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Among agricultural crops, the Versailles white currant is very popular. It is chosen for its relative unpretentiousness to growing conditions, resistance to adverse environmental factors and high performance indicators. In addition, she has established herself exclusively on the positive side. To grow Versailles white currants, you need to familiarize yourself in more detail with the rules of planting and care.
French breeders worked on the creation of the Versailles white currant in 1850. Culture came to the territory of Russia in the last century, it was brought to the State Register in 1959. White currant is suitable for cultivation in the North-West and Central regions, the Volga-Vyatka and Central Black Earth regions, as well as in the Middle Volga and Ural regions.
Features of the red and white Versailles currant
Since white currants are one of the varieties of red, they have many similar qualities. In particular, a high concentration of nutrients in fruits, pleasant taste and aroma, slight acidity, ripening time. As for consumer qualities, white currant has low acidity and high sugar content.
External parameters and characteristics
In order for the cultivation of the Versailles white currant to be the most productive activity, it is recommended to know its strengths and weaknesses, a detailed description of the variety.
The Versailles white currant belongs to the plants of the early ripening period. The bush forms a fairly developed underground part, its lateral roots are at a depth of 40 centimeters. The main root is located at a depth of 1 meter.
In height, the erect bush reaches 1.2-1.5 meters. The number of shoots is not that great, but they all have an intensive growth rate. The leaf plates have a deep dark green color and a bluish tint. There are 5 blades on them.
On the inner side there is a fine pubescence. On the edges of the leaves, there are short obtuse teeth. Fruit buds of the Versailles white currant are formed only in the second year of life.
Flowers and berries
The Versailles white currant attracts the attention of gardening enthusiasts for its ability to produce rich harvests. At the stage of flowering, yellowish-white bells bloom on the bushes. There are flowers and berries on elongated straight petioles.
The size of the fruits is almost 10 millimeters in diameter, and their weight is up to 1.3 grams. Under favorable conditions, the bush is capable of producing up to 4 kilograms of delicious berries. The flesh of the fruit is dense, the skin is transparent, light cream color. According to the description of the variety, the Versailles white currant is not prone to shedding, the berries are firmly attached to the petioles.
The sugar content of the Versailles white currant is 7.5%, and the acidity is 2.3%. There are 38 milligrams of ascorbic acid per 100 grams of product..
Resistant to low temperatures, drought and disease
Versailles white currant has an increased immunity to powdery mildew, but not to anthracnose, which must be taken into account when growing it. The plant's frost resistance is also at a high level; it can be planted even in the northern regions. Resistance to dry weather is good, but keeping the bushes for a long time without abundant watering is not worth it. Irrigation measures are especially needed at the stage of laying fruit buds.
From harmful insects, white currant can suffer from the shoot aphid, which sucks out all the nutrients, gooseberry moth, currant sawfly. It is necessary to take measures to eliminate it immediately after identifying the first signs of their presence on the bushes.
Productivity and use of fruits
Indicators of productivity of Versailles white currant from one hectare are 8 tons. The fruits are versatile, they can be used fresh, and for the preparation of desserts, and as raw materials for winter preparations.
Pros and cons: is it worth planting on the site?
Among the positive characteristics of the Versailles white currant are:
- high yield;
- undemanding to growing conditions, care;
- winter hardiness is high;
- drought resistance;
- does not need additional pollinators;
- the fruits do not crumble after ripening.
Despite a number of advantages, white currants also have their disadvantages:
- spreading of the bush;
- low level of anthracnose resistance.
In order for the Versailles white currant to quickly take root and grow, you need to know the main points of its landing in a permanent place.
Choice of place and timing of boarding
To obtain a rich and tasty harvest, it is necessary to choose a place well-lit by the sun for planting seedlings, otherwise in the shade the berries will be sour and inconspicuous. In addition, the glade should be protected from through winds; it is better to give preference to areas near the walls of buildings, a fence.
For the Versailles white currant, it is not advisable to choose places with a close groundwater occurrence (up to 1.5-2 meters). In conditions of high humidity in the soil, the root system of the bushes will undergo putrefactive processes, which will provoke their death. The soil should be sufficiently light and fertile. The best option is loam and sandy loam with a neutral or slightly acidic environment.
