University of Illinois Extension

Currants

Currants

Currants and gooseberries are hardy and easy to grow. They are mainly used in jams but there are some varieties of gooseberries that can be eaten fresh. Plant in a location with well-drained soil and plants can do well in partial shade or full sun. Plant in rows that are 9 to 12-ft apart. Currants can be planted 2 to 4-ft apart and gooseberries 4 to 5-ft apart within the row. Plant deeper than they were in the nursery. Prune mature bush every year by removing canes that are more than three years' old. Suggested currant varieties include 'Red Lake,' 'Jonkeer Van Tets,' 'Rovada' and 'Cherry' (both red), 'Consort,' Crusader,' 'Ben Sarek' and 'Crandall' (both black), and 'White Imperial,' 'Primus,' 'Blanka' (white). Suggested gooseberry varieties include 'Pixwell,' 'Poorman,' 'Welcome,' 'Hinnomaki Red' and 'Captivator'. Both currants and gooseberries are alternate hosts of White Pine Blister Rust, currently not a problem in Illinois.

Small Fruit Crops for the Backyard - University of Illinois Extension