• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

Planting blackcurrant and raspberry

 
Posts: 40
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello,

A few weeks ago, I went nut, and bought about 9 plants of blackcurrant, and 9 plants of raspberry. There's two variety of blackcurrants (so they can pollinate each other) and 3 variety of raspberries, so I can get raspberry more than once a year.

Now, I have a few about where to plant them, but I am not sure if it's a good idea.

As far as I know, they like part-shade, and hate full sun, I basically have a few spots where I might put the plants. As far as I know, blackcurrant will stop most other plants from growing around them; I plan to plant absinth next to them to protect them from fungal diseases. As for the raspberries, I might add marigold and tansy to help them far better, but as far as I know at least marigold need full sun.

I basically have 5 spots where I might plants those:
- In a light slope, where there's some sun in the afternoon but barely in the morning as a tree is casting its shade; I had planted cornfrey there but had to move them as they were just drying up.
- Under said tree; I had planted strawberry but they had few flowers, probably not enough sun
- In a very shaded part of the garden, where I am currently dumping my compos toilet
- In a part-shade spot, next to my vegetable garden; wheat grew there last year
- In a sunny spot, where I grew tomatoes this year

What do you think, what would you do ? I do plan to bury some good stuff with the plants too (nettle, cornfrey...), really I just have no idea about the best location.
 
pollinator
Posts: 457
Location: Utah
125
cat forest garden fungi foraging food preservation bee medical herbs writing greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really think this is going to depend on your location, heat index and soil.

I have had both raspberries and currants thrive in full sun. I have had them thrive in part shade. Full shade is impossible for both.

In hotter areas, partial shade is probably better. In cooler areas, full sun might be better. I would be more concerned about the availability of water than light levels. They won't get as much fruit in deeper shade.

If it were me, with 9 plants of different varieties to play with, I would start them in different locations and see where they thrive.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1333
Location: Denmark 57N
378
fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Where I am (57N) both plants prefer full sun (as does everything!) but both will manage in partial shade, mine get sun for around 8 hours a day midsummer (at midsummer we get 18hours of daylight) Neither plant likes dry conditions so don't put them where it is to dry.

Blackcurrents will shade out everything under them so once they get going you don't need to worry about weed control, some cardboard and woodchips/compost will help to start with.  Raspberries do not control weeds at all, but they do spread like crazy so can become a weed if you put them in the wrong place.
I think since the plants will manage in some shade (you may get less fruit and it will be later than if they were in full sun) I would plant them where you had wheat. If there was enough light for wheat I cannot see either of these two struggling. There is one other consideration of course, and that is that blackcurrants can get pretty big. my bushes are around 1.5m high and the same around so that may limit where you can place them.
 
gardener & author
Posts: 1978
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
420
trees food preservation solar greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Do black currants really need two varieties for pollination? I'll be getting some black currant plants soon and I didn't know I had to make sure to get two or more varieties.

Edited to add: I found another thread on Permies about pollination of currants, but it did not clear up my question.  Most of the replies were from people who have several varieties of currants so they have good pollination anyway, regardless of whether it's self-fertile. And some of the comments use the word "species" for "variety" so those comments also didn't clarify things for me, either.

I live a good 500 or 1000m from the nearest other garden, and I doubt anybody in my village has any currants at all, so I have to take care of my own pollination. Currants are rare in my region -- I know one person with black currants, and one person with red currants. Those are two different species and unlikely to do much cross pollination for each other. Red currant is said to be fairly self-fertile, so I guess that'll be fine. But I'm more excited about the black currant, because the jam is amazing. And there are conflicting reports about whether it is self-fertile. Maybe the American "clove" variety is, but European varieties aren't? Oh well, I guess I'll ask my friend to give me propagules from several different specimens of his. He's certainly getting production and selling jam, so whatever he has does seem to work. Though I think I remember that he brought the originals as a single plant about 20 years ago (smuggled from Sweden in his luggage, to be precise, haha!)
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener & author
Posts: 1978
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
420
trees food preservation solar greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey, I found some informative pages about growing currants! The upshot seems to be that they can self-pollinate but will set more fruit with more than one cultivar/variety of the species.

http://www.madaboutberries.com/currants.html

Black currants (Ribes ussuriense or Ribes nigrum)


(Oh! so "black currants" can be two different species!)

Black currants are self-sterile partly, so, it’s better to plant its two varieties close to each other.
Red currants are usually self-pollinating but in some conditions benefit from cross-pollinating with another red variety or a white variety.



https://seeds.ca/pollinator/bestpractices/gooseberries.html

In black currant (R. nigrum) almost all cultivars require insect pollination. The flowers are somewhat self-compatible, but the style and anthers are physically separated in individual flowers. However, all cultivars require insect cross-pollination to set a satisfactory crop. Self-pollinated plants have lower fertility.



https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/currants.html
Here's how to get more varieties for pollination (and maybe my friend has already done this):

Currant seeds germinate if stratified for three to four months at temperatures just above freezing. Seedlings are prolific and do not vary much from parent. Bushes grown from seed bear when two or three years old.


 
Mike Lafay
Posts: 40
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, I live in a 8b zone; the soil is decent, as in stuff grow in it, but it's not yet rich, dark humus.

I am 45N, so much more warm than Denmark ! I'll probably try that shady spot for a few of them.

As for pollination, I have no clue. I never had blackcurrant, and basically followed what was said on the website where I bought the plants. Apparently at least one variety is auto-sterile. They are not the same varieties, yet one of them doesn't have auto-sterile in its description, so maybe this one can be used to pollinate others, but will self-pollinate. I honestly don't know.

Anyway, growing from seed would be something fun to try, but at least for red current, they spread by themselves, and cuttings seem to be effective. It probably work too for black currants.

So far I've thought a little more about this, and I'll try a few different spots, and see what goes best. I tend to forget that where I am living right now is just an experiment, I don't intend to be self-sufficient in two months.
 
Posts: 47
Location: 6.b.
11
forest garden chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Can raspberries be planted where there might be a bit of occasional flooding? It can get pretty wet when it storms here, and we have a street drain that empties into our back yard
 
Mike Lafay
Posts: 40
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm clearly not an expert on these plants, but if you get some occasional flooding, perhaps you need to plant them on top of mounds or something.
 
Why should I lose weight? They make bigger overalls. And they sure don't make overalls for tiny ads:
Call for Instructors for the 2021 RMH Jamboree!
https://permies.com/wiki/149908/Call-Instructors-RMH-Jamboree
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic