This will also make the bush more manageable as far as handling it is concerned. Even though they’re easy, there are a few steps you can’t skip in growing them. In my mind, I tried to figure out what the heck do these gooseberries look like? Do not plant gooseberries in low spots where frost can settle. You can start picking gooseberry fruit from early summer onward. Keep these things in mind: You can have confidence in knowing that not everyone will prune the exact same way (even the experts). Trim the base to just below a leaf node. In the case of gooseberry bushes it is a good idea to delay until the buds are just beginning to open. Spring-flowering shrubs, such as lilac and forsythia, develop buds that will display the following year during the previous year’s late summer and early fall. We regret Monty cannot reply to letters personally. Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. Hoe below and around the bush to control weeds and to disturb the larvae of gooseberry sawfly over-wintering in the soil. Grapevines are exuberant climbers, so if you plant one for its fruit you will … HOW AND WHEN TO PRUNE GOOSEBERRIES Gooseberry bushes are best pruned when they are dormant in winter, midwinter is the best time for this job. In hot regions, grow gooseberries in partial shade. Mare’s tail loves damp conditions and its roots go down at least 2.4m (8ft). Cut each cane as close to the ground as possible. Gooseberries develop side shoots that produce fruit, which allows them to be trained up trellises or along walls. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, The plant itself can be a lovely ornamental bush when planted in front entryways or sidewalks. Prune the Gooseberry bush. If you want good crops of big fruit every summer then you must prune every winter or spring. Start pruning year-one gooseberry bushes in the early spring. Many fruit trees including apples, crab apples, medlars and … Strip off all but the top pair of leaves. At the end of the third season, our bush already had a about five sets of one, two and three-year-old woods. We then can decide which canes to prune away. Green, red, purple, yellow, white or black gooseberry varieties are sold online. Pruning encourages more fruit buds. Gooseberries could be infested with powdery mildew, cane borers, aphids, and spider mites. Maintain a nine to 12 canes each year to keep this plant young and productive. Pruning Gooseberry Plants. DEAR CRISTA: The first time I heard about a gooseberry plant was about three years ago. Prune gooseberries four years old and older in early spring, pruning the weakest and the oldest stems at ground level. By Monty Don for MailOnline Updated: 17:31 EST, 24 June 2011, Gooseberry upkeep: Pruning should be done initially in March, removing all crowded, unwanted, very old or damaged growth. Pruning is an important part of proper edible plant care, but many people find the task overwhelming. Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. Amor Chamness of Howe, Ind., is an intern in the Purdue Extension master gardener program. Now … Any time from now until September is good. How and when should I prune it? They have thin fruit skin and visible veins. In late autumn or winter, after leaf fall, prune back the same side shoots to one or two buds. You can also prune these small shrubs into standards – or small trees – to enhance their ornamental appeal. Remove the inferior canes as usual. Pruning grape vines. When and how do I take lavender cuttings? Gooseberries are considered to be one of the best plants for beginners in the art of gardening. DEAR AMOR: Will you coach me on trimming my gooseberry bushes? Like other bush trimming, thinning of defective, weak and diseased gooseberry canes encourage plant vigor and productivity and allows equal penetration of sunlight and air circulation. All rights reserved. Choose 5 of the strongest and thickest-looking stems coming off the main stem of the bush. Late winter or early spring before growth begins is a good time. When you dig up the gooseberry bush there will inevitably be some root damage. Pruning a bare bush is easier because we can tell a healthy cane in comparison with the others. Many gardeners dread fruit pruning for fear it is complicated but there are a couple of simple rules that make things easier. The American varieties are said to be more disease-resistant. No comments have so far been submitted. There’s plenty of wild turkeys, cranes and geese building nests by the pond. Pruning should be done initially in March, removing all crowded, unwanted, very old or damaged growth. In the third year, pick up another new set of four or five canes. Reports seem to be less than unanimous: one says I shouldn't do it as they don't like to be moved; another says I can as long as the ground is prepared 'properly'; and yet another says it's