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Currant, ‘Red Lake’

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Currant, ‘Red Lake’ is the finest red currant with large, deep red berries. It is very strong, vigorous, productive and tasty. It is also the most widely grown red currant with an extended fruiting season! This is a popular high-yield variety on a shrub, that forms a decorative hedge even when not in fruit. ‘Red Lake’ has a long ripening season beginning in late spring and continuing into the summer months. Some of the many uses of the fruit are jam, jelly, syrup, wine, and pastry. The red berries also attract many kinds of birds. The Red Lake berries are packed with an intense flavor jelly makers love. The cold hardiest of quality currants, ‘Red Lake’ often bears full-bodied fruit the first year after planting. Yields are reliably large; self-pollinating. Used in fruit or vegetable gardens. This plant can also make an attractive ornamental hedge in the landscape.

After planting, prune back leaving only 1 or 2 buds above the ground on each existing stem. A well-maintained planting can produce bountiful harvests for many years. It is best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers cool summer climates. Some part afternoon shade is appreciated in hot summer climates. Best sited in locations protected from strong winter winds and frost pockets. Appreciates a good organic mulch for the root zone. Water regularly as needed to keep soils uniformly moist. Avoid overhead watering, however. Plants are self-fertile. Space 3′ apart. Prune as needed during the dormant season. It is generally recommended that stems older than 3 years on red currants be removed. May take 4-5 years for plants to become well-established and reach full fruit-bearing potential.

Plant Details +

Botanical Currant, Ribes rubrum 'Red Lake'
Size 1 YR #1
Height 3-5'
Spacing 3-5'
Hardiness Zones 3-7
Exposure Full sun to partial shade
Foliage Green
Fruit Bright red
Harvest Mid Summer-July

Planting/Care Instructions +

Planting Instructions: May be planted in any well-drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the root meets the stem) is about 3 inches below the soil surface. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly.

Pests or Diseases: No serious insect or disease problems. In wet, humid conditions, anthracnose, powdery mildew and fungal leaf spot can be troublesome. Currant aphid, scale, currant bud mite and currant fruit fly are potential insect pests in some areas. Although much less so than with black currants (Ribes nigrum), red currants can be an alternate host for white pine blister rust, a usually fatal disease for white pines. Fourteen (14) states currently maintain various types of bans on Ribes species plants, the most restrictive being the total ban on all Ribes plants in North Carolina. Notwithstanding state and local legislation, currants should not be planted in any area where the disease is prevalent (particularly the East and Northwest). In areas where the disease is not prevalent, it is still best to avoid planting currants in locations where white pines are growing unless rust-immune cultivars are used.