Currant, Consort Black
Old variety great for jams and preserves.
Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Full Sun, Part Sun
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.
Growth Habit The genetic tendency of a plant to grow in a certain shape, such as vining or bush like.
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- Plant currants in full sun in an area with well-drained soil with a pH of 5.5-7.0.
- Currants prefer a medium to heavy soil with several inches of organic matter or compost mixed in.
- Before planting, cut all stems to 6-10 inches above ground level.
- Space plants 4-6 feet apart.
Planting Bare Root Currant Plants:
- Before planting, soak currant roots 3-4 hours.
- Dig the holes about one foot deeper than the plants will be set and fill with a mixture of compost and soil.
- Trim off very long or broken roots.
- Plant so the lowest branch will be below ground level. This will promote a bush form.
- Plant into the hole and back fill with loose soil. Gently press soil in around the root ball. Transplants need good root-to-soil contact. Do not press too hard because that can cause soil compaction and root damage.
- Gently water around the root ball to settle the soil and drive out air pockets.
- After planting currants, be sure to mark the plants with labels so you know where they are and what varieties they are.
Planting Potted Currant Plants:
- Set the plant in the hole an inch deeper than it was growing in the pot. It The lower branch can be buried; this will promote a better bush form.
- Backfill the hole and press firmly around the base of the planting.
- Leave a shallow depression around plants to hold water.
- Water deeply. The water will seal off any air pockets around the root ball.
- After planting be sure to mark the plants with plant labels so you know where they are and what varieties they are.
- Keep weeds under control during the currant growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients. Control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulch around the plants to a depth of 2-3 inches or organic matter to preserve moisture and prevent weeds.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- In spring, before any leaves sprout, apply a granular fertilizer following the instructions on the label. Most new growth will come from the plant’s crown from under the soil. Plants use a lot of energy in spring when new growth begins, so do not let plants dry out.
- Do not prune plants for the first 3 years except for removing broken or dead branches.
- Prune in winter or early spring before the new growth begins.
- Every year after year three remove all canes over three years of age down to the ground. Remove all but the strongest 6 to 8 one year old canes. Do not remove any two year old canes.
- Monitor for Pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Protect fruit crops with bird netting as they approach ripeness or bag individual clusters with sturdy, brown paper type bags tied securely to the cane when clusters are about half developed. Leave enough air space in the bags for clusters to develop.
- Harvest season for currants is usually mid to late summer.
- For fresh eating wait until the fruits have fully ripen. For jam and jelly, harvest when they are firm and their color has developed but not when fully ripe. At this stage they have the most pectin and make the best jam.
- To harvest, grasp the cluster at the top and twist. Berries can then just be stripped off the stems.
- Place berries in plastic bags and chill in the refrigerator immediately after harvest. Berries that were chilled quickly can last two weeks in the refrigerator.