Gooseberries - Method

Choice and site preparation

Site and soil requirements for currants and gooseberries are similar to those of strawberries. However, they tolerate heavier soils which have a good water holding capacity during hot periods.

Planting and cultivation

Plant in the fall or very early in spring. Set plants at 1.2-1.5 m in row spaced 3 m apart. Plants should be 5 cm deeper than they were in the nursery. Keep only 2-3 stems and shorten them by one third. Irrigate thoroughly and fertilize 2 weeks after planting with a complete fertilizer or one with a high nitrogen content. A 10 cm mulch will provide for constant soil moisture required for good growth of young plants.

Starting in the second season, prune yearly in early spring. Old, diseased or stems not growing upright are pruned out along with excess stems. For black currants, keep up to 5 new vigorous stems each year. Two and three year old wood will bear the best fruit. After 3 years, prune out older less productive wood. Gooseberries and red or white currants will bear fruit on older wood. Therefore, 3-4 new stems are kept each year. After 5 years, the older stems are eliminated.

Check for leaf diseases and insects, spray if necessary. The black currant is host for the white pine blister rust which can kill white pines grown in the neighbourhood.

Varieties

Contact us to find out about available varieties.