Varieties of alpine redcurrant, features, pros and cons
Many gardeners grow alpine red currants to decorate their plot and eat its fruits. In the article you will familiarize yourself with the description and varieties of this crop, the features of planting and care for currants, as well as how to properly collect and store the crop.
Characteristics of alpine currants
Let us consider in detail what this culture looks like, how resistant it is to drought and frost, what are its advantages and disadvantages.
Alpine currant is a large deciduous shrub reaching a height of 1.5 meters.
- The stem and branches are brown. In the wild, bushes of alpine currants are found mainly in mountainous areas.
- Leaves - three-lobed, dark green color, up to 4 cm wide. There are small sharp teeth on the edges. In autumn, the leaves change color to pale yellow or light orange.
- Flowers shrub of a greenish yellow hue. Each inflorescence consists of 20–30 stamen and 2–5 pistil flowers.
- Fruit have a bright, red color and spherical shape. There is no pronounced taste.
Alpine currant has good decorative characteristics and is used:
- for a single landing;
- in order to create a hedge and ennoble the green zone near the house;
- as a basis for curly haircuts and the formation of voluminous compositions.
The appearance of leaves on the currant falls on April - May, and the fall - September. Thick leaves on the shoots form a plentiful green mass. You need to trim the shoots in early spring.
Did you know? Unripe currants contain 4 times more vitamin C than ripe ones.
Drought resistance, frost resistance
This culture loves sunlight, but does not tolerate dry periods, so in summer it needs regular watering. In the cold season, currants have a good winter hardiness and can withstand temperatures up to -35 ° C.
Productivity and fruiting
The fruits of alpine currants begin to develop in early July and ripen in the first half of August. From the bush it is possible to collect up to 8 kg of berries. The productive age of the fruiting branches is 5-6 years, so the plant needs to be rejuvenated due to the "zero" shoots. The bush with proper care can bear fruit up to 15 years.
Advantages and disadvantages of the species
- Among the advantages of alpine currants can be distinguished:
- low demands on soil composition and maintenance;
- low sensitivity to air pollution;
- good tolerance of frost;
- large size of the bush, allowing you to use it to decorate the site;
- the positive effect of berries on the human body due to the large number of vitamins and minerals contained in them.
- The main disadvantages of this culture are:
- the need for regular pruning;
- drought intolerance;
- lack of pronounced taste of fruits.
Among the most popular varieties of alpine currants, the following varieties can be distinguished:
- Schmidt The plant prefers sandy or loamy soils. Bushes are dense, with an increase of up to 15 cm per year, suitable for creating green sculptures. Flowering occurs in May, and fruit ripening occurs in July - August. Life expectancy of the plant with proper care can be up to 40 years.
- Alpine Golden (Aureum). Dwarf form of currant, whose height does not exceed 1 m. The plant is unpretentious and has high resistance to adverse environmental conditions, but does not like shading.Most often, the variety is used for decorative purposes due to the low taste of the fruit.
- Pumilum (Pumilum). A medium-sized plant with a height of up to 1.5 m and a weak growth rate. The rooting rate of cuttings is 90%. Flowering and fruiting begins after the age of five. The variety has good resistance to low temperatures.
In order for a seedling of alpine red currant to take root well, special attention must be paid to its proper planting. In the first year after planting, it is advisable to additionally mulch the land around the bush with mowed grass. The interval between bushes of alpine currants depends on the purpose of planting. When using bushes for curly haircuts, the distance should be at least 1.5 m, for a crop - about 2–2.5 m.
This plant can be planted in spring or autumn, but it is better to give preference to the autumn period. In the southern regions, seedlings are planted in October, in the northern regions - in late September - early October.
When choosing a seedling for planting, it is necessary to take into account that seedlings with a closed type of root system, located in special containers, have the best survival rate. You should also pay attention to the seedlings have a well-developed root system, there are no signs of damage and rot. Planting seedlings should be done no later than 3 weeks before the expected onset of frost.
Choosing the right place, soil
The place for alpine red currants should be sunny, with a deep bed of groundwater. Fertile soil with a high humus content and low acidity is required. A week before planting, it is necessary to prepare nutritious soil from turf land, sand and humus.
When planting seedlings, you must:
- Inspect the seedlings, remove damaged shoots and cut healthy ones 1/3.
- 2 hours before planting, withstand the plant in the Kornevin solution.
- Dig a hole in the soil a little more than the root system of the bush, on average, 50 × 50 × 50 cm.
- The seedling must be installed in the center of the pit, gently fill it with earth, ramming each layer.
- Conduct abundant watering and mulching the soil.
Video: Alpine Currant Planting Instructions
Plant care includes the following procedures:
- Watering. Immediately after planting, you need to water the currants 2 times a week. An adult bush does not need abundant watering; it is enough to irrigate it once every 1-2 weeks.
- Weeding. Periodically, the soil must be weeded to remove weeds.
- Top dressing. It is necessary to feed the plant with organic and mineral fertilizers. They should be introduced at the beginning of the growing season. One feeding per season is enough.
