How to Grow Gooseberries

How to Grow Gooseberries

Gooseberries are grown in the form of a bush with a short leg like the red currant. They are one of the earliest fruits to ripen, coming into harvest in early June.

Two-year-old bushes should be planted in the autumn or early winter, 5 to 6ft. apart, in well-drained soil which has been manured beforehand. After planting cut all the shoots back, removing all but four or five strong shoots, and cutting away about three-quarters of each of these. This will encourage the bush to develop strong new shoots. In spring, or earlier in February, each year mulch heavily with organic matter and give a light dressing of potash.

How-to-Grow-Gooseberries Pruning is done in autumn and need only be fairly light. Cut out shoots growing into the centre of the bush as well as those which are crowded, crossing or diseased. The aim is to have an open-centred bush to which light and air have free. Access and to facilitate fruit picking. Just tip the rest of the leaders. Leave most of the side shoots at full length, say about three-quarters, and cut the rest bath to one bud from the base. Some varieties have a drooping habit and this can be corrected by cutting back to an upward pointing bud at the apex of the curve of the drooping shoots.

 

Propagation

Increase by hardwood cuttings of one-year-old wood prepared in early October. These should be about 9in. long and be inserted to two-thirds their length in light soil. Rub off the lower buds on the cuttings leaving four or five at the top to provide each with a ‘leg’ of about 6in. Gooseberries can also be increased by layering in summer.

 

Varieties

There are dessert and culinary varieties, and the fruits of dessert varieties can be thinned in late May and early June, using the thinnings for cooking and leaving the remainder to increase in size and ripen. They include Careless, culinary, mid-season (very liable to suffer from potash deficiency). Keepsake, dessert or culinary, early. Golden Drop, dessert, mid-season (very suitable for the small garden). Lancashire Lad, culinary, mid-season (not one of the best varieties but makes good jam). Leveller, dessert or culinary, mid-season (sulpher shy). Whinham’s Industry, dessert or culinary, mid-season. Lancer, dessert or culinary (very good flavour).

01. December 2010 by admin
Categories: Fruit Gardening, Gardening Ideas | Tags: | Comments Off on How to Grow Gooseberries

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