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Currant is a genus of plants of the Gooseberry family. In the European part of Russia there are only 3 wild-growing species, in the Caucasus there are 6 of them, a great variety is observed in Siberia.
The most famous are the following types: black and red currants. The difference between them is not only in the color of the berries, but also in the content of aromatic essential oil in the leaves of black currant, which is contained in the glands of the lower surface of the foliage.
Gooseberries, also belonging to the genus of currants, have become widespread. The fruits of this family are very useful - in addition to eating berries, compotes, preserves, jelly, marmalade, syrups, liqueurs and even wine are prepared.
Although this plant is uncomplicated, simple at first glance and it is surrounded by a fair amount of myth. Let's figure out which of them is true and which is fiction.
When choosing currant seedlings, it is better to pay attention to the oldest and tallest ones. In fact, the most important parts for a currant seedling are not the tops of the branches, but the bottom of the aboveground part and the roots. When choosing a seedling, you need to pay attention to fresh plants with a powerful root system. It makes no difference what the length of the branches will be. Moreover, after planting, the branches will still have to be cut. It should also be taken into account that the crop will appear on two-year-old branches, so you should not choose seedlings older than this age.
Domestic varieties are inferior to foreign analogues. Both black and red currants are considered primordially Russian culture. In our area, this berry has been grown since the 11th century. For Europeans, currants have long been used only as a medicinal plant. Gardeners of Europe "saw" the red currant only in the 15th century, and the black currant even later - in the 17th-18th centuries. In North America, currants are practically not grown artificially. It is not surprising that it is in our region (Russia, Ukraine) that breeders paid increased attention to this plant, several varieties were created that are ideal for different regions.
The best black currant grows in Siberia. This statement is true. Siberian varieties best show their merits in their historical homeland. In the middle lane, they can freeze under even slight frosts, the berries are small, the yield becomes low.
Currants can be planted on any soil, and do not really care, because they are unpretentious. Currant is actually a hardy plant, however, in order for it to produce berries, certain requirements must be met. Red currants require a lot of light, and black currants require an abundance of moisture in the ground. Finding the bushes in the shade, without proper watering, will make the harvest truly symbolic.
Currants take root well on the lawn. In fact, the lawn grasses will take up most of the moisture and nutrients from the currant bush. Therefore, the bush will grow weak and will not yield a crop. Better to plant a bush at a distance of at least 70 cm from the lawn. It is advisable to cover the soil with mulching materials or leave it open.
Currant bushes should be planted in an inclined position. The slope of the bush when planting does not matter. It is important to deepen the seedling 5-7 cm from the position in which it used to grow.
The name of an unknown variety can be determined by connoisseurs from berries or photographs. Today there are hundreds of varieties of red and black berries, many of which, of course, have similar fruits. To accurately determine the variety, specialists need to study the entire bush in great detail, paying attention even to the kidney scales and the shape of the leaf cloves. It is impossible to draw a conclusion only on the berry. Yes, there are some varieties of pink and white currants that an experienced connoisseur can successfully identify by their berries, but for red currants this is already unlikely.
Black currant has only black berries. As funny as it sounds, it is not. There are several varieties with green and brown berries.
White and red currants are different crops. In fact, white, pink and red currants are one and the same crop, and the color of the berries is only a varietal feature. For the preparation of jelly, compotes, freezing, it is better to use red berries, but for fresh consumption and for making wine - white.
Tea with black currant leaves is very healthy. The leaves of this shrub do contain a lot of salicylic acid. After a cup of this tea, you can even sweat thanks to it. However, such a recipe is not unconditionally useful for everyone. If the doctors have already forbidden the patient to consume raspberries and aspirin, then it is better to refuse tea on currant leaves.
Currant is a very frail plant, often sick, unarmed in front of pests. Any part of the bush contains a huge amount of nutrients and vitamins. It is not surprising that fungi and pests are striving to join such a pantry. But currants do not give up without a fight. The leaves of some of its species are able to purposefully fight against infections with the causative agent of powdery mildew of a section of their leaf. The plant destroys leaf cells, powdery mildew cannot live in a dead environment, and this is where its attack ends.
To cure the currants from all the misfortunes at once, pour boiling water over the bush in March. This remedy is from the category of "folk", but there is no scientific evidence of the effectiveness of such a "treatment". But there are cases when the bush received serious burns, and the person himself, working with boiling water, should be careful.
If branches with a terry bloom appear on the black currant, then it is enough to cut it off, and root the cuttings just in case. It will not be possible to fight so easily with terry, it will inevitably spread throughout the bush. It is almost impossible to cure such a disease at home, and it is forbidden to propagate a diseased shrub. The only effective remedy is the speedy uprooting of the diseased plant entirely.
The most dangerous disease of red currant is colored convex areas on the leaves. These ugly changes in the leaves of the plant are caused by the red-gall aphid. Although there are all the signs of an affected bush, this disease, although undesirable, is not critical. Nothing threatens the life of the bush.
The currant successfully tolerates spring frosts. Although the spring chill does not leave visible marks of frostbite on bushes, it is the most common cause of sudden crop declines. This is especially critical for black currant. Hypothermia is especially critical not for buds, but for opened flowers and ovaries. If frosts are expected in the country, then water the bushes at night and throw home rags, non-woven material or film on them.
Currant is a common berry. For some reason, it is believed that this berry is consumed, due to its availability only by commoners. Although currants are part of the exquisite delicacies of the British (Christmas pudding), the French (the famous Cassis liqueur). The family of Count Leo Tolstoy had their own signature dish - black muffin, which included grated black currant.
Currants are used as fishing bait. Really experienced fishermen use berries, including currants, and gooseberries to catch fish of the carp family, chub. In this case, long-term welding is necessary.