I talked about the mysterious entity that was eating our raised bed redcurrant bush in this post. Turns out that it’s now moved on to the bush that’s growing in the dustbin.
Thanks to a fellow gardener in a forum that I’m on, I’m reasonably confident that the “entity” is the gooseberry sawfly, which also likes redcurrants. There are several options from here on:
1. Pull out the redcurrant bushes and grow something else.
2. In late March/early April when the leaves come out, start checking the leaves for signs of larvae and squish any offenders. (Apparently they owverwinter in the soil underneath the bushes.) According to the Royal Horticultural Society, there are several ways of dealing with sawfly, including organic pesticides (e.g. pyrethrum), and nematodes. I’ve also heard that neem oil is a natural alternative to conventional pesticides.
So, looks as though I will either be ripping out the redcurrants altogether, or pruning them back come late Feb/early March, and going on sawfly watch in April. Fun stuff.