Today, as we walked our way back from the market (our vegetable garden provides all our veggies these days, but sometimes, you know, when you live in the North of France, you crave for peaches and apricots!) we went through a public park, where the city council has planted fruit trees, such as apple, pear, rapsberries and redcurrant. And there were redcurrants, ready to harvest, so we did.
(By the way, we love fruit trees in city available and free for all, I am so surprised each time I walk through this park to see amazing fruits hanging from the trees, and passers-by not even throwing a glance. Should we tell them?:D)
So we took some, just enough to make a pot or two of jam for my son (who goes totally nuts on redcurrant jam) – and I also took a few cuttings.
You want to grow redcurrants from cuttings too? Here’s how !
Pro tip : if you fancy, just like me, to gather seeds and cuttings anywhere you go and everytime you can, make sure you always have a few paperbags with you, ans a good, sharp pocket knife.
When should you look for redcurrant cuttings?
Now is the time! Actually, after harvesting is over, usually at the end of the summer – during the month of September, so you still have a few days before it’s too late.
What do I need?
A pruning shear sharp and clean, a few pots of reasonable size, some potting soil and sand, and a bit of spare time in the coming weeks to water your babies from time to time.
Find a good subject – if possible one from which you have had the opportunity to taste the fruits – you don’t want to take the extra effort to grow your own, and end up with tasteless fruits, do you? Then look for a hardwood stem, that is, a stem that has just turned brown, as lignin is forming. Redcurrants, like most berries, form green stems at start, that later turn brown, usually in the second year.
Then when you’re back home, it’s quite simple.
- Cut into sections 25-30cm (app. 1ft) long, cutting cleanly above a bud at the top, leaving at least a pair of buds on each section, with a sloping cut to shed water!
- Cut off the bottom leaves, and leave halves of the ones at the top.
- Cut straight across at the base below a bud or pair of buds. No real need to use hormone rooting powder with berries such as redcurrant, they produce their own hormones!
- Insert the sections into each pot with two-thirds of the cutting below the surface and a layer of sand in the base.
- Keep them sheltered, with the soil lightly moist, especially in the first weeks.
There you go – without spending a dime (or a penny, or a euro cent?) – you will have in a few weeks a few splendid fruit-bearing shrubs!
Now, just to give you some extra motivation, shall I show you a piece of french bread with my son’s favourite jam I just made for him?