This article aims to describe the process in detail with the best chance of success. I didn't find last summer very good for gooseberries, anyway. You could try relocating them if they aren't too big. Prune the branches out to ground level in the early spring. Wood that’s up to three years old tends to be the most productive, so you ideally want a mix of stems that are one, two and three years old. An open structure will allow sunlight and air to reach the interior of the plant and ripen berries. This will let in plenty of light while allowing for good air circulation to discourage disease. I've had equal success sticking the cutting into a large tub which housed the 'mother' of my cuttings. Keep in mind that these bushes produce fruit on small spurs on older wood and also, more so with gooseberries, at the base of last year’s side-shoots. The fruit tastes a lot like black currents and is delicious fresh, frozen or made into pies and jam. ", "I have a really good crop this year, but how should I prune them so my arms don’t get lacerated when I pick them. This part is harder as you’re removing healthy wood. Add your own thoughts on the subject of this article: ", "Hi Kath. How to prune Gooseberries. Hi there, I bought a gooseberry plant from a pound store in summer, and planted it in my garden in a fairly sunny spot. Pruning gooseberries A gooseberry bush becomes tangled and unhealthy without pruning. The cape gooseberry goes by many names, ground cherry and goldenberry being the most common. Before pruning gooseberries, wear some thick leather gloves and sterilize your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol. Planting a few gooseberry bushes is usually more than enough for an adequate supply. Regards, thanks for your help :)", "Hi Debra. Peta , in SW France Pruning Gooseberry Bushes . Avoid feeding the plants with too much nitrogen because this can enc… ", "We have an established red currant bush that gave us tons of fruit two summers ago. Watch out for birds, which may be stealing the fruit - throw nets over your bushes if necessary. The berries are not as plentiful any more, especially the beautiful black currants. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Container-grown gooseberries often struggle in dry conditions, so carefully monitor their watering. How to trim red currant bushes. An open structure will allow sunlight and air to reach the interior of the plant and ripen berries. Gooseberries bear fruit on 2- to 3-year-old branches. These resulting crosses are smaller and more resistant to mildew than their European counterparts. Pruning back the youngest, current season’s growth limits the size of plants and encourages more productive sideshoots to form. Pruning for younger plants is generally slightly different and is more for shape. Aim to create a well-branched, upright bush with fruiting spurs along the main stems. Click the picture to enlarge it. This and their inherent hardiness makes them easy to grow and ideal for beginners. During the winter, prune all the leading stems back by a half of their new growth. Cut back the new growth on leaders by half. Now look at … I read / watch videos and then lose my nerve when faced with the actual plant. Prune the branches out to ground level in the early spring. There are two types of gooseberries: the European gooseberry and the American gooseberry. I want to create some standard gooseberry plants hopefully starting with some cuttings I started a couple of months ago. For blackcurrants, begin by removing as much of the old growth as possible, retaining just the younger shoots. Dig them up with as much of the surrounding soil as possible - this way you'll ensure the least possible disturbance to the roots. Good luck! I'm now at 15.5 cups, all in the freezer, waiting for some small batch processing. Pruning Gooseberry Plants. Pruning has not given the result we hoped for. Prune back all but 5 branches during the first year. Aim to create a well-branched, upright bush with fruiting spurs along the main stems. 3 years and older gooseberry bushes require minimum maintenance and pruning. Do I do what seems obvious and let the cuttings develop but keep removing low shoots to make a bare stem? ", "Dear Helen, Most pruning is completed in winter when the bush is dormant. can these be saved - or are they ready for the bonfire? What I didn't realise until it was to late is that sawflies, which I have been plagued with, seem to prefer the stool shapes to the goblet on a leg. When you are considering planting gooseberry plants, you need to prepare the soil well before putting the plants in. Summer pruning isn't essential, but if possible prune sideshoots back to five leaves in June. The second rule is to cut out any dead, diseased, damaged or dying wood – usually easy to spot even though there are no leaves by the bark’s colour – and the third rule is to take out any stems that are growing inwards, towards the bush’s centre. Is there some way for readers to zoom in the those lovely pictures? White-currants (and pink-currants) are the same as redcurrants (R. rubrum). They were green and bush but no fruit – I did as advised and stuck with it Summer pruning of gooseberries. The danger to gooseberries is the blossoms being damaged by snow and frost once the bush has sprouted into action in spring, rather than being pruned when the bushes are dormant. This disease spreads by spending part of the year on currants or gooseberry plants, and part of the year on five-needle pine trees. Tip prune any that may have suffered cold damage. During the first two years, prune gooseberries to create an open, vase-like structure. LG_ gardens in SE London Posts: 2,845. ", "Hi, Bill I think it takes a certain, brutal mentality to be really good at pruning, but steel yourself to the task and keep reminding yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Cover with straw so just the tip is showing. Prune 4-year-old or older gooseberries in early spring, cutting out the weakest and oldest limbs, again, down to ground level. It also means access to all the lovely fruit is easier later in the season. Thank you", "Hi, Jane. Gooseberry canes normally produce a spine at each leaf node and bear roughly grape-sized berries singly or in groups of two or three. Pruning Gooseberry bushes need to be pruned annually between late autumn and late winter when gooseberries are dormant. Prune three inches below the infected area, making your cut just above a leaf node. Summer-bearing – Remove all weak canes to the ground in early spring. But do this only once the plants have shed their leaves and gone into winter dormancy. Plant them into their new planting holes and top up with a good mulch of well-rotted organic matter. Even a short one with a clear stem of 40cm (15in) or so makes a very attractive and unusual plant and picking the berries is so much easier. I'm an old biddy but hooked on my garden. By how much, would depend on how many places that side shoots might grow from around the stem, but by, say, one third. ", "Helen hi, yes, it would appear there's one leader and little else, looks like it's put all its efforts into growing tall rather than bushy, thank you for advice. Probably the easiest thing to do would be to snap an end of a branch to find out - if it is dead it will snap easily with a 'crack'. Thank you again", "I have some red currant bushes that I want to tackle for a neighbour, they have been growing un-pruned for maybe 4 or 5 years. The most productive portions of blueberry, gooseberry, and currant bushes are stems that are three years old or less. The gooseberry yields a large amount of fruit, in comparison to its size and is quite easy to grow and propagate. I get myself so tied up in knots trying to work out what I'm doing. In late winter, feed with a balanced granular fertiliser at 100g per sq m (3½oz per sq yd). Prune out the oldest stems to allow space for next summer’s new stems. If you want to do this, then cut the leader back to just above that lower shoot. Remember, gooseberry bushes are spiny and will become dense thickets without regular pruning. And I have a very young gooseberry bush that a neighbour had brought up from Nova Scotia -- I'd been lamenting that the only ones available are the sweet varieties and I was looking for the sour ones I grew up with. The best way to deal with this is by pruning the shoots and branches affected by it. Growing Gooseberries - Soil, Care, Pruning and Harvesting the Gooseberry Patch GROWING GOOSEBERRIES - Overview. Young plants require little pruning for the first two to three years. Remember, gooseberry bushes are spiny and will become dense thickets without regular pruning. Thank you so much . Always cut them right down to the base, which will encourage the bush to produce strong new fruiting stems from the bottom of the plant. Make sure you attract pollinating insects into the area near your bushes by planting lots of other insect-attracting flowers nearby. Q How do I prune gooseberries, white currants and red currants? You can use a fertilizer that contains chlorine. In this article I’ve assumed that you have mature bushes over two years old. Good pruning should also ensure a good branch structure and, hence, fruit quality and quantity.
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