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Pruning Gooseberry, Blackcurrant and Blueberry bushes

October 27th, 2013 · No Comments

Gooseberry – In early spring of the first year after planting, select five main stems and prune them back to 15-20cm (6-8in), removing all other stems from the base. Then repeat every 2 years This will keep new stems with lots of fruiting buds coming through

Blackcurrant – New canes grow one season and fruit the next, after which they are exhausted and can be removed. The problem is that generations overlap, so a plant will have one-year-old canes bearing fruit, mixed with the next season’s stems making their early growth.
So in the autumn prune out 3 third of the stems. To prune the plants, cut out the fruited canes at ground level.

Blueberry bushes – fruit on short side shoots produced during spring or early summer of the previous year. They also produce a second late flush of fruit on the tips of the current year’s growth.
Pruning is rarely needed in the first two years, when it is best to simply aim for an open centred bush, removing any crossing or misplaced branches
Prune any time over the dormant season (November to March), but ideally in late February or early March when the fruit buds can easily be distinguished from the leaf buds. Fat buds produce flowers and fruit, while smaller, flatter buds form shoots and leaves.
A mature bush should contain about one-third old, one-third middle-aged and one-third young stems.
Prune out:

* Dead, diseased, dying, weak, diseased, rubbing or damaged stems, plus any that are touching the ground
* Twiggy growth at the ends of the branches that fruited last year, cutting back to a low strong, upward-facing bud or branch
* One-third of the oldest stems at the base of a mature plant

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Tags: Tim Whitcombe

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