LOW BEE NUMBERS MEAN LESS BLACKCURRANTS – 1st week in August 2012

The remaining harvest from two blackcurrant bushes. Once stalks are removed and fruit rinsed, the blackcurrants are frozen in small lunch boxes for adding on top of hot porridge at any time of year.

To paraphrase Eamon Dunphy – I got a good – not a great – blackcurrant harvest. Whereas last year, the blackcurrants were in great clusters amidst the verdant vibrant foliage, this year I had to search for sparser clumps of fruit. Anecdotally, I notice fewer butterflies and flying insects such as hoverflies and bees this summer compared to last year. The cold and wet weather and less sunlight may all be factors. I guess I should be thankful to have a harvest, mediocre as it may be.

To help me find every last ripe blackcurrant, I took secateurs in one hand and collecting container in the other. Found myself a low seat and went currant spotting! The old branches bejewelled with fruit were cut out at the base and the fruit could then be picked in comfort from the pruned branch. The harvesting also became a thinning exercise. In the autumn I will mulch the blackcurrant bushes with compost and hope they grow again vigorously next year. Mind you, they are around 20 years producing fruit every year, so they have given great service, you could say.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Steve on August 29, 2012 at 1:50 am

    Great blog, I love your down-to-earth approach. I wonder if you can advise me? I have three new blackcurrant bushes that I put in this year so they have produced no fruit yet, and are currently in leaf. How should I prune them for their first crop, hopefully, next year? Or should i just leave them as they are?

    Reply

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