Blackcurrant: the history of cultivation and stages of agricultural technology of culture
How wonderful it is in the summer to enjoy the fragrant sour-sweet fruits of black currant! Winter blanks from it are just as tasty and varied. Jams and jams are prepared from berries, stewed fruit and juices are cooked, they can be dried and frozen. Currant is not just tasty, it is extremely useful, it contains champion amounts of ascorbic acid. Thirty eaten berries satisfy our body's daily need for vitamin C. Macro and microelements, a huge amount of other vitamins and acids needed by our body, are present in currant fruits.
How the blackcurrant bush grows
Blackcurrant is a berry bush of the gooseberry family. Its main characteristics:
bush height - 1-2 m;
Blackcurrant bush has a little more than a meter in height
- the root system consists of fibrous roots located at a depth of about 30 cm;
- currant shoots are first light and pubescent, then acquire a brown color;
- the edges of the leaves have notches. The length and width of the sheet is 3–12 cm, the shape is a triangular-lobed, the middle part of the sheet plate is elongated. Golden veins are located along leaf veins, which are a source of a well-known aroma;
Currant leaves 3-5 cm long and wide, with serrated edges, three-five-lobed with golden glands along the veins
- a shrub blooms in the last month of spring or at the beginning of summer with inflorescences of several (up to 10) flowers of a lilac, grayish-pink hue;
Currant flowers - bell-shaped, lilac or pinkish-gray
The peel of ripe fruits is blue-black. The size of the berries is up to 1 cm in diameter.
The fruits of black currant with a diameter of up to 1 cm have a glossy black skin
The history of growing crops
Currants have been growing on our lands for many centuries. Initially, this is a wild shrub, especially common in temperate and even cold climates. To date, in the Caucasus, Siberia, especially Eastern, in the European part of Russia there are thickets of blackcurrant bushes. It is believed that the original name of the Moscow River - Smorodinovka, was given to her because of the thickets of this shrub along the banks. Yes, and the name "currant" has truly Russian origins: "frost" - "emit a strong smell."
The official name of the currant is Ribes. In the VIII century, the Arabs who conquered Spain did not find among their native flora their favorite plant - rhubarb, without which the food seemed tasteless to them. The rhubarb was replaced with a red berry with a pleasant sour taste (red currant), which they began to call, like rhubarb - ribas.
In Ancient Russia (approximately in the XI century), currants began to be transplanted from forests to princely and monastery gardens, to diversify its nutrition with berries.
Currants were grown in all monasteries and consumed by the monks for food, as well as for medicinal purposes. Therefore, another, well-known name for currants is the monastery berry.
They started cultivating currants in France as a medicinal plant, with preference being given to red currants, and only then attention was paid to black currants. Currants accumulate the largest amount of nutrients in sunny but not hot weather.
Berries began to be used much later. Currant is still a European product, in a suitable climate of North America, the berry is not widespread.
Stages of agricultural technology of black currant
The main stages of agricultural technology of black currant are completely standard:
- Caring for plants.
- Pest control.
Planting blackcurrant can be carried out by seedlings and cuttings.
When choosing a seedling, it is first necessary to pay attention to the quality of the root system. It should be strong, healthy and moist. Saplings quite easily tolerate a small overexposure before planting (a month without compromising quality).
- Prepared seedlings must be buried in a shaded area.
- It is better to prepare a pit for prikop with a southern slope (the northern edge of the pit is sheer, and the southern at an angle of 45 °), it should be shallow (50 cm), elongated.
The south wall of the trench pit is inclined
- The seedling in the pit is placed at an angle, not only the root system, but also part of the shoots are covered with earth.
- Watering is in progress.
Preparation and rooting of cuttings
Propagation by cuttings is the easiest way to breed currants. Landing is carried out in early spring or at the very beginning of autumn.
- For the cuttings, shoot is chosen no thinner than 5 mm in diameter.
- The apical part of the shoot is not used. The rest is divided into cuttings about 15 cm long.
Selected shoots are divided into cuttings 15 cm long
- The upper cut of the handle should be straight, located at a distance of 1.5 cm above the kidney, and the bottom should be oblique and located under the kidney.
- Cuttings are planted in prepared soil. Planted obliquely in rows with a distance between plants of 15 cm in a row and about 40 cm between rows.
- Produce watering.
- If you take care of plants in the summer (water, feed, loosen the soil, remove weeds), then by autumn you will get strong small bushes of black currant, which can be transplanted to a permanent place.
The best time for planting currants is September - October, so that the plant has enough time for rooting. In the spring, it is better to plant before the sap flow.
When choosing a site for planting black currants, they are guided by the following requirements:
- the shrub grows well both in individual sections and in rows between fruit trees;
- blackcurrant easily tolerates slight shading;
- lowlands with waterlogging, as well as open mounds should be avoided;
- the northern and northeastern slopes are comfortable for the plant.
Soil preparation and planting seedlings
For a successful planting of blackcurrant, you must:
- Dig the soil to the depth of the bayonet shovel, remove the roots of perennial weeds, with increased soil acidity - liming.
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- Dig holes (50x50x50 cm) at a distance of approximately 1.5 m from one another and 2–2.5 m between rows.
- Fill the majority of the planting hole with the top layer of soil, rotted manure (half a bucket) and ash (1 glass).
- Place the seedling at an angle of 45 degrees, pour, cover with soil and mulch.
The seedling is placed at an angle of 45 °
- Trim the top of the shoots.
After planting, the seedling must be cut
Blackcurrant care is basically standard: weed removal, cultivation of near-trunk areas, watering and top dressing. Five to six times during the summer period, the soil in the near-stem circle should be loosened. Mandatory cultivation must be carried out in the spring and after harvesting. Watering is carried out with insufficient rainfall during the growing season, two weeks before harvesting and two to three weeks after harvesting berries. In autumn, the soil near the bushes is dug up, organic matter is closed up in the trunk circle. Top dressing is performed several times during the summer using organic fertilizers, ammonium nitrate, wood ash and superphosphate.
A feature of caring for blackcurrant bushes is pruning (sanitary and forming). Without them, you can not get a good harvest of currants. Sanitary pruning removes old, dried, diseased branches. Forming pruning allows you to form a bush with a wide base. Starting from the first year, thin out shoots in the center of the bush and leave powerful marginal ones.
It is imperative to remove all branches older than 5–6 years due to their low productivity. Shortening the tops of annual shoots gives a good result: they branch more strongly, the number of flower buds increases on them.
Diseases and Pests
The currant bush tolerates the cold winter quite well, temperature changes, other vagaries of the weather. But the consequences of shocks are diseases that are dangerous for blackcurrant and lead to a decrease in yield or death of the plant.
Photo gallery: the main diseases of blackcurrant
- Yellow-orange pads of gobble rust spread quickly to currant leaves and flowers
- Small brown spots with tubercles appear on the leaves affected by anthracnose
- Leaves with white spotting become white, and small dark spots appear on them, spores of the fungus
- Nectric shoot drying is characterized by the formation of orange dots on the branches and shoots
- Terry currants are characterized by an ugly state of extreme leaves
- When powdery mildew is affected, a white loose coating forms on the surface of young leaves and berries.
- Striped mosaic is manifested by duplication of the pattern of leaf veins in yellow or orange
There are more than 70 species of insects that pose a threat to currants.
Photo gallery: the main pests of blackcurrant
- Firefly is a small gray butterfly 1 cm long that lays eggs in currant flowers
- Gooseberry caterpillars completely eat gooseberry and currant leaves
- A spider mite entangles with a web of leaflets and eats their juice
- Currant goldfish - green-copper beetle up to 9 mm long
- Currant glasshouse is a 1.5 cm long butterfly that lays eggs in cracks in the bark of branches.
In order to prevent the spread of diseases and pests, you should know the signs of damage, methods of treatment and disposal. For prevention, you need to carefully inspect the plant for lesions, burn fallen leaves. In addition, it is necessary to remove damaged parts of the plant on time, timely and correctly trim the bush.
Currant begins to bear fruit 2-3 years after planting. Harvesting is carried out as the berries ripen in the brush, that is, in several stages. Harvesting can be as individual berries or whole brushes. Moreover, when harvesting with brushes, the berries are better preserved.
Harvesting currants is best done in those containers in which storage is expected. When pouring berries are wrinkled and worse preserved.
Video: Oktyabrina Ganichkina on the secrets of a good harvest of black currant
The fastest and most reliable way to propagate blackcurrant is cuttings.
Another simple way of breeding currants is propagation by layering. In this case, you must:
- In the spring, in the side of the plant, choose a strong two-year branch.
- Lay its middle part in a prepared ditch with a depth of about 10 cm, leaving a part of the branch about 30 cm long on the surface.
For propagation by layering, choose a strong two-year branch
- During the summer, a strong root system will develop on the layering, several shoots will appear.
- Already in the fall, the layers will well transfer the separation from the parent bush and the transplant to a permanent place.
Blackcurrant can be propagated by dividing the bush.
- The bush is carefully dug up, trying not to damage the root system.
- Then cut into several parts.
When dividing the bush, it is important not to damage the root system
- Old and diseased branches are removed, and young shoots are shortened.
- Planted in cooked pits and watered abundantly.
- Such a plant will bear fruit in a year.
The stem form of blackcurrant is becoming more and more popular with amateur gardeners. It is used not only for the sake of harvesting, but also for decorating a summer cottage.
A stamp is a part of a tree trunk from root to crown.Great Dictionary of Russian language
Pros of standard growing:
- currant yield is much easier to harvest, since the entire crown of the plant is at eye level;
- the branches are at a fairly large distance from the ground, so the plant is less susceptible to disease and attack by wintering pests;
Stamp cultivation has many advantages, including the convenience of harvesting and plant care, as well as better pest protection
- shoots do not interfere with soil cultivation in the near-stem circle;
- Plants such as onions, garlic, and St. John's wort can be planted under standard currants. They have phytoncidal properties, they can repel pests.
Cons of standard growing:
- the plant requires more care to form;
- standard currant can suffer from strong winds, because it will be much higher than an ordinary bush;
- the plant is more susceptible to the threat of spring frosts and winter frosts.
Methods of obtaining plants on the stem:
- Vaccination on the former. An ideal stock for blackcurrant can be golden currant. This method allows to obtain more expressive standard plants and does not require large physical costs.
- Formation of a plant in one trunk.
The result of efforts to form a standardized form of currant will be a tree that will give your site an unusual look
The formation of the standard form of blackcurrant in one trunk is as follows:
- In August, a thick summer shoot is planted in a permanent place and pinch its top.
- Next year you need to pinch the tops of all the shoots that appeared on the main.
- Be sure to remove foliage, basal processes and shoots below the established line of the stem.
- In the third year, the tops of each overgrown twig are nipped and the root shoot is removed again.
The formation of the standard form of black and red currants is the same
- In addition to pinching the tops, in the fourth year it is necessary to remove the aged branches.
- The procedure for pinching the tops and removing old branches should be repeated annually.
So, instead of an ordinary bush, a currant tree will be formed.
For many centuries, blackcurrant has been the queen of gardens. And this was determined not by the amount of attention that needed to be given to culture, but by the benefits received. Let’s keep up with the traditions and be interested in approaching the cultivation of the black pearl of our gardens!