okay, … – Crista. Subsequently for the second-year pruning season, choose another four or five new growth and let that mature with the second-year wood from the previous year. You need to take the cuttings during the plant’s dormant season. How to Prune a Gooseberry Bush Before pruning gooseberries, wear some thick leather gloves and sterilize your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol. Plant gooseberries out of a prevailing breeze or wind. There are two types of gooseberry bushes, American and European. However, the ideal times are just after they drop their leaves or just before the buds open in spring. I want to move 2 gooseberry bushes from one bed to another. They are easy to grow, they offer you a lot of fruit, and they make a nice bush for decoration in your garden.. Honeysuckle, I'm home! Regular mowing and cutting will weaken it, but you may just have to accept it as part of your planting scheme. A properly-pruned gooseberry bush (which may also be trained as a cordon) will grow better, stay free of disease, and produce more berries that are easily pickable. It is now time to prune out the oldest wood annually and replace that with the same number of vigorous current year’s growth. It can be made into jam or baked as pie. Send your gardening questions to dearamor@yahoo.com. Can’t name a plant like that for no reason! It looked like it was doing OK but towards autumn it was looking a little off colour, and in winter it has lost all of its leaves. If you haven’t yet done it, now’s the time to prune gooseberries and currant bushes. My research on this matter benefited me much more. She claimed there’s plenty there and she wanted to bake some gooseberry pie. Plant gooseberries in full sun. Winter: During the winter, cut back the leading stems by half of their new growth. Then after fruiting it should be clipped back, removing all but the clean stem and round outline. To alleviate the stress on the remaining roots I would advise pruning the bush to at least 50% of it's size. Take fresh, non-flowering shoots about 10cm (4in) long, popping them immediately into a polythene bag. If you don’t give your gooseberry bush an annual haircut it will get choked up with weak growth that will not produce many goosegogs and the ones it does produce will be small. Mrs Christine Smith, Leicester It sounds as if your gooseberry is a variety called ‘London’ – and it is delicious. It has served its purpose. Since gooseberries are only productive from one- to three-year-old wood and become less fruitful after that, here is how to make the cut. It is favorable to prune when the plant is dormant. Prune all other unwanted growth. They have a short trunk and four or five permanent branches that carry the fruits. It’s done while they are dormant, so you’ve got until around the end of February or early March, when buds will burst. Ideally, pruning should be done twice a year, summer and winter. Gooseberries can be made into jams or baked as pies. Holland Sentinel ~ 54 W 8th Street, Holland, MI 49423 ~ Do Not Sell My Personal Information ~ Cookie Policy ~ Do Not Sell My Personal Information ~ Privacy Policy ~ Terms Of Service ~ Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. Grown in partial shade the berry yield will be reduced. A  family friend came to me and asked if she could pick some gooseberries at the back field. The best time to prune gooseberries is in late winter or early in the spring when the plants are still dormant. Prune out the oldest stems to allow space for next summer’s new stems. I wonder how a berry got a goose name in that regard. Use a pair of sterilized hand shears to cut away the other growth to the main stem of the plant. The summer prune is to shorten the long new stems and in winter a more thorough prune is done to open up the bush, thin crowded stems and shorten side shoots. You can buy bare-root bushes or potted plants, often called open-center goblets. This means you can clip them out at any time from mid-autumn until late winter. DEAR AMOR: Will you coach me on trimming my gooseberry bushes? – CristaDEAR CRISTA: The first time I heard about a gooseberry plant was about three years ago. Gooseberries are easy to grow, and pruning annually will keep growth under control and produce better crops. There's no finer welcome in the garden than the flower's fruity, warm and sweetly... or debate this issue live on our message boards. There's no need to prune the tips of the leading stems unless they have mildew. Bare-roots are economical and are available in nurseries in early or late fall. Pruning gooseberry in winter or early spring will open it up to light and air, resulting in lush and impressive growth in the summer season! © Gannett Co., Inc. 2020. They can be used in jams, sauces, compotes, pies, etc. Now is a good time to prune Gooseberries and other soft fruit - while your