Gooseberry bushes

by Jane Moore

I'm convinced it wasn't brambles surrounding the castle where Sleeping Beauty slept, but gooseberry bushes.

Gooseberry bushLast summer was not a great one for many of my crops but it was simply fantastic for all of our fruit bushes. Our little shrubs of black, red and white currants fruited their socks off and it was all we could do to keep up with them.

We planted the bushes when we first took on the allotment three years ago so they're only really getting productive now. But the amount of fruit they produced last season took us well and truly by surprise - I still have a freezer drawer full of mixed fruit summer puddings!

I guess it will come as no surprise to hear that we're planning a few additions to our fruit collection. Lizzy and Paul have both requested gooseberry bushes, but until now, I have resisted. Gooseberries are undoubtedly the most painful, hateful berries to harvest. They are so darned prickly that I'm convinced it wasn't brambles surrounding the castle where Sleeping Beauty slept, but gooseberry bushes.

But after the successes of my currants last summer I have relented, and three gooseberry bushes will be planted on the plot this year. I've chosen a variety called 'Captivator', which has big, juicy red berries rather than the usual green. But the real reason I've chosen this one is because it's thornless!

Discuss this blog post

Talkback: Gooseberry bushes
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2007 at 00:00

I love gooseberries!!I bought two gooseberry bushes earlier this year and put them in pots. One is supposed to have red fruits the other green. They have grown and they look lovely and healthy but there are no signs of fruit....HELP!What should I do ditch them and start again or hope they fruit next year??

Gardeners' World Web User 15/01/2008 at 08:29

I have been given a pot grown Gooseberry of about 4ft I do not know the variety, It looks as if it needs attention so pruning is a decision, Would you wait and see or prune, if the latter which is the right way. thank you for any help...

Gardeners' World Web User 15/01/2008 at 10:29

I grow gooseberries as standards with an open framework to increase air flow but it also enables me to pick from underneath and reduce damaging my hands. I use prunings to protect bare soil from cats. I usually puree the fruit as my family are fussy about pips and the puree is great mixed with most other fruits.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/01/2008 at 08:21

We grow Invicta which has thorns but my husband loves the flavour of the fruit as he usually eats them raw. We have a system to pick the fruit. I usually get my husband to pull back the branches of the plant while I pick the fruit, at least then I have a chance to get the fruit to the freezer/pot before he eats them all.

Gardeners' World Web User 17/01/2008 at 19:15

I love green gooseberry jam, the berries picked when the fruit is fully grown but not fully ripe. We have moved house and I want to plant two or three bushes here but I never knew the name of the variety in my last garden. Can anyone please tell me best variety to use? We live in the north east, near the sea and have heavy clay soil

See more comments...