Growing Blackcurrants at the Allotment

Growing Blackcurrants at the Allotment

How to Grow Blackcurrants: A Detailed Guide

Blackcurrants are a juicy and plentiful crop in summer, perfect for jams, desserts and drinks. Better yet, they are easy to grow. If you’re wondering how to grow blackcurrants, allow us to help you with a detailed guide. 

We will provide all the necessary guidance for a successful blackberry harvest, from picking the ideal spot for the plant to harvesting at the right time. 

When and Where to Grow Blackcurrants

Blackcurrant plants can be grown from dormant bare-root trees during winter to early spring or container-grown plants can be grown at any time of the year. 

Blackcurrants like full sun, or light shade, and moisture-retentive soil. Choose a sunny or partially shaded spot in your allotment that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.

How to Plant Blackcurrants

Dig a hole large enough for the root ball but deeper than previously grown and spread the roots out. Dig in plenty of well-rotted manure or compost first, then fill in the hole afterwards and push the soil down firmly around the base. You can add mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

If you are planting blackcurrant plants in multiple numbers, space them 5 to 6 feet apart to allow for adequate air circulation and room for growth.


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How to Take Care of a Blackcurrant Plant

When growing blackcurrants, it's important to provide proper care to the tree for the best results. Blackcurrants benefit from pruning during winter when it is dormant, to help with shoot and root growth. If you are in an area that is prone to late frosts, your blackcurrants may require protection when it is flowering to avoid a poor crop.

Water well during dry spells in the first year until the plant has become established. The blackcurrants; like other fruits, will benefit from a fruit cage or protection from birds.

When and How to Harvest Blackcurrants

Blackcurrants will be ready for harvesting during July-August when the blackcurrants are dark, plump and juicy. They easily pull off the stems.

Blackcurrant bushes often produce berries in big quantities, so it will be better to harvest them in stages as the berries ripen to make sure you collect them when they taste best and are the freshest. 

Common Problems with Blackcurrants

  • Aphids, such as blackcurrant aphids and greenflies, can infest blackcurrant bushes, causing damage to leaves and reducing the yield.
  • Powdery mildew, a fungal disease, can develop on blackcurrant leaves, appearing as a white powdery coating. This can deform the leaves and reduce the growth of the plant.
  • Birds, particularly blackbirds, can be attracted to ripening blackcurrants and may cause significant damage if not protected with netting or other protective measures.

Popular Blackcurrant Varieties

Trying out different blackcurrant varieties is a learning process for many gardeners, making the process of learning how to grow blackcurrants a fun one.

  • Ben Connan is a high-yielding variety known for its large, sweet berries and disease resistance.
  • Ben Sarek is a compact bush ideal for smaller gardens, producing abundant crops of medium-sized berries with excellent flavour.
  • Ben Lomond is A vigorous, disease-resistant variety that produces large, juicy berries with a rich flavour, ideal for fresh eating or processing.

The Different Ways to Use Blackcurrants

Learning how to grow blackcurrants can help you open up different culinary opportunities.

  • Blackcurrants are commonly used to make delicious jams and jellies, appreciated for their intense flavour and natural tartness. You can enjoy these preserves by spreading them on toast, or scones, or used as fillings in cakes and pastries.
  • You can also use them to make refreshing beverages such as cordials, syrups, and fruit juices. 
  • Frozen blackcurrants can be added to smoothies, yoghurt, or baked goods, while dried blackcurrants make a nutritious and flavourful snack.
  • Blackcurrants add a burst of flavour to desserts such as pies, crumbles, tarts, and cobblers. 

Growing Blackcurrants in the UK: A Summary

Planting Blackcurrants

  • Plant dormant bareroot trees in winter-early spring
  • Plant container grown plants any time
  • Plant in a sunny or lightly shaded position

Growing Blackcurrants

  • Water during dry spells until established
  • Protect from frosts and birds
  • Prune annually for new growth

Harvesting Blackcurrants

  • Harvest July-August
  • Pick from stems when black and juicy
  • Can be eaten raw or cooked or frozen for storage

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We offer valuable resources, tips, and guidance to help you succeed in your gardening journey. Whether you are wondering how to grow blackcurrants, blackberries, apricots or anything else, we will help you out!