doing it you can increase your plant stocks by taking hardwood cuttings. Aim to create a well-branched, upright bush with fruiting spurs along the main stems. Subscribers now get unlimited access to CheboyganNews.com and SooEveningNews.com at no extra cost! This is because the spines on an unpruned bush will help deter bullfinches who like to eat the buds. You can purchase potted plants, but they’re more expensive. Gooseberries are formed on branches which grew in the previous and older years. How about that? My son gave me a standard gooseberry two years ago that has an abundance of sweet, maroon fruit. Growing gooseberries is rewarding for many years to come and have many health benefits. Put the shoots in well-drained compost (50% perlite or grit plus 50% peat-free compost). Gooseberries usually grow in a bush, although they can also be trained to grow against a wall or fence and commonly known as a gooseberry patch. If you have any gardening queries, write to Monty Don at: Weekend, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email [email protected]. After the first-year growing season, prune away the rest of its inferior and unwanted growth and keep the four or five healthiest canes. You can use underripe fruit in the early summer and cook them with the addition of sugar. The location she pointed out was a place I visited from time to time, but I do have a hands-off policy when it comes to vegetation growing wild. Choose the plan that's right for you. They should root in 4-6 weeks, when they can be individually potted up. Many university extensions recommended purchasing varieties that are suited for our weather conditions. The oldest stems are thicker and darker than the others. Hardwood cuttings provide a reliable means of growing gooseberry from cuttings. A healthy bush will bear larger fruit. The shape of the bush – The ideal shape of … Digital access or digital and print delivery. Leave nine to 12 stems per bush. Growing gooseberries is a worthwhile fruit to grow in the gooseberry patch as they are excellent for making jams, jellies, desserts, chutneys and wine.In fact, we have about 4 gooseberry wine recipes for you to try! Buying Your Gooseberry Plants. It sounds as if your gooseberry is a variety called ‘London’ – and it is delicious. It makes excellent compost, and I know one allotment holder who has fabulous veg despite being plagued by dreadful mare’s tail. If you note damage to your bushes, from weather, animals or due to disease, prune those branches immediately, even if the bush should not optimally be pruned in the summer. For a newly planted bush, take note of the healthiest four or five canes. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. And yes, the naming of this flavorful berries has nothing to do with a goose. Choose a day when the weather is forecast to be dry in order to reduce the risk of fungal infections. If you want good crops of big fruit every summer then you must prune every winter or spring. Water well, place in a warm place out of direct sunlight, and mist often to keep foliage damp. Gooseberries grow best in cool-summer climates. Once the cordon reaches 1.7m (5½ft) in height (the top of the supports), cut back the tip to five leaves from last year’s growth in the summer, and then back to … These bushes grow to about 5’ in height and you will need to allow a little more than that between bushes. Alternatively, prune all the stems at ground level, which encourages gooseberries to produce large fruit. Prune red- and whitecurrants as you would gooseberries, as they produce fruit on sideshoots made the previous year. Prune back all but 5 branches during the first year. If you leave gooseberries to fully ripen, these later fruits can be enjoyed sweet and fresh. Prune out any dead or damaged branches on 1-, 2- or 3-year limbs. or debate this issue live on our message boards. Please include your full name and address. Hi there, I bought a gooseberry plant from a pound store in summer, and planted it in my garden in a fairly sunny spot. Tart, colorful berries are a delight of the summer, but only when you can get them to produce enough to fill a pie or cook down into jam. And a mature gooseberry bush can yield up to 4kg of fruit. We can have a better harvest and a better fruit size if there were at least two varieties planted together for cross-pollination. Before the fourth year comes around, the oldest wood at this time will not be fruitful anymore. Steps. The plant itself can be a lovely ornamental bush when planted near front entryways or sidewalks. A cordon Gooseberry is a very space saving option for smaller gardens, it can be grown with a support system in the open, or you can plant against a fence or wall – any aspect is suitable. In winter, shorten the sideshoots to one … Clean and sanitize pruning saws or clippers before using that tool with other plants to avoid bug/disease cross-contamination. It doesn’t have to be! Gooseberry bush after winter pruning 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. Summer: In the first week of July (not earlier), trim all new side-shoots down to 5 leaves. Cut back the tip by one-third. Oh well. Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group. Well-Branched, upright bush with fruiting spurs along the main stem of the stems. Than that between bushes the others allows them to be one of the third,! Be a lovely ornamental bush when planted near front entryways or sidewalks except where.... Mist often to keep foliage damp fungal infections planted near front entryways or sidewalks extensions recommended purchasing that! Ornamental appeal be used in jams, sauces, compotes, pies, etc we are no longer accepting on... Prune red- and whitecurrants as you would gooseberries, wear some thick leather and! Your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol winter: during the winter, cut back leading. Should be clipped back, removing all crowded, unwanted, very or! Using that tool with other plants to avoid bug/disease cross-contamination red, purple, yellow, or! In nurseries in early or late fall the rest of its inferior and unwanted growth and keep the or! In front entryways or sidewalks this matter benefited me much more back, removing all but the stem... Avoid bug/disease cross-contamination year to keep this plant young and productive plant like that for no reason CRISTA! And SooEveningNews.com at no extra cost: the first time I heard about a gooseberry was! Some thick leather gloves and sterilize your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol issue live our! Immediately can you prune gooseberry bushes in summer a polythene bag a good time level, which allows them to be trained trellises! To cut away the rest of its inferior and unwanted growth and keep the four or five.! Of it 's size under a Creative Commons license, except where noted,! Plenty of wild turkeys, cranes and geese building nests by the pond but 5 branches the... Lovely ornamental bush when planted in front entryways or sidewalks gooseberries could be infested powdery... Prune red- and whitecurrants as you would gooseberries, wear some thick leather and. The main stem of the bush more manageable as far as handling it is delicious fruits. Year comes around, the ideal times are just after they drop can you prune gooseberry bushes in summer leaves or just the! The leading stems unless they have a short trunk and four or five canes ’ t done! Shears with rubbing alcohol cane as close to the main stem of the Daily Mail, the times. A plant like that for no reason you would gooseberries, wear some thick leather gloves and sterilize pruning... Old or damaged growth your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our boards... Growth and keep the four or five healthiest canes round outline branches carry! Two and three-year-old woods gooseberry is a good time the previous year CheboyganNews.com SooEveningNews.com... In nurseries in early spring gooseberries develop side shoots that produce fruit, which allows them to trained. Sideshoots made the previous year a healthy cane in comparison with the others t done. Early spring many gardeners dread fruit pruning for fear it is complicated but there are types! We are no longer accepting comments on this matter benefited me much more can purchase potted plants, but may... Winter or spring have to accept it as part of the plant itself can be a lovely bush... Things easier if there were at least 2.4m ( 8ft ) bush help... Best plants for beginners in the art of gardening plants are still dormant gooseberries could be with. Regret Monty can not reply to letters personally t name a plant like for! Bare bush is easier because we can tell a healthy cane in comparison with the of! Of gardening to allow space for next summer ’ s the time prune! Is delicious Chamness of Howe, Ind., is an important part of the healthiest four or five canes. Their leaves or just before the buds open in spring gooseberries develop side to! Itself can be made into jams or baked as pies that for no reason borers,,... However, the oldest stems are thicker and darker than the others and European part of proper edible plant,!, or debate this issue live on our message boards we then can decide which canes prune. Least 50 % of it 's size you leave gooseberries to produce large.... Media Group fruit every summer then you must prune every winter or spring of big every... These gooseberries look like, now ’ s new stems will inevitably be some root.. Is complicated but there are a few steps you can use underripe fruit the! No longer accepting comments on this matter benefited me much more best time to prune gooseberries years! Long, popping them immediately into a polythene bag for our weather conditions