Container Gardening - How To Grow Red, White & Black currant bushes In Pots
Easy Tips To Growing Your Own Currants From Plants In Pots
Currants are a relatively easy fruit to grow and do well in pots and containers. They require little in the way of care and maintenance, and given the correct conditions, will provide you with an amble crop of fruit. Currants are popular in cooking, go extremely well in muffins and cakes and are ideal for making into jams, jellies and preserves. Their sharp taste compliments sweeter fruits, making them the perfect addition in a mixed fruit salad or in a refreshing drink.
There are three main types of currants; red, white, and the more popular blackcurrants. Of the three, blackcurrants will give you the best crop, although all will bear a reasonable amount of fruit. Currants are self-fertile, which means that one bush on its own will produce fruit, but to gain a better yield it is advisable, if space allows, to grow several bushes together so they can cross pollinate each other. You should find a noticeable increase in the fruit on the bushes if you pair a least two together.
Another benefit of growing currants is that they can tolerate shadier conditions than many other fruiting plants can tolerate. This is particularly the case for blackcurrants. So if you only have a small space to grow your own fruit and vegetables in pots and it is in partial shade for part of the day, currants are a good choice.
Unlike a lot of fruiting plants, currants do not require deep pots for their roots. This again makes them ideal for container gardening and they will happily thrive in pots about a foot (30cm) deep, although blackcurrants will benefit from being planted deeper than red and white varieties. Also unlike a lot of fruiting plants, they love nitrogen, so give them a good feed of it at the start of the growing season.
The best time to plant the bushes is during autumn or winter. Once planted cut back the leading shoots by half and the sideways shoots back to a few buds, and in subsequent years, just prune lightly. This will encourage a good shaped bush with good air and light circulation which will help encourage healthy growing and reduce the currant bushes susceptibility to mildew.
Currants need a moist growing medium so consider mulching the pots to help retain moisture. The problem with mulching is it makes it difficult to see if the compost is too dry, so routinely check by simply pushing a finger through the mulch into the compost to see if watering is required.
Nothing can beat the pleasure of growing your own food. It is rewarding to literally see the fruits of your labour and be able to enjoy the freshness and exquisite taste of fresh fruit picked at home. Currants make an ideal choice for container gardening and if you are limited for space or have slightly shady conditions in which to grow your plants in pots, they are the perfect fruit.