Growing Red Currants and White Currants
Growing Red and white currants
These are very productive and easy fruits to grow, but are often neglected because they are too sharp to eat many raw —though I see they are currently making a comeback as garnishes. Redcurrants respond best to a cool, well-mulched soil. They do not need as rich conditions asor and will grow in partial shade and quite happily on cold walls — even cropping well on a shady wall.
Although highly productive, the birds love them, so they must be netted. They often get apparently disastrous attacks of leaf blistering aphis which puckers and colours the shoot tips and leaves, but it never affects the yields and is cleared away with the summer pruning. Fortunately, these currants are very amenable to pruning and training and can be fitted in anywhere, though, as bushes, they need to be at least two paces apart. Redcurrants may benefit from stinging grown nearby, but the picker will curse, and Limnanthes douglasii is beneficial groundcover once the bushes are established.
A bit sharp raw, redcurrants are delicious cooked with other fruits and the juice makes other jams and jellies set. Their jelly is often preferred because they are nippy. They ripen early in summer, but if protected from pests and wet weather will hang on and remain usable and become sweeter until late autumn.