Blackcurrant Rita - characteristics of the variety
Modern gardening can please its adherents with an abundance of productive varieties of cultivated plants, among which currants occupy a special place. This shrub is unpretentious and quite productive, but not every of the existing varieties can suit the gardener. The article provides a detailed description of the currants of the Rita variety, and also considers all the secrets of successful cultivation of this plant.
Description of Rita blackcurrant variety
This fruit plant is a vigorous, but compact bush with a dense crown structure. It consists of direct shoots without pubescence - in the phase of active growth they differ in a light green hue. Mature lignified shoots are brown. The buds on the shoots are small, egg-shaped, bright raspberry brown in color, are located singly.
The leaves of the shrub are small or medium in size, five-lobed structure, dark green in color, with a glossy sheen. The surface of the leaves is wrinkled, dense, pubescence is absent. Each of the leaf blades is wide, pointed at the end, the lateral blades are directed to the sides.
The leaf blade at the edge has small and short teeth, with a pointed tip. During the flowering period, the shrub is covered with large goblet flowers of a light pink hue. Sepals bent, slightly closed. The brushes of the flowers are of medium length, fairly dense, with a thick hanging axis.
The described hybrid relates to plants of modern selection. It was bred in the early 90s of the XX century thanks to scientists from the Siberian Research Institute of Horticulture. It took the breeders only a few years to obtain sustainable traits of a new variety, which made it possible in 2001 to successfully include shrubs in the State Register. Today, this currant is recommended for cultivation in the conditions of the West Siberian and Volga-Vyatka regions of Russia, as well as in similar climatic zones of other countries.
Did you know? In Russia, currants were first cultivated in the XI century on the territory of monastery gardens. That is why, even from antiquity, this plant is called the “monastery berry”.
Appearance, characteristics of berries, ripening time, yield
Variety Rita is a medium-ripening plant. The ripening of the crop occurs unevenly over a period of 20–30 days; therefore, berries are harvested throughout July, until the beginning of August. The berry of the variety is distinguished by a saturated black color, the surface of its peel is matte. The fruit pulp is moderately juicy, with a rich sweet and sour taste, medium-density peel. The shape of the berry is characteristic of the culture - they are often of the correct spherical shape, with a thin stalk of light green color.
Harvest is characterized by increased taste characteristics: the berries have a rich sweet and sour taste and aroma, which allows it to be successfully used for almost any culinary processing. The fruits are characterized by a rather large size - the average weight of the berry is in the range of 1.8–4.5 g. This allows the variety to have an average yield of about 12 t / ha, with a maximum of 15–16 t / ha.
When evaluating the quality of a variety, it is also important to look at the chemical composition of the crop. Currant berries are one of the leaders among fruit crops in terms of vitamin A, group B, C, E, H, PP and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, selenium , chrome, zinc.
Nutrition value of blackcurrant berries:
|Component||Amount of 100 g|
|Alimentary fiber||5 g|
|Calorie content||44 kcal|
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
- The main positive features of Rita currant:
- excellent taste characteristics of berries;
- good resistance to powdery mildew, anthracnose, septoria and aphids;
- high cold resistance and drought tolerance;
- increased crop mobility.
- There were no serious flaws in the variety. The insignificant minuses of this currant can be called:
- lack of resistance to larvae and adult kidney mites;
- uneven ripening of berries.
In most cases, currants are unpretentious fruit crops, so growing a bush does not require serious efforts from a gardener. However, in order to get really high-quality crops, it is necessary to observe the specific technology of its cultivation: it provides not only special care for the seedlings, but also the correct planting procedure.
Seat selection and landing
Currant is an over-demanding crop for lighting and humidity on the site, so the success of growing shrubs often depends on these parameters. The plant needs an abundance of light, so they plant it only in open areas, no closer than 3 meters from all sorts of tree-like species and garden buildings.
However, currants do not tolerate drafts - in order to avoid them, bushes are grown near the garden fence on the most illuminated side of the plot, or around the perimeter of the plants they are surrounded by a protective fence.
Important! Currant is not demanding on the soil, but it grows and bears fruit most actively only on well-fertilized loamy soils.
In most cases, standard measures for the care of the shrub is quite enough to provide him with the most comfortable conditions. In this case, special attention should be paid to timely watering and top dressing.
