Blessed with rich, sweet and juicy flavor, gorgeous gooseberries are a welcome addition to any garden. Although easy to grow, these self-fertile plant needs a bit of care and attention to offer you bumper crops of tasty fruit.
These are not fussy when it comes to the type of soil and respond with bigger, better gooseberries when little extra attention is given.
If you are planning to grow this luscious fruit-bearing bush in your garden, go through the guide below to do it in the right way.
Preparing The Soil
A well-ventilated site with loose soil and adequate moisture are ideal for planting gooseberries. Loosen the soil to a depth equal to the height of the mass of roots under the stem using a shovel.
The next step is to create a nutrient-rich plot by adding fertilizer to the well-drained soil. Add organic matter such as compost and fertilizer to the soil to make it more productive.
Then dig a hole that is deeper and wider than their root and keep a 1-inch margin in depth. Once done with planting, pack the soil gently around the roots. Make sure the plants have enough space in between to get adequate room and light to grow.
Gooseberries are easy-going and will thrive happily in most soils and can even bear partial shade.
There can be a shortage of water in the soil during dry and windy conditions. Even if you feel the dampness in the soil, the roots of the plant may be dry. A daily routine of watering is crucial to help the plant receive enough moisture to produce the fruit.
Application of fertilizers containing potassium and a bit of nitrogen can optimize the growth of the plant. But don’t use excessive amounts of nitrogen as it can promote disease like mildew.
Let the gooseberry stem to grow for 4-5 years, then prune the oldest stems to make space for new shoots. Snap off the branches leaving 4-6 buds above ground to persuade the initial growth of new stems, or canes. Early spring or late winter is the ideal time to prune your plant.
Look for the symptoms of insect and disease
Choose good planting soil, provide adequate amounts of water, plenty of light, and remove dead leaves and branches timely to keep your plant healthy and free from insect infestations and diseases. Aphids and Spider mites are commonly seen in summer so make sure to spray immediately after harvesting.
Scatter organic mulch
Once you are done with planting the clipping, scatter 2-4 inches of organic mulch to cool the soil, conserve water, and suppress the weeds. It can be in any form like wood chips, pine needles, or compost. Powdery mildew can be seen in such plants during the hotter month.
Cover the bush with netting
Growing gooseberries can invite the birds to dine. So it is better to cover the bush with netting to protect your fruits form the birds.