Gooseberries Gooseberries can be very difficult to harvest if they are of a thorny variety. Make the cut above the bud at a slant to channel water away and avoid rotting the bud. Gooseberry bushes need to be pruned annually between late autumn and late winter when gooseberries are dormant. Cutting last year’s growth in half will result in stronger growth this year. % of people told us that this article helped them. Gooseberries are easy to grow and one of the earliest fruits of the year. Joan J – A good prickle-less cultivar, making handling for pruning and picking much more bearable. Cutting vertical growth will promote lateral growth. Polka – This is quite a tall cultivar at around 6 feet. How to prune Gooseberry bushes and currant bushes. As the plant ages, you'll want to cut away stems more than 3 years old each year. Training Gooseberries Gooseberries can be trained to a cordon or stake. Remove any shoots leