How to Grow Gooseberries? Gooseberries are a tasty and easy-to-grow soft fruit with a variety of eating and cooking variants. They like to be in the sun and maybe trained against a wall to save space, making them excellent for tiny gardens. They can also be cultivated in pots.
Varieties to Grow Gooseberries
- ‘Careless’ AGM
- ‘Greenfinch’ AGM
- ‘Invicta’ AGM
- ‘Leveller’ AGM
- ‘Whinham’s Industry’ AGM
How to Grow Gooseberries?
Watering: Watering is rarely necessary, however in extremely dry seasons, water every 14 days. Container-grown gooseberries struggle in dry weather, so keep an eye on their watering.
Feeding: Feed a high-potassium general fertiliser, such as Vitax Q4, in early spring. Distribute 1.5 handfuls per square metre/yard around the base. Feeding too much nitrogen can promote sappy growth, which is susceptible to gooseberry mildew.
Mulching: Mulch the root zone with organic debris, such as garden compost or bark chips, to keep the soil moist.
Pruning and Training: To ensure a big crop of huge fruits and to keep plants in good shape, prune from the start.
Propagating: Gooseberries can be propagated by using 30cm (1ft) long hardwood cuttings. Prunings from young plants can be used. Because older plants may harbour illness, it is recommended not to propagate from them.
2. Plant to Grow Gooseberries
Gooseberries can be grown as bushes or trained into decorative or space-saving shapes. Upright cordons and fans grown against a support, such as a wall or a fence, are examples. Cordons, for example, can be planted closer together, allowing you to grow a variety of plants in a compact area.
They can also be grown as standards, with a bushy head on a tall stem and fashioned like a lollipop. These are typically purchased ready-trained, employing grafted or budded plants with a distinct ‘trunk’ of 1-1.2m (312-4ft) in height. Gooseberries produce a lot of fruit once they’re established, and trained kinds look great in any garden.
Birds adore gooseberries, so use fine-gauge netting to protect maturing fruits. Pick every other fruit in June, while it is still green and underripe, and use it to make jam, pies, tarts, and sauces. Leave the rest to swell into luscious, sweet berries in July and August. Pick completely developed berries with caution because they are delicate and prone to burst. Excess fruit can be frozen in plastic bags.
4. Pests and Disease
Gooseberry Mildew: This mildew produces a powdery grey and white fungus on the leaves and stems of plants. Mildew can also occur on fruit, creating ripening issues.
Remedy: From mid-spring on, thoroughly inspect plants, paying specific attention to the undersides of leaves and the centre of the bush. Hand-pick the larvae out.
Birds: Birds, particularly pigeons, can be a nuisance by consuming seedlings, buds, leaves, fruit, and vegetables.
Remedy: Cover the plants with netting or fleece to keep birds away. Scarecrows and bird-scaring mechanisms can help for a while, but covering plants with horticultural fleece or mesh is the most reliable means of protection.
Where to Plant?
Gooseberries may grow in a variety of soil conditions but prefer moist, well-drained soil. They thrive in full sun and produce sweeter fruits, but may tolerate mild shade. They can be grown in the ground or in big containers filled with soil-based compost.
How to Plant?
Plant bare-root gooseberries in late autumn to early spring, and container-grown plants any time of year, but avoid soggy, dry, or cold soil.
- Bushes should be spaced 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) apart.
- Cordons should be spaced 30-38cm (12-15in) apart.
Cordon plants require support, which should be installed prior to or during planting. This is typically a system of horizontal wires spaced 60cm (2ft) apart and attached to posts, a wall, or a fence. Insert a 1.7m (512ft) bamboo cane to support the main stem as well.
Also Read: How to Grow Jackfruit?