Currants are the Edible Almost Everyone Can Grow!
Currants Bring New Flavors from Garden to TableThese attractive 3'-5' bushes will be covered in summer with glistening red or black berries, heralded for their simultaneously sweet and tart flavors. Enjoy them fresh or preserve them in jellies, jams, and cordials.
Shade Gardeners Can Grow CurrantsIf you're in a climate with hot summer sun, currants will grow best in part-shade or afternoon shade.
Live with Deer? You Can Still Grow EdiblesGood news! Although deer will browse their way through most plants we want to eat, they show little interest in currants. So if you have filled your garden with deer-resistant plants, now you can add some edibles to that group. You may want to fence your currant when it is small but as it matures it should be able to withstand some browsing from deer. Rhubarb is another deer-resistant edible that grows well in sun or part-shade. Note that deer will still browse deer-resistant plants and the best way to protect them is with a fence or using deer repellents such as Plantskydd Deer Repellent Powder. Artichokes are deer-resistant but need to be in the full sun section of your garden, where they will put on a dramatic show.
Train Currants as an Espalier of Branches Against a FenceVern Nelson in The Oregonian has directions to espalier currants to act as a screen or a decorative accent.
Grow Currants in Containers
The natural growth habit and height of currants makes them an excellent choice for container gardening.
Cornell University suggests picking the currant flowers the first year the bush is growing, to promote plant vigor. You will have a small harvest the second year and by the third year your currant bush will produce a full harvest. More from Cornell on picking the currants: Currants...ripen over a two-week period in June. Berries do not drop immediately upon ripening, so they usually can be harvested in one or two pickings. Currants can be picked in clusters. ... Wait for fruit to turn color before picking. ... Currants require some trial and error to determine the right time.