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Currant and Gooseberry Fruiting Cycle

Ribes fruit cycle

The fruit buds of currants and gooseberries (the ribes genus) are similar enough to discuss together. The ­­fruit buds occur laterally on new shoots, and on spurs or spur like branching of older wood.  As new growth  occurs late in summer or fall, these fruit buds form. The buds have developed in the leaf axil, nearly complete by the end of the season, but still slowly advancing until about a week or so before budbreak. The following spring they open and expose the flower system. The currant develops into a raceme of multiple flowers, also known as a strig (particularly when it is bearing fruit. The gooseberry normally gives a single flower or a few emanating singly from the bud. The flowers in both are perfect, with inferior ovaries. Ribes buds are simple, that is they produce either leaves /shoots or flowers/fruit. Not both, thus the flowers emerging will not be accompanied by leaves as they are, for example, in apples.

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Blueberry Fruiting Cycle

blueberry buds
the bell shaped flower of the blueberry

 Blueberry fruit buds occur either laterally or terminally. They develop on the new shoots later in the growing season, generally fall. The following spring these buds open to sport flowers. The infloresence (flower system) is a raceme, containing anywhere from a few to ten or more flowers arranged on a stem, individually opening from the base first, to the tip last. These are perfect flowers, containing both male and female parts. They are epigynous. Pollination by another cultivar is usually advised, despite some degree of self fruitfulness in some cases. The 4 to 10 celled ovaries will give rise to that many seeds. The bell shaped flowers eventually hang down, the opening facing the earth. The large number of blossoms often make the bush very attractive.

the blueberry flower undressed
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Planting Currants and Gooseberries

These plants of the Ribes genus should be considered similar in the particulars of planting and initial setup. Both require adequate moisture, and cooler conditions, especially as concerns the root systems. This means high organic matter (3% or greater),  a partially shaded environment if practical, and heavy mulching. More to come….