gooseberry 'Xenia' (PBR)
- 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 June)
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Originally from Switzerland, Xenia is one of the best gooseberry introductions to the UK in the past few years. The bushes are upright, strong, with some mildew resistance and almost spine-free stems, making harvesting much easier. The early to mid season harvest will yield masses of large (up to 14g) highly attractive, deep red, dessert quality fruits, which are very sweet when ripe in late June.
- 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. In the first year, prune shoots back by half to three-quarters to an outward-facing bud in winter. After that prune out weak and older branches only.