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02/06/2014 at 23:11

I bought two young gooseberry bushes today from Wilkinsons....2 for a fiver which I thought was good value but I may be totally wrong because its an area of gardening entirely alien to me.I think part of the reason I bought them (it wasn't planned) was due to childhood memories.My friend's grandparents had them and I remember munching on the lovely fruits...that was way back in the 70s.

Anyway I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice.They are about a foot high and look as though they need potting on,or would it be best to just plant them?That's another thing,finding space for them...

02/06/2014 at 23:27

Do you know what type they are Fishy? Some are spreader-outers and some are more vertical. They all need about a good square metre each.

02/06/2014 at 23:34

Definitely in the ground and put lots of compost in first.  They're not too fussy about sunshine, but the more they have the sooner the fruit will ripen and the sweeter they'll be.  Pick off any fruits that they have at the moment, water them and get them in the ground as soon as you can.   Then you'll want to know about pruning!

02/06/2014 at 23:43

If pot grown you can plant them out now. You won't get anything from them this year as gooseberries are at their prime now and heavy with developing fruit but next year you should get a crop. 

If space is a problem, pot them up but aim to plant out either October or March for a crop next year, you can plant out between these dates but the reality is the ground is often frozen.    

02/06/2014 at 23:49

The label just says 'Red Gooseberry'...plant in full sun or half shade.Height up to 1 metre...plant to harvest 2 years.

Any ideas Pansyface?

02/06/2014 at 23:49

Ah thanks guys 

02/06/2014 at 23:51

Loads and loads of red gooseberries to choose from. My favourite.

02/06/2014 at 23:53

Prunings easy pezzie if only growing gooseberry bushes, it's if you decide to start growing white, red and blackcurrants all at the same time it becomes more tricky...took me a couple of years to get my head around that one ...with no currants on a bush one year... 

02/06/2014 at 23:55

Sorry guys I'm listening...the wife keeps talking to me and putting me off  Yes I've got a lot to learn.They don't have any fruit on them,nice green foliage though cos I tried to pick the best.Actually there were a couple that looked about dead...

03/06/2014 at 09:11

Sounds like a good start.  I bought one from Lidl a few years back and it's now rampant in the only slightky sunny spot in my yard.  The sawfly larvae love it.

03/06/2014 at 15:44

Yes I've been reading about sawfly,public enemy number one for gooseberry bushes aren't they?

Thanks for all the advice guys,my one headache though is where to put them.I'm maxed out really with shrubs and thinking I may have to sacrifice a patch of lawn to accommodate them.It'll save on petrol for the lawnmower though 

03/06/2014 at 16:26

Gooseberries are far more use than grass.  Can't eat grass.  Only reason for having a lawn is to provide material for the compost heap.

03/06/2014 at 19:29

Right they're in. One I've planted near an existing Lilac,though I gave the Lilac a good prune and dug through some roots.The gooseberry bush will get a good dose of sunshine and the other I've planted not far from my Red Robin.In the end I didn't have to dig up much lawn and they've both got room to spread   So next year then guys for my first fruit?

03/06/2014 at 20:20

Depends on their size and how well they grow.  Some say you shouldn't let them fruit in their first year anyway.

And, I believe you're supposed to cut them back horribly after planting, although I never have.  What they are supposed to have is a 'leg' of about 6" above the ground with no branches on, so it may be wise to remove buds in that area.  Having said that, I've seen plenty of productive bushes without that, so I dunno.  Someone will.

03/06/2014 at 20:31

There are some good videos on the internet showing how to prune gooseberries

and this site has some clear diagrams 

03/06/2014 at 20:55

Mine were bought with legs but over the years their legs have been buried in layers of leafmould and compost. So now they are legless. And a real pain to pick the gooseberries it is. Unless you happen to be about two foot tall. Or legless yourself.

03/06/2014 at 21:29

I have a bush at home trained as an espalier, and the leader has now reached about 5' and stopped.  My leg is about 8" and it hasn't(so far) been buried.  The foliage seems to keep the local sawfly population well fed.

03/06/2014 at 21:49

Thanks for that info good people,its much appreciated.Like I say I'm a complete newbie to fruit growing of any kind,well apart from tomatoes but I'm not very experienced even with those.

01/08/2014 at 22:47

OK two months on from planting and both bushes have about doubled in size from roughly 1ft to 2. Do I just leave them to grow until autumn? When do I prune them? Thanks in advance 

01/08/2014 at 23:55

Leave the leaders (the long main shoots) unpruned for now. Cut the small side shoots back to five leaves in July (you can still do it now).

In winter, when the plants are dormant, cut the leaders (long main shoots) back - cut off half of what they grew this year. When choosing where to cut, pick a bud that is pointing upwards and outwards.  The colour of the stem will help you decide what is this year and what is older. Then cut the side shoots back for a second time. Cut these back to three leaves or so, again pick a bud that is pointing upwards and outwards.

That is all you have to do each year - unless of course any branches begin to cross over the centre of the plant and make it crowded. Cut those right back to discourage them.

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