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- Position: full sun, but some shading needed in very hot weather
- Soil: any well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Other features: large, pale green berries (late July)
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A vigorous, spreading bush with large, pale green berries which are good for both culinary and dessert use. It is one of the most popular gooseberries grown due to heavy yields and resistance to American gooseberry mildew. Gooseberries are easy to grow shrubs for any size garden and are usually the first bush fruit to be picked. Grow them as bushes, fans, espaliers, cordons or even standards.
- Garden care: Prepare the ground well before planting. Remove all weeds and dig in plenty of well-rotted manure in to the area. Once planted, apply a mulch of well-rotted manure every spring, as well as a nitrogen and potassium fertiliser. Make sure the plant is watered in dry weather and net the bushes to protect the fruit from birds.
Goosberries are usually grown as open-centred bushes that have a good branching structure on a short stem. They produce their fruit on wood that is 1 year old. Their pruning should be done in late winter or early spring - just as the buds are beginning to break. In areas where gooseberry mildew is prevalent, tip pruning in summer should also be carried out. In their first year, cut back all the shoots on newly planted bushes by up to three-quarters of their total height in winter. If they have already been cut back then just nip the stems back by an inch or so. This will encourage the formation of side shoots. In their second winter, choose 8 to 10 of these new stems to form the main framework and shorten them by up to a quarter. Then remove any remaining shoots that are growing into the centre of the bush or are crossing or rubbing against other branches. Finally cut back all the remaining shoots to within four buds from the main stems. In subsequent years, the plant can be trimmed in two ways. Establishing fruiting spurs is quite labour intensive, but will produce a small crop of larger fruits, while removing whole branches right back to their base will produce a bigger crop of smaller fruit. To form fruiting spurs, cut back all the shoots that have formed in the previous year to a bud approximately 8cm from the point where it joins the main stem. New branch leaders should also be cut back to within a few buds of the older wood. Alternatively, completely remove old, weak or crossing branches to open up the centre of the bush and then cut back any growth that is coming from below 10cm above ground level.
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Q:Gooseberry not produing fruits
I have a gooseberry bush that bears no fruits, and have been told that I need a male and a female, is that correct? Do you supply both? Thank you. WilhelmAsked on 17/3/2010 by Wilhelm Derner
A:Hello Wilhelm, These plants are self-fertile so they do not need a pollinating partner to produce fruit. The most likely reasons for your bushes not producing fruit will be one of the following. Not enough sun Lack of water Lack of nutrients Incorrect pruning No winter protection from birds Late frosts damaging the flowers I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 17/3/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Best time for planting Redcurrents and Gooseberries
Hi, I am interested in buying Redcurrent "Red Lake" and Gooseberry " Hinnomaki". When is the best time to plant them in the ground? Best Regards DarshanaAsked on 5/12/2009 by darshana gunatillake
A:Hello Darshana, The best time to plant these is in the autumn or the spring, but you can plant throughout winter as long as the ground is not frozen. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 8/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
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