Blackcurrants feeling a little green

The picture is of one of my blackcurrant bushes in the cross-channel ferry position, my reference to less than preferable crossings I’ve endured in choppy seas, ie lying down and feeling a little green. In truth the blackcurrant bushes, and in particular their nets, have been the only real casualty so far. The strong winds of the last few days have blown my bushes hither and thither, laden as they are in full leaf and weighed down with young fruit. The prone position of one of the branches is caused by the collapse of a broken cane and net. My bushes usually flourish on the plot. I think it’s a combination of the relatively warm weather in the South East of England and the light soil. For water loving plants this can be quite a problem during the height of summer as it’s nearly impossible to keep their feet moist. Where as blackcurrants fruit early in the season when the ground is still wet from Spring. At the moment I don’t know whether to thank or curse the weather from a gardening perspective. The negative side is that the combination of rain and warm air temperature has lead to the grass and weeds around my allotment standing tall as if to celebrate the Queens Jubilee. Some of the tap roots I lifted this weekend were well over six inches long. But there is a big plus side. It’s almost perfect germinating weather for challenging crops like parsnips. I’ve also experienced speedy success with lettuce and I”m hoping for a similar result with beetroot. In some years hot June weather can make starting germination challenging. Also, June is the month for transferring plants like runner beans, sweetcorn and butternut squash to their final growing positions. Hot weather can make watering a daily task before the plants establish themselves. This year all that is required is a weekend check up.

This could still be an exceptional year at the allotment. With vegetable and salad crops well established and fruit swelling from all the rain, the foundations are well laid for bumper crops. But what chance is there of a little sun? Green is the colour of the moment: green tomatoes, green currants, green gooseberries. Let’s have some sunlight to spread the colour!


Click the link for my guide on growing blackcurrants: