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Confused about currant pruning

Have a load of blackcurrant bushes along the edge of my plot. They did well last year and produced a load of berries. 

Advice I have found online is to 'prune old growth' and 'crossed branches'.

Looking at them now they are a load of branches most of which all have buds - certainly not clear to me what is 'old growth'. Some have also started to sprawl into the main bit of my plot and I don't really like that. 

Can I prune the intruding branches, and will new growth come from the roots, or am I dooming myself to a rubbish harvest? 
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  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    When the weather gets less than freezing, lol, cut out any branches which are where you don't want them, any that look unhealthy, and any that are/will encroach on each other. As long as there's enough space between the branches for light and air to pass through, they'll be fine. 
    I just used to cut most of mine out in spring, and it always gave plenty of leaf and fruit. I moved it a couple of years ago and it wasn't impressed, but it's coming back fine now. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,008
    We had loads of these in our last garden and I found the easiest pruning method was to wait till they were in full fruit then cut out the entire fuiting branch at its base and go and sit on a chair on the terrace to strip the fruit without all that awkward bending.   That automatically keeps the bush renewed.

    In spring I'd just cut back any stems that had been frozen or damaged in strong winter gales.

    We'll be using the same approach in this garden once our new blackcurrants get established.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,723
    In this house and the previous we inherited several old (over 20 years at the last place) bushes that had never been pruned, the middles were full of old wood that in some cases was almost fully rotted, they still gave and give a good crop I don't think current bushes are very bothered how or even if you prune them, just cut out the branches that are not where you want them.
    @obelixx My version of your trick is to take a garden chair into the current patch and sit there and pick them!
  • Obelixx said:
    We had loads of these in our last garden and I found the easiest pruning method was to wait till they were in full fruit then cut out the entire fuiting branch at its base and go and sit on a chair on the terrace to strip the fruit without all that awkward bending.   That automatically keeps the bush renewed.

    In spring I'd just cut back any stems that had been frozen or damaged in strong winter gales.

    We'll be using the same approach in this garden once our new blackcurrants get established.
    Interesting - you did the fruit stripping and pruning with all branches that had fruit? Or just the ones that needed pruning?
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,008
    edited March 2023
    The branches laden with fruit @Wolveryeti.  Automatic regeneration pruning and comfy picking the fruit with a cuppa at hand.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • pclark42pclark42 Posts: 185
    I have always had trouble with birds taking the fruit, this year I am planning a proper box with netting, and watch for other things like mice and rats.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,800
    My mother always used the same method as @Obelixx
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    @Obelixx you had me at 'cuppa'. 😄
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,008
    @Slow-worm I find it helps to make as many tasks as possible fun or comfortable.  I'm not always in the mood for mud pies or cricked necks and knees. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    Yep, and a cuppa tea (or ten) is an essential ingredient. When you're doing heavy work and your OH says those 3 little words everyone longs to hear, "cuppa tea love?" 😁
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