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How To Cultivate Blackberries and Black Currants

These might find a commoner place in the garden, for the cultivated kinds are extremely prolific, excellent for preserves, and crop at a season when other soft fruits are over.

The Himalayan Giant Blackberry is one of the most prolific. Edward Langlty is better flavoured and earlier. Plant 10 feet apart, and train to wires stretched horizontally, or to fences or pillars. Cut out most, or all, of the old canes each season after the fruit is gathered.

Black Currants. Plant 5 feet apart each way, and give a mulch of stable manure each May. Some of the best varieties are: Boskoop Giant, Laxtoris Grape, and September Black. Seabrootts Black is resistant to Big Bud, and therefore very reliable.

Black currants can easily be increased by cuttings 6 inches long inserted in rows in sandy soil in November.

Prune by cutting out old fruiting wood annually, and keep the bushes open by culling out weal; crowding branches.

Plant 5 feet apart each way, except where cordons are grown, when they can be closer. The shoots back few inches in autumn, and remove crowded growths, particularly those which crowd the centre of the bush. Shorten lateral growths to three or four buds.

Manure as for black currants.

White Dutch, Red Dutch, and Raby Castle are useful varieties.

Plant standards 25 feet apart, bushes 15 feet apart, cordons 2 feet apart, fan-trained trees on walls 15 feet apart. Do not use animal manure, but give a dressing of sulphate of potash bonemeal in alternate years in spring, at the rate of 2 ounces per square yard.

Little pruning is needed in the case of standards, and in other cases only sufficient to keep the trees shapely as required.

Napoleon Bigarreau, Early Rivers, and Waterloo are good varieties.

Gooseberries. Plant 5 feet apart each way. Prune as red currants. Give an annual mulch of manure in May, and light dressings of sulphate of potash in spring.

Increase b T cuttings as black currants.

Some of the best varieties are: Lancashire Lad (red), Keepsake (green), and Golden Drop. Lancashire Lad is the best variety for cordon culture.

Loganberries, Laxtonberries, Veitchberries and other similar berries that are hybrids of the blackberry family are cultivated in the same manner as the blackberry, being planted to clothe fences, or trained to wires stretched horizontally across the garden.

After fruiting, all the old canes that have flowered are cut completely out, and only the new canes springing from the base are allowed to remain for another season.

All these plants respond to generous treatment, and like ample supplies of moisture.

For open-air culture these are generally grown on walls, where they may be planted 15 feet apart if fan trained. These trees fruit on young wood one year old only. It is necessary therefore to see that each season the trees are refurnished with young shoots which will flower, and bear fruit the following year.

Pinch out most of the young shoots on fruiting wood during the growing season, leaving the two strongest at the base of each fruiting branch. Also leave one at the extremity, as this draws the sap up beyond the fruit.

After the fruit is gathered, cut away the shoot carefully to the point just above the two new shoots that were left at the base. These provide the fruiting wood for the following season.

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