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I do not know the variety of Gooseberry that we have. However loaded in fruit for the first time this year. Bush estimated two to three years old.

When do I pick the fruit? The berries are still quite hard but large. Could it be that they do not get any softer as this is the variety. 

The variety does make a difference but I pick them green and hard....most of us love em that way.  Picking them now. If you like sharp tasting goosegogs pick now but leave some to see,if,you,prefer them bit riper


Gooseberries freeze very well Jennie.


Have you thinned the fruit?  If not now is the time to do it - pick every other gooseberry, reducing the crop by half.  These are not ripe, but are fine for cooking - jam, pies etc.  The remaining gooseberries will ripen in July and will be sweeter and softer (fingers crossed).  Give the bushes a good watering to enable the fruit to swell.  Keep the blackbirds away and keep your fingers crossed for sunshine 

The addition of elderflower to a gooseberry dish (either flowers or cordial) is delicious.  There are lots of recipes online.



The best wine I ever made was gooseberry.  It tasted exactly like a normal white wine with no hint of the taste of gooseberries.  Two gallons from one (very large) bush!


Grew up with parents making gooseberry, parsnip, rhubarb,etc wine.  They all tasted the same, all produced loud bangs in the toolshed as they regularly exploded, and all were very very strong.  

As Dovefromabove say's you can pick half now and have a further picking in July which will be better tasting.

I started picking gooseberries a couple of weeks ago, with the intension of picking half and picked sufficient for a couple of pies. Some of the one's which didn't look large enough to pick, are now, and will probably pick more this week, my plan is to eat fresh and not have a glut come July.  

I really like the sound of gooseberry wine BobThe Gardner & Verdun.  Do you have the recipe?  I still have gooseberries in the freezer from last year, so wouldn't mind having a go at that.   Cheers!

I have an invicta gooseberry bush on the allotment and was wondering whether to pick now as fruits hard but looking ready , can I make wine with these and pick some now ? 

What do gooseberries taste like? I grow them, but have never tried them

Invicta is a cooking variety so in my experience the fruits don't soften much - you could pick some now and leave some to get a bit riper. 


rebecca, how can you grow something but never try it!!??  Elderflowers have great affinity with gooseberries.  There are many recipes for using gooseberries, sweet and one or two savoury.  

Get out there today and pick some.  Cook something with them.  And taste them.

I know, it was always something the "grown ups" ate, so i never tried it. The mother in law usually has them now. I just grow things because i love growing things! I do love elder flowers and berries though. I will try some gooseberries when they are softer as i tend to like sweet things. Ive learnt a lot today thanks for posting Jennie


Green Magpie

I make gooseberry wine and blend it with elderflower wine. The gooseberry on its own is bit acidic, but it blends beautifully with the elderflower and makes a lovely wine.

What's the best fertilizer to use on gooseberry?

That sounds like a question for Dove! I just use horse manure on mine each year, i did have some carbon gold soil improver last year which seems good. They also occassionally get a foilar feed of sm3 or liquid seaweed, but thats usually by accident!

So many people seem to have never tasted gooseberries. No idea why, when i was young i used to pick my granddads, and now grow my own. I've never understood why they shops never sell them either.. I assume it's because they are so easy to grow yourself that anyone who wants them just grows their own. 

I think as we had a big family when i was young, they were saved for the grown ups! Forgot im one of them now!
I have to admit i expected them to be sour, so just never bothered. Have promised to try them this year.
Very interested in all of this wine making talk tho!