Site Selection and Soil Preparation

Unlike most other fruit crops, currants and gooseberries tolerate partial shade and prefer a cool, moist growing area. Northern slopes with protection from direct sun are ideal. Planting along the side of a building or shady arbor is suitable as well. Avoid sites with poor air circulation, which increases the incidence of powdery mildew. Sloping ground alleviates this condition.

Also avoid light-textured, sandy soils. Rich, well-drained soils that have a high moisture-holding capacity are best. Incorporate organic matter (compost, peat, or manure) to improve the soil, particularly if it is somewhat sandy. The ideal soil pH is about 6.5.

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