About Blackcurrant Ben Hope
Bred by the Scottish Crop Research Institute, Ben Hope is a vigorous and upright- growing bush variety producing consistently high yields of medium sized currants with good sensory qualities. The currants are high in quality and hangon long strigs. Ben Hope has a high level of resistance to gall mite and good resistance to both mildew, leaf spot and big bud. Particularly suitable for growing organically.
- Self fertile
- Planting Distance 1.5m apart
- Height & Spread 1.5m x 1.5m
- Crops late July/ August
An ideal fruit to grow in a container or small garden, the ben hope is a Scottish bred blackcurrant variety that will crop from July to August . This is a hardy and compact, easy to grow plant that is great for new growers and expert cooks alike. Thick woody stems produce light green serrated leaves and dangling clusters of large, heavy cropping black fruit that hang from low hanging sprigs making them easy to harvest. A great and refreshing fruit that goes well with yogurt, ice cream or on its own the sweet juice of the blackcurrant goes amazing well with lemonade or if crushed up with gin and tonic water. This variety is frost tolerant and resistant to mildew, leaf spot and midges which make it a fantastic variety for novice growers.
How to look after blackcurrants
Blackcurrants prefer moist, well-drained soil in full sun, or light shade. Feed with a liquid fertilizer once in the spring to encourage a good yield. Repot every 2-3 years into the same pot or slightly larger. Trim back some of the roots and tease away the old soil replacing it with fresh compost. Trim twice-yearly and In July, trim all new side shoots to 5 leaves. In winter, cut back main stems by half and any side shoots back to 2 buds. Any stems that are damaged, dead or out of place can also be removed.
How do you harvest blackcurrants?
In early to mid-summer, the plant will produce small white or pink flowers that will soon fall off to reveal the young fruit. Over the next few months, the fruit will grow inside and change from green to black. Once the whole fruit has gone black you can harvest the fruit by pinching it and twisting it off the stem. Avoid pulling the fruit as it may not come off completely.
How do you store blackcurrants?
Once picked a blackcurrant will not last long. If you want to preserve your fruits for longer you can either blend the fruits into a thick juice which you can freeze or freeze whole fruits in an airtight bag.