ON YOUR FRUIT & VEG PLOT
Thin out jostaberries
Encourage a bumper crop of fruit next year!
Jostaberries are a cross between a blackcurrant and a gooseberry, and taste a little like both. Now's
the time to plant them and other currant bushes, and to
give your existing ones a good trim to shape them correctly but also to invigorate them into growth when spring comes. The trick is to leave
strong sturdy main stems and tackle shorter, weaker growth so that the plant will want to promote itself and grow further. Open up the canopy of your bush by trimming off any little inward growing stems spurting from the bottom of the plant, or spurting from older stems. Your bushes will avoid mould and pests if this is done, as a lot of ventilation will then be able to get through, and there'll be fewer hiding places for bugs. Any unhealthy-looking growth or
crossing branches, which will hinder foliage and fruit to grow, should be removed first. This year's growth at the top of the plant can come off by about a third, as the fruit isn't productive from this part, and it will encourage fruiting spurs next season. You can also take stem cuttings of your currant bushes now, planting them in a trench, to freshen up your fruit collection for the future.
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