Planting dates are early spring (before bud break) or autumn (late September-early October).
We prepare the site and the beds
Preparatory measures should be carried out in advance (2 weeks), using deep winter plowing. The site must be cleared of weeds, last year's leaves. To enrich the soil with useful substances, humus (10 kilograms), superphosphate (100 grams) are used, this amount is calculated per 1 square meter.
To neutralize the increased acidity, you need to add 400-450 grams of wood ash per 1 square meter.
Selection and preparation of seedlings
A high-quality planting material should have 3-5 skeletal roots, their length is 15-20 centimeters. In addition, sufficiently formed overgrowing fibrous roots should be present. Before buying, it is necessary to especially inspect the root system of the seedlings, they should not show signs of disease, rot, various kinds of damage.
In healthy specimens, the color of the shoots is saturated green; when cut, the structure is moist.
A competently planted Versailles white currant is the key to successful rooting and a rich harvest in the future. The algorithm of actions regarding planting works includes:
- Formation of pits measuring 50x50x40 centimeters.
- Laying of a drainage cushion made of expanded clay, fine gravel.
- Falling asleep with a mound of fertile soil.
- Placing a seedling and spreading its roots on different sides.
- Covering the roots with soil and compaction to avoid voids in the pit.
- Watering the bush with 1-2 buckets of water.
- Mulching the soil with peat, the layer thickness should be 5-6 centimeters.
- Shortening the seedling by 5 healthy buds.
If several seedlings are planted, then it is recommended to maintain a distance between plantings of 1 meter, and the interval between rows should be 1.5 meters. Do not deepen the root collar by more than 10 centimeters.
Proper crop care
It is not so difficult to care for the Versailles white currant, the main thing is to timely carry out irrigation measures, feeding procedures, removing weeds and pruning.
Watering and feeding
Irrigate the bushes of the Versailles white currant should be in moderation, avoiding waterlogging. It is enough to irrigate 3 times every 7 days (morning or evening). For one planting, you need to spend 10 liters of water twice a day. Plants especially need irrigation at the stage of berry ripening.
It is necessary to introduce fertilizing compositions in the third year after planting, the amount of useful components laid down during planting is sufficient for the first two years. In the spring, it is recommended to add urea (50 grams) under the root, and after harvesting - chicken droppings, where 10 liters of water are used per 1 liter of raw materials in combination with potassium sulfate (15-20 grams) and superphosphate (40-50 grams).
Rejuvenating and shaping pruning
It is necessary to cut the bushes of the currant of the white Versailles:
- In the spring, performing a sanitary, rejuvenating and shaping procedure.
- In the summer, where infected twigs and unnecessary annuals are to be removed.
- In autumn, where incapacitated branches are cut, and the number of shoots of different ages is regulated.
Each year, you need to leave 4-5 annual shoots to form a strong and abundantly fruiting bush..
Garden bed care: mulching and loosening
Loosening the soil under the currant bushes of the white Versailles does not cost more than 6-8 centimeters deep. This technique is necessary to exclude oxygen starvation of the roots. To preserve moisture, the soil is mulched with humus, peat, rotted sawdust.
Preventive treatment for insects and diseases
To protect Versailles white currant bushes from ailments and parasites, it is recommended to use a working solution based on Bordeaux mixture, copper sulfate, nitrafen. Dilute the drugs in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Preparing the bush for frost
Before wintering, the plant must be cut off after the foliage has been dropped, all incompetent branches must be removed, the rest must be shortened by a third. Mulch the soil under the bushes with humus or compost, the layer thickness should be 10-12 centimeters. But first you need to loosen the soil, fertilize and water. For reliability, currants can be tied in a bunch and covered with agrofibre.
Reviews of experienced gardeners about the variety
Marina, 45 years old
Acquired saplings of Versailles white currant in the nursery. For the third year now I have been receiving stable and abundant harvests. Care for the variety is minimal, which is very pleasing.
Sergey, 56 years old
I planted the white currant bushes of Versailles in my garden, I can't help but rejoice. They endure winter quite well, I cover them with agrofibre. Taste qualities completely suit me.
Julia, 39 years old
Enriched the collection of currants with a white variety of Versailles. In general, everything suits me, the care is standard, the harvest is rich.