shoots 30-40 cm long, extending from the base. Before planting, shorten the shoots to 10-15 cm, use the rest of the shoot for cuttings.
It is better to plant currants obliquely, deepening the seedling 6-8 cm above the rhizome and leaving 2-3 buds on each shoot on the soil surface. Before planting, fill the hole 3/4 of the depth with a fertile top layer of earth and the bottom one with fertilizers, mixing them. Spread the roots of the seedling when planting, cover it with earth, gradually compacting the soil. Then shake the seedling lightly so that the earth evenly fills all the space between the roots.
After planting, spill well and mulch the surface of the hole with a layer of peat or humus. During the entire growing season, maintain the soil in a loose and weed-free state, cultivating the soil around the bushes to a depth of 4-7 cm, and in the middle of the row spacing - by 10-12 cm.
During dry periods, watering is mandatory to create normal conditions for the growth and fruiting of plants. Lack of moisture in the soil leads to a delay in the growth of bushes, and during the formation and ripening of berries - to their crushing and shedding. Currant plants are most demanding for moisture during the period of their intensive growth and the formation of ovaries (June), as well as during the ripening period of the berries (July). Water in grooves, circular grooves around the bush and punctures in such a way as to moisten the root layer to a depth of 30-60 cm. Watering rate is about 20-30 liters per square meter.
As soon as the soil dries slightly after watering, be sure to loosen it so that a crust does not form, or mulch it with any material: peat, compost, humus, straw, sawdust, paper, weeds, etc. in winters with little snow.
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Under the conditions of the Non-Black Earth Zone, soils need constant improvement, therefore, to obtain high yields for currants and gooseberries, it is necessary to regularly apply organic fertilizers (manure, slurry, humus, feces, compost, bird droppings, peat, etc.). They can be used in the form of mulch followed by incorporation into the soil or before autumn tillage, as well as as a liquid top dressing during the growing season. The optimal rate of application of organic fertilizers is 8-10 kg per young bush and up to 3 kg per fruit-bearing one.
Currants and gooseberries are very demanding on mineral nutrition. If you filled the soil well before planting, then the first three years, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers can be omitted. In subsequent years, they are brought in for autumn tillage. Nitrogen fertilizers should be applied from the second year after planting, and apply them fractionally: in early spring and after flowering.
On poor and light soils, for additional plant nutrition before fruiting, it is good to apply micronutrient fertilizers in the form of foliar dressings. To do this, dissolve 1 tablet of micronutrient fertilizers, which are sold in stores, in 10 liters of water.
Feed with slurry after flowering at the rate of 6-8 buckets of water per 1 bucket of slurry. This will have a beneficial effect on the formation and filling of the berries. The same top dressing can be carried out after harvest to better prepare the plants for winter, and mainly to lay flower buds for next year's harvest. At the same time, fertilizing should be carried out with mineral - phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.
Caring for currant and gooseberry bushes is mainly pruning. Correct and timely pruning, by adjusting the ratio of branches of different ages, contributes to an annual high yield of berries. Without pruning, the bushes quickly thicken, fruit formations begin to dry out inside them, the berries become smaller, and the yield gradually decreases.
Form the bushes immediately after planting, cutting off each shoot and leaving only 2-4 well-developed buds. If the seedling is weak, you can cut the shoots to soil level. Vigorous pruning encourages the growth of shoots from the remaining buds and the germination of zero shoots from the underground part of the bush. The central shoot can be left a little longer so that the crown of the bush is a little pyramidal.
In subsequent years, pruning comes down to creating a bush with branches of different ages. Leave 3-4 of the strongest and most conveniently located basal shoots annually to form new skeletal branches, and remove the rest to the base. To increase the number of lateral branches, shorten the left basal shoots: for poorly branching varieties - by 1/3, for well-branching ones, cut off only the unripe top. Finish formative pruning at 4-5 years.
In addition to extra root shoots, annually remove branches lying on the ground, growing inside the bush and crossing, dry, broken, damaged by pests, frozen in severe winters. Cut off the tips of the powdery mildew. Shorten the branches that deviate downward to a side vertical branch.
In black currants and gooseberries, it is recommended to shorten annual growths of the first and second orders of branching, if their length exceeds 20 cm.In red currants, one-year lateral growths cannot be shortened, since fruit buds are located in their upper part, and in subsequent years bouquet buds are formed in their place twigs. Formed fruiting black currant bush should have 3-4 branches from 1 to 5 years, that is, 15-20 branches of different ages. In the future, cut branches older than 4-6 years, depending on the variety and condition of the branch.
In red, white currants and gooseberries, the skeletal branches are more durable than in black currants, and retain high productivity longer. Mature shrubs of these crops should have 20-25 branches of different ages at the age of 1-7 years. In the future, annually cut out the old 7-8-year-old branches and, like in black currants, leave young basal shoots to replace them.
To increase the productivity of old, neglected bushes, carry out anti-aging pruning. To cause regrowth of basal shoots and thin out bushes, cut out broken and low-fruiting branches, shaded lower ones lying on the ground and located inside the bush. Remove weak annual root shoots, leaving 2-3 strong ones. If there are no strong ones, cut out 2-3 old, but strong branches in different parts of the bush. This will cause the development of buds in the underground part of the bush and the growth of basal shoots. For old branches that have been left behind, cut the dying tops off to stronger lateral branches. In 3-4 years, the ratio of branches of different ages can be brought to normal.
If, in severe winters, the branches of the bush above the level of the snow cover were damaged by severe frosts, and the root system remained intact, then such a bush can be restored due to zero shoots. In this case, the restoration of the bush is the faster, the earlier you cut out dead branches. The best time to prune is early spring before bud break, but pruning can also be done in autumn or immediately after harvest.
Thus, having carried out all the agrotechnical techniques for the care of soil and plants in a timely manner, you can count on getting a high yield of currant and gooseberry berries.