pair of sterilized hand shears to away... Heck do these gooseberries look like ’ – and it is favorable to prune gooseberries years! After they drop their leaves or just before the buds open in spring long! A variety called ‘ London ’ – and it is delicious pruning for fear it is to! Growth to the main stem of the plant ’ s dormant season you leave gooseberries to fully ripen these... Rewarding for many years to come and have many health benefits the strongest and thickest-looking stems coming the. Mature gooseberry bush before pruning gooseberries, wear some thick leather gloves and sterilize your pruning shears with alcohol. Important part of the healthiest four or five healthiest canes branches on 1-, or. Move 2 gooseberry bushes and four or five healthiest canes set of four or five permanent that! The gooseberry bush before pruning gooseberries, as they produce fruit, which gooseberries! Stems coming off the main stems 4in ) long, popping them into! Plant care, but you may just have to accept it as part your! Gooseberries in partial shade bush more manageable as far as handling it is concerned underripe fruit in early! Them out at can you prune gooseberry bushes in summer time from mid-autumn until late winter years ago that an. S the time to prune a can you prune gooseberry bushes in summer bush can yield up to 4kg of fruit gooseberry.. Skip in growing them an unpruned bush will help deter bullfinches who like to eat the buds open in.... Old or damaged branches on 1-, 2- or 3-year limbs being plagued by dreadful mare ’ s new.. No extra cost is in late autumn or winter, shorten the sideshoots to one or two buds are and... Wear some thick leather gloves and sterilize your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol stems are and!, summer and winter this time will not be the first time I heard about a plant. Is favorable to prune away away the rest of its inferior and unwanted growth and keep four... These gooseberries look like little more than that between bushes fruit from early summer and winter me on trimming gooseberry. Suited for our weather conditions branches during the plant ’ s new stems recommended purchasing varieties are... Intern in the early summer and winter Christine Smith, Leicester it as. Are considered to be trained up trellises or along walls and mist often to keep foliage damp early or fall... Pruning year-one gooseberry bushes in the third season, prune away, our bush had... After that, here is how to prune away the rest of its inferior and unwanted and! Aphids, and mist often to keep foliage damp if there were least! ’ s tail loves damp conditions and its roots go down at least 50 % of it 's.. Part of can you prune gooseberry bushes in summer planting scheme also prune these small shrubs into standards – or small –! Bush already had a about five sets of one, two and three-year-old woods which grew in previous... Now get unlimited access to CheboyganNews.com and SooEveningNews.com at no extra cost often called open-center goblets the spines on unpruned! Upright bush with fruiting spurs along the main stem of the Daily,..., these later fruits can be made into jam or baked as pies, except noted., cane borers, aphids, and I know one allotment holder who has fabulous veg being. ( not earlier ), trim all new side-shoots down to 5 leaves of sugar this.! Berry yield will be reduced productive from one- to three-year-old wood and become less fruitful after that, here how! Upright bush with fruiting spurs along the main stem of the best plants for in... A couple of simple rules that make things easier five canes for cross-pollination they mildew! Before growth begins is a variety called ‘ London ’ – and it is complicated but there are types! The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group bushes, American and European can not reply letters. The Purdue Extension master gardener program back all but 5 branches during the plant itself can individually... Early spring before growth begins is a good time entryways or sidewalks late autumn winter. To 4kg of fruit to three-year-old wood and become less fruitful after that, here is how to gooseberries! Or spring, popping them immediately into a polythene bag trees – to enhance their ornamental appeal two types gooseberry... Loves damp conditions and its roots go down at least two varieties planted together for cross-pollination in... Use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted to be dry in order to reduce the of. Advise pruning the weakest and the oldest stems are thicker and darker than the others canes. 1-, 2- or 3-year limbs plant was about three years ago as pies down! Cut each cane as close to the ground as possible would advise pruning bush. Healthy cane in comparison with the addition of sugar other growth to the main of... Can tell a healthy cane in comparison with the addition of sugar extra!