Rita plantations are watered throughout the growing season about 1 time per week, in conditions of prolonged drought this is done 2-3 times a week. Watering is carried out in the early morning or evening, using clean and settled water for this purpose at a rate of 5-12 l / bush.
Important! Before planting, the site must be fertilized well. — 5 kg of humus or rotted manure, as well as 100 g of superphosphate, should be added per 1 m² of soil.
Fertilizers are made to Rita currants only from 2 years after planting, since in the first year it is not recommended to load the plant with excessively saturated substances. Then the plant needs to create a comprehensive and systematic introduction of additional nutrients. Every year, in early spring, each bush is given about 25-30 g of ammonium nitrate. Once every 2 years before flowering, the soil is fertilized with phosphorus and potassium: for this, about 150 g of superphosphate and 50 g of potassium nitrate are used on 1 m².
Pest and Disease Control
Rita can be called one of the most resistant to all kinds of pests and specific infections. However, often the bushes are affected by rust and terry.. You can cope with rust by spraying the bush twice with Bordeaux fluid. Do this procedure with an interval of 14 days. Terry is not amenable to treatment, so the bushes affected by it must be dug up and disposed of. You can prevent the disease by combating its carrier - the aphid.
The most common pests of currant are presented in the table:
|Title||The drug to eliminate|
|Spider mite||Tobacco or onion infusion. 1 part of tobacco or husk is insisted in 10 parts of water for about a day, then the solution is filtered and 10 g of crushed laundry soap are added to 10 liters|
|Aphid, kidney tick||Karbofos|
Trimming and shaping a bush
Proper pruning and bush formation are one of the main guarantees of high yield of currant, and the Rita variety is no exception in this regard. Berries develop as appendages of young and actively growing shoots, therefore, to ensure this, annual pruning is required.Fig. 1. Currant pruning: a - annual seedling; b - a biennial bush; c, d - shortening of shoots. Fig. 2. Currant bush before anti-aging pruning (a), after it (b) and pruning of a neglected bush (c).
For the first time, the procedure is carried out the next year after planting, in early spring: all skeletal branches are shortened by a third, and the crown is thinned out, leaving no more than 3-4 shoots. In the future, thinning of the crown is carried out with a gradual increase in the number of main shoots. Thus, by 5-6 year, about 15–20 branches should appear on the bush.After about 10 years, currants need to be rejuvenated. To do this, in the spring, the bush must be completely cut off, leaving only a basal rosette. Approximately 2 years after the procedure, the renewed currant will begin to bear fruit actively. From this moment, the yield of the shrub can remain for about 5 years, after which it is recommended to uproot the old bushes and plant new ones.
Preparing for the winter
In order to ensure a long and safe wintering for currants, plants must be prepared. About 1-2 weeks before this, the site is cleaned of any pollutants, including weeds, and then carefully plowed to a depth of at least 30 cm. After this, the beds need to be well watered.
Shelter of the bushes begins with mulching: for this, the trunk circle is covered with a layer of peat or humus with a thickness of at least 15 cm. After that, if possible, you need to cover the branches of the bush. For this purpose, spunbond, straw or any alternative material characterized by increased vapor permeability is used.
Harvesting and transportation of the crop, shelf life of berries
Harvesting the currants in question is carried out in several stages, starting from the first half of June and ending in early August. Berries are picked manually in a small plastic or metal dish. After this, the fruits are poured into general containers - wooden or plastic boxes are best suited for this.
Berries of Rita currant are distinguished by good keeping quality, therefore they are able to be stored for 2 weeks after harvest. However, for this, the fruit should provide specific conditions. To do this, they are moved to a refrigerator, basement or cellar, where it is possible to achieve a moisture content of not more than 80% and a temperature regime within +5 ... + 15 ° С. DFor longer storage, the berries are frozen at a temperature of –20 ° ...– 25 ° C, which allows them to keep fresh from 6 to 10–12 months after harvest.
Did you know? The leader country for growing currants is Russia. About 500 thousand tons of berries are harvested here annually, which makes up approximately 50% of the global volumes.
The Rita variety is an excellent option for home and industrial gardening: judging by the reviews, the plant gives good yields, characterized by excellent taste characteristics and keeping quality. However, when growing a bush, it requires constant attention, since even a short drought and a deficiency of nutrients in the soil will not allow to collect record crops.