Blackcurrant bushes require frequent watering and feeding, especially if planted in a container. Feed with pelleted chicken dung or another high-potash fertilizer in the spring, then cover with a thick layer of mulch. Keep your plants weed-free during the growth season, and as the fruits begin to ripen, net them to protect them from birds. When the fruit is ripe, pick it daily to allow more time for pollination.
Blackcurrants make attractive small trees or large shrubs for a border or other exposed position. They can be trained as a bramble or used in mass plantings. In fact, because they are so easy to grow, blackcurrants are often used as an informal hedge or screen at the edge of a property. Their thorns make them natural barriers against intruders.
There are several different types of blackcurrants grown for food or medicine. European blackcurrants (R. nigrum var. nigrum) are most commonly found in grocery stores. They have large, dark blue or purple berries that are excellent eaten raw or made into jam or jelly. Blackcurrants are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols that may help prevent cancer. American blackcurrants (R. idaeus) are smaller and lighter colored than their European counterpart. They contain less sugar but more vitamin C and fiber than European blackcurrants. Blackcurrants are used in many foods (such as jellies and wines) and beverages (such as cordials and liqueurs).
Hold each stalk at the top with the berries at the bottom and slide a fork down each one to extract the fruit. The fruit should readily come away without being harmed. To cook, add a little water and 50g sugar per 450g of blackcurrants and boil gently until just soft. Drain well and serve hot or cold.
Blackcurrants are a type of berry that grows in clusters on a bush. They have large shiny blue-black seeds inside the fruit that give it its name. The flavor is more like a cranberry than a raspberry. You will find blackcurrants in most large grocery stores year round. They usually appear near the end of the season so don't wait to try them!
You can use blackcurrants in many ways. They go well with other fruits such as raspberries and apples, as well as chocolate and coffee. Use them to make jams, jellies, and wines. They can also be added to cakes and cookies.
Blackcurrants are a great source of vitamin C. One cup contains about 90mg of this nutrient. It also has small amounts of calcium, iron, and potassium.
There are several varieties of blackcurrant. Make sure you buy blackcurrants that are fully ripe and dark red instead of white or pale pink. They should feel heavy for their size and have no signs of mold or decay.
The first step in managing invasive blackberries is to clip the canes to just above ground level. Following that, you may either dig up and dispose of the rhizomes or spot treat the cane tips with herbicide. If you choose to remove the rhizomes, look for them during late fall or early spring and take them home. Dispose of them properly or else they will grow back.
Invasive blackberries can cause problems for homeowners by forming dense thickets that not only are difficult to get through but also provide good food and cover for animals. They can also spread disease, especially if they are allowed to go unchecked. It's important to manage these plants so they don't become a problem for yourself or your neighbors.
If you'd like more information on invasive blackberries or other invasive species, visit our website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/invasives/index.php.
Spray fungicide on your fruit plants to control black spots. Fungicide is best used in the spring, before the fungus has a chance to thrive. Fungicides are classified into two types: protectant fungicides like Dodine, Chorus, and Scala, and curative fungicides like Nustar, Systhane, and Score. Protectants will stop the spores from forming more spots while cures kill the existing fungi. Either type of fungicide can be used against black spot if you plan to clean up any damage done by the disease during future seasons.
Black spot starts as small dark spots on healthy-looking leaves. It's spread by wind-blown spores and travels along branches contacting new leaves. Once infected, these areas will eventually die back to reveal the wood beneath. Fruit trees become diseased when temperatures remain high for long periods of time or if they are exposed to heavy rains without protection. Black spot cannot survive below 70 degrees Fahrenheit so make sure your tree does not suffer exposure to freezing temperatures. In fact, it is best not to move your tree during cold weather since this could cause the roots to freeze. Instead, provide protection for your plant during winter by keeping it inside until spring when it can safely go outside.
If you see black spots on fruit that have already fallen to the ground, there is no need to worry about them. The fungus won't continue to spread once its host leaf has died.