- Pruning. It must be carried out in the spring, before the sap flow begins, removing all inferior shoots. Large sections must be sprinkled with ash. In summer, figures can be formed from the crown of alpine currants, the plant tolerates pruning painlessly.
Although alpine currant is frost-resistant, but subject to severe frosts in the region of its cultivation, the following measures should be taken to prepare the bushes for winter:
- Processing plants and soil from fungal diseases. Bushes can be sprinkled with ash, and the soil can be fertilized with superphosphate.
- Pruning bushes. On one bush there should be 12-16 shoots. The remaining branches should be removed and burned.
- Top dressing. To do this, you need to use urea (in 10 liters of water you should dissolve dry granules with the volume of a matchbox). With this mixture you need to spray branches and leaves. A day after feeding with urea, phosphorus-potassium fertilizer should be applied over the entire surface area of the bush.
- Digging the soil. It must be shallow so as not to damage the bush.
- Twine of the bush after the appearance of a frosty crust on the ground. The winding should be done by pulling the branches spiral up. Top should fix the branches with a clothespin.After which the bush is covered with mulch.
- After snowfall, cover the base of the bush with a layer of at least 10 cm and tighten thoroughly. With a sufficient amount of snow, currant bushes should be completely covered with them.
Reproduction of alpine currants can be carried out in the following ways:
- The seeds. It is rarely used, as it requires careful care, if not respected, the seedlings will not be strong and healthy. Sowing can be done in spring or autumn. Seeds are sown in a box with moist ground, which must be covered and put in a warm place. After emergence, the film is removed, and when they reach 15 cm, they are transplanted into separate pots. Plants should be planted in a permanent place after 2-3 years.
- Layering. To implement this method, shoots that are located closer to the soil surface must be placed in previously prepared grooves, sawed with wooden staples, spud and water. Layers take root closer to the fall, at which time they need to be separated from the mother bush and transplanted to a permanent place.
- Cuttings. This method is considered the most effective. For its implementation, it is necessary to cut the cuttings from annual shoots 20–25 cm long, each of them must have several developed buds. For rooting, cuttings need to be planted in ridges fertilized with humus or compost. For cuttings to take root successfully, they need watering and weed removal. Currants should be transplanted to a permanent place in the spring or fall of next year.
Diseases and Pests
Alpine currant shrubs can be susceptible to diseases, the most famous of which are:
- Rust. It is characterized by the appearance of orange dots on plant leaves. Affected leaves turn brown, dry and fall. To process the plant, the use of Bordeaux fluid or fungicides is necessary. Prevention of the appearance of this disease is the isolation of currant bushes from conifers and timely removal of plant debris from the site.
- Brown spotting. Usually appears by mid-summer and is characterized by the appearance of brown spots on the leaves with a bright middle. With a severe defeat, the leaves dry out and fall, and the bush weakens. To combat this disease, Azofos, Bravo or Polychom preparations are used. Preventive measures against brown spotting are the timely disposal of fallen leaves and soil treatment with Bordeaux fluid.
Pests can also infect plant bushes. The most common of them are:
- Fire This is a butterfly with a length of about 1 cm and a wingspan of 3 cm. It lays eggs during the flowering period of currants, envelops the berries and turns them into a cocoon. Berries rot, leading to large crop losses. To combat the firetight, it is necessary to spray the bushes with coniferous extract or a decoction of tobacco and wormwood. To prevent the occurrence of this pest, it is necessary to cover the soil near the bush with a roofing material in winter so that a butterfly wintering in the soil does not get out of the ground.
- Aphid. Insects of green or black colors that feed on plant tissues. Affected by aphids, currants lose leaves and fruits, can die. To save the bushes affected by aphids, it is necessary to use the preparations “Aktara”, “Tanrek” or “Golden Spark”. In order to protect the shrub from the appearance of aphids, it is necessary to remove fallen leaves from the site in a timely manner, destroy weeds in the trunk circles and remove the root shoots on which aphids can winter.
- Spider mite. A spider of red, orange or yellow shades, which feeds on the juice of currant, as a result of which it weakens, slows down its growth and can die. To combat this pest, Vermitek, Fitoverm or Aktofit preparations are used.For prevention, it is necessary to “wash” plants from the hose in the early morning and late evening hours, as well as to remove weeds and fallen leaves from the site.
Harvesting and storage
With the immediate use of alpine currant fruits, there are no special collection requirements. But for long-term storage of berries you need to collect them in sunny weather after evaporation of dew. It is not recommended to pick berries after rain.. When collecting, it is necessary to carefully tear off the brushes and place them in buckets or baskets of small volume, each of which should fit about 3-4 kg of berries.Before putting the berries in storage, they do not need to be washed, and if they are slightly moist, they must be dried. The shelf life of alpine currant fruits is about 2 months at a temperature of about + 1 ° C in a room with high humidity. A storage container should give the berries access to air.
Alpine currants are not too demanding on growing conditions and can grow even in harsh conditions. Guided by the above recommendations, you can grow this bush and enjoy its beneficial fruits, as well as decorate your site.