Q How do I prune gooseberries, white currants and red currants?
A These soft fruits are all pruned in the same way.
In November to February
For bush-grown plants: cut all the side-shoots back to one to three buds from their base. Shorten all the branches by a quarter, cutting to an outward-facing bud.
For cordon plants (grown as one stem): cut back all the side-shoots to one to three buds from their base. Cut back the main tip by a third if the plant is still young. Once the plant has reached its final height, cut back the tip to one to three buds from where you cut it the previous winter.
Why you prune this way: Fruit is formed on older wood rather than the current year's growth, so shortening last year's growth will keep the plant looking neat and encourage air circulation, without reducing fruiting.
Caption: Shortening side-shoots
In June to July
For bush plants: shorten all the new shoots back to five leaves from their base.
For cordon plants: cut all the young stems back to five leaves from their base.
Caption: Shorten all new shoots.