Steps to take to get the best out of blackcurrant bushes

December is a good time to prune blackcurrants as the absence of foliage makes it easier to see old stems that need to be removed.

Blackcurrants fruit on both new and old wood and are grown with the branches growing in a clump from, or just under, ground level.

To prune successfully, you need to maintain a balance between new and old wood, removing around a third of the bush each year to keep the plant healthy and leave a more open bush which will fruit more readily. Where possible, cut older stems to the ground, leaving younger wood to fruit in summer, although realistically you will likely cut out some young growth at the same time.

When you have finished pruning, the bush should seem fairly open and there should be a balance between old and new branches. Mulch with well-rotted organic matter after pruning, but don't let it touch the stems.

YP MAG 18/12/10