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blackcurrant propagation pruning and medicine harvesting

 
gardener
Posts: 942
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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TiMe to prune and to take cuttings. The rest of the leave buds can be used as medicine.
I look at the grown up cassis berry row and decide which older big branches can go. Some look damaged, hinder others, are horizontal too much... Many reasons to prune. I take out about a third. It stimulates new growth and i get to have cuttings on top.
It must be one of the easiest shrubs to propagate. Up there with willow.
Pencil thick new growth is what you're looking for.
Just stick them in the soil. Tadaaa. Well where i live it's that easy , zone 6.
You can wound thèm and harvest their leave buds on the bottom to make herbal tea or infuse them in some vodka.
Or just plonk em in buds and all.

I've noticed when moving year olds, most root growth is concentrated on the bottom of the cuttings.
Those i've planted here and there in half shade of trees and shrubs. Making like hedges blocking out grass and stuff.
It's nice. You can go from one shrub to a hundred in a few years time. I've not even taken a shot at growing them from seed or it would have been worse.
My collaborator harvested all the berries this year and i forgpt to ask.
I try to take cuttings whenever i see a blackcurrant in another's garden to broaden the génétic base.
Anybody expériences??


IMG_20231126_190250_SP-3571.jpg
Canned Black Currents
Canned Black Currents
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Black Current Cuttings
Black Current Cuttings
IMG_20231124_120956.jpg
More Black Current Cuttings
More Black Current Cuttings
 
gardener
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Location: Southern Illinois
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Hi Hugo,

Black currants are one of those fruits that I have thought about planting but never actually done.  I love the fact that they can be planted from cuttings so easily.  Could you detail a little about planting and soil/climate characteristics for Black Currents?  I live on clay soil in what used to be Zone 6b but after the recent updates, I am now living in Zone 7a.  Do you think they would work for me?  For some reason I was under the impression that they did not like summer heat--and I get a lot of summer heat.

Thanks in advance,

Eric
 
Hugo Morvan
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Hi Éric. I don't hardly ever water established bushes, so maybe that's why the ones in full sun died during mad hot dru summers we've had. It's a breeze for the ones in half shade though. They've grown wonderfully.
I mulch with hay and keep them reasonably weed free. Nothing crazy though.
The ones i've planted last year in full sun survived. We've had a normal to cool summer with rain every so often.
I'd say try to plant one in full shade and one in half shade if you have that available. See which one does better.

How are your Red Wine Caps doing?
 
Eric Hanson
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Hugo,

I might just try the semi-shade planting.  I have about the perfect place for that.

Thanks for asking about the Wine Caps!  At this point I need to reconstitute my beds.  I chipped up a huge amount of brushy debris and filled two 8'x16' (approximately 3x5 meter) beds
and decomposed those beds with Wine Caps.  The Wine Caps did indeed break down the chips but I did not get as many mushrooms as I was hoping.  I did get some, but I think that I needed to have better soil contact with the fungus.  Last summer was extremely busy for me so I did not get much in the way of gardening done.  This summer is already looking like it will be busy as well (I am in graduate school), but hopefully I will be done by late August.

My next plan with my Wine Caps is to rebuild my garden beds--using cement blocks instead of lumber as the lumber has rotted out.  At the same time I will chip up more woody debris and do everything over again.

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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I should add that a mulched row of black currents in a semi-shaded area might be a perfect place for Wine Caps to grow!
 
pollinator
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I also grow black currants and red currants, and love that they are so easy to propagate. I usually give away a bunch of twigs to other gardeners in the fall.

The flavor of the black currants I don’t like much for fresh eating, but I use them to flavor honey and as an addition to other berry jams. One year I made crème de cassis, which turned out beautifully, but no one in our house drinks much, so now I stick to the flavored honey.
 
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Can you plant cuttings this time of year (right at the beginning of winter)? I did black currant cuttings last year and was AMAZED at their growth (tiny little cuttings turned into monsters in my air pruning bed), but I think I stuck the cutting in in March.  I'm zone 6b.
 
Hugo Morvan
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I do. I don't KNOW. But i do most of my cuttings and tree moving in the period their leaves fell off.
Water évaporation minimizing logic.
Like with every propagation technique it depends on variété of crop, soil type, climate, air humidity, direct sun exposure etc etc etc.
Giving advice to others is quite useless and ends up an insupportable battle of the KnowItAlls.

A wise plant propagator once exclaimed :" There are people who take many cuttings in differing methods and there are people who take none."
I loved that. It's so true.

Thingy from Edible Acres speaks of cracking the code.
Once you know how to do it, scale it the fuck up. I guess it means that.

That's my long all encompassing answer. My short one is : yes you can. ;)

Grow, baby, grow!
 
Hugo Morvan
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MkNeal. My neighbor was picking a bumpercrop. Hé made lemonade with his. Non alcoholic, just add water.
I remember him fondly collecting buckets full on his knees like a fat bear. Hé said you could wake him up at night for a glass of black currant lemonade anytime..but aparently what they sell in the shops is nothing like the réal stuff..
i bummed a glass of him, which he half growling gave, totally reluctant. It was very good i have to say.
Good job he's very generous with hunted meat and helping out time or it would be odd!!
Personally i just fill yoghurt with thèm or add thèm to food pots hère and there when cooking.
Never enough!
 
pollinator
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Oh, this is good to know, thank you! Like Mk, I didn't enjoy black currants fresh in my previous garden, so I didn't plant them here, just red currants which grow like weeds in the food hedge - my sort of plant! I will try again in my new garden with blackcurrants but cook them next time, make a cordial or a jam. I think currants are on the list of juglone tolerant plants, so they could do well semi-shaded by the walnut tree.
 
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I moved a few each of my black, red and clove currants. The south end of our new property is pretty wet so I'm going to primarily go for pomme trees there ( one lone, unknown apple is already established) and have planted out guild bases of currants and pea shrubs.

I hope that all I moved survive and I'll be trying the propagation with cuttings en mass as soon as they can be clipped since I'll want to have some around all the trees.

I don't love the taste of the black currants fresh but my dad really likes them. I have found that they are really good when added to other fruits. The percentage for me seems to be less than 25%. Above that, it can be too musky but below that it gives a great complexity and depth to other fruits. Helps the colour.

 
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