Gardeners to get access to special blackcurrants

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Britain's gardeners could soon have access to a new strain of blackcurrant plants that do not require the same conditions as their traditional cousins.

Only available to commercial growers at present, varieties such as Ben Klibrick and Ben Vane are more reliable than most blackcurrants when it comes to producing a summer crop, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) revealed.

A recent GlaxoSmithKline-sponsored study by Scottish Crops Research Institute found that these fruits need less of a cold snap during winter in order to flourish in the summer months.

Blackcurrants normally need a sustained period of cold weather in order to bring on their warm-weather growth.

A variation is currently in development for the general public and could soon be made available, boosting UK garden owners' hopes of a bumper crop.

After such a harsh winter, East Malling Research head of science Chris Atkinson explained that it would be interesting to find out how prolonged periods of cold weather affect the fruit.

Meanwhile, garden enthusiasts have been trading single bulbs on eBay for three-figure sums, the RHS revealed.   - 25 February 2010
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Gardeners to get access to special blackcurrants

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