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Can soft fruit bushes be transformed by pruning into cordons?

Some time ago, in an excess of gardening zeal, I bought some bare root black, red and white currant and gooseberry bushes. Not having anywhere to plant them at the time, I put them in pots. Several years later, they are still in (larger) pots and have rooted into the soil below.image.

They are not very big because the location is far from ideal. Recently, I have realised that I am never going to have enough room in my present garden to do them justice as bushes - cordons would be a much more suitable form.

Can these small shrubs be pruned into cordons, or would cuttings trained as cordons be better? I already have a few cuttings taken last winter. My concern about cuttings is their vigour; aren't commercial soft fruit bushes grafted onto different rootstocks?



  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    I did this with 2 gooseberry bushes. I had not realised how large they might get. Cut them back ruthlessly one Autumn and tied them with wire into the East facing fence; they are doing fineimage

  • keepitlivekeepitlive Posts: 102

    Thanks, artjak, that's really encouraging to hear.

  • Fluffy CloudFluffy Cloud Posts: 200

    I went to RHS Hyde Hall recently to see how they grow their soft fruits and I was impressed by so many current bushes growing as cordons.

  • Invicta2Invicta2 Posts: 663


    Whilst Gooseberries and red currants can be grown as cordons, Black currants are not suited to this form of training. They also need more space as bushes than the other two.

  • keepitlivekeepitlive Posts: 102

    Verdun, Fluffy Cloud, Invicta2

    Thanks for your responses. I feel much more hopeful and can't wait to start retraining the bushes.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Verdun, I would like to stop my blackcurrent from getting too large and 'leggy' what would you recommend?image

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