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Pruning fruit bushes

pclark42pclark42 Frolesworth, EnglandPosts: 92
Well today I did quite a bit of clearing up in the garden, as you may know, I had a mishap with the old eye, so that put paid to quite a lot of the Summer and beginning of Autumn, so today I got rid of a million weeds, I found some stray pea plants growing in one plot, so I put them into cells in the tunnel, then I have put broad beans and peas in, onions and coriander are indoors. So a couple of questions, I have a Gooseberry bush, blackcurrant, and blueberry, should I prune them right back? as you will also see I have a grapevine in it's first year, there are two stems, one is tall and strong, but the other to the picture is woody and some has broken off, what's best to do, leave it? or cut back. Thanks, and my eye is a lot better.


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,999
    Hello, I can't help with the vine as I’ve never grown one and I’m a blueberry virgin myself, but I can offer some help with the gooseberries and blackcurrants.

    I can’t see the plants in your photos but I assume that they are of a reasonable size and age, not simple sticks.

    Here are two pages of a book I recommend you buy. Long out of print but available online if you look out for a copy.

    It’s by Harry Baker and it’s called Growing Fruit.

    Here you go.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • tuikowhai34tuikowhai34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 779
    @pansyface  Hi - I really appreciated these pictures and guidance for pruning.   I have 2 red currant bushes about 9 years old and one gooseberry bush which is 2 years old.  Neither produced fruit this year although the red currants have been producing the previous years.  (A lot of olive trees in this area haven't produced either, it may be something to do with "one of those years" !)  However, I have a question.  Being in a mild climate, the leaves haven't totally dropped off, so I guess it would probably be best to prune them in January.  (As I do for the grapevines and the roses get a snip too!)  What are your thoughts?
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,999
    No such luxury round here (at least not until climate change began to show itself).

    I’d just go on and ignore the leaves. I take it they will eventually drop off and that the plant is essentially dormant, but just a bit dopey.

    Red currants (and white currants) are pruned the same as gooseberries, strangely, and not like blackcurrants.

    Funny old world.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • tuikowhai34tuikowhai34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 779
    edited December 2020
    Hello @pclark42    My father-in-law came yesterday to prune my table grapevines.  (He has finished pruning his vineyards early this year so is turning around in circles!)  Here are a few photos if this will help with the pruning of your vine.  

    He cuts off the dead wood and keeps the new growth.  Leaves 2 "eyes" on one or two shorter branches and lops the rest right off leaving one longer branch to  be tied to the wire.  My muscat grapevine which didn't do too well this summer, he has done a descending prune as you can see with the pretty pink string!  I hope this helps.

    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,513
    The RHS offers this advice on grape pruning - 

    We grew loads of blackcurrants in our last garden and pruned them as we harvested - cut off the fruited stem and pick at ease sat in a chair - so they always renewed themselves.  Bit too hot for them to do well here but I'm working on it.

    I find gooseberries so prickly it's best to grow them as cordons  for easier picking - Not keen on redcurrants and haven't tried white.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • pclark42pclark42 Frolesworth, EnglandPosts: 92
    Would it be wise to use Horse manure on my vine during the winter, also on the fruit bushes, it's always worked on my late Fathers roses.
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 6,634
    Re blueberries:  they bear most of their fruit on wood grown the previous year, like blackcurrants, so if you have an established bush you could remove one or two of the oldest branches, in winter.  Young blueberry bushes don't need pruning, though if they're a funny shape you can do a little snipping to shorten an over-long branch, for instance.
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • tuikowhai34tuikowhai34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 779
    @pclark42  The vines are dormant during winter, so manure wouldn't do much, but it wouldn't hurt to give them a feed late winter.  Personally, I don't.   However, to prevent odium - a splash of sulphur powder when they start to bud in the spring and then another dusting when the vine comes into flower.  (Early morning, no wind or humidity).  I expect you can purchase sulphur in powder form from your garden centre.
    Good luck.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • tuikowhai34tuikowhai34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 779
    PS @pclark42  You could cut the weaker branch back to 2 "eyes" and leave the stronger one at about 5/6 "eyes" - if that helps.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,640
    I was given 2 "fruit bushes " about 2 years ago and I planted them in the back garden since when they have done nothing.

    Same height , same greenery in spring and no fruit.

    I have pruned the dead wood and given them an open aspect.

    I haven't fed the soil since i moved in 18 years ago.

    I think one is  a white berry but dont know about the other

    They just sit there

    Any tips please.
    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.
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