A man works in his own garden, weeding and fertilizing a blueberry bush
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The Once-Banned Shrub You'll Want To Consider Adding To
Your Yard
For an exotic addition to your garden, try the blackcurrant, which was federally banned from 1911 until 1966, but is now making a comeback due to its looks and easy-to-grow nature.
It was banned due to white pine blister rust, a fungus which decimated pine trees and threatened the timber industry. When resistant pine trees were introduced, the ban was lifted.
Indigenous to Europe and Asia, blackcurrant can grow over 5 feet tall. It grows well in cool temperatures and, while it thrives in full sunlight, doesn’t mind partial shade.
It can be grown in pots or, ideally, in the ground and just requires soil that is well-fertilized, rich, and well-drained. It’s an easy shrub to grow and harvest once you know how.
Blackcurrant grown from seed requires a process that uses the cold for three to four months. To save time, buy a young plant from a nursery after researching different varieties.
Transplant the new bush into a hole deep enough for the roots to be well-spaced. Add compost, water it regularly during the growing season, and use a mesh net to keep birds away.
Some varieties can be planted in March and harvested in the summer, producing fruit for 10 years. Harvest once the berries are plump and firm and store them in the fridge.
Carefully prune the currant plant, and keep adding mulch and fertilizer when needed to give nutrients and moisture back to the soil, especially when leaves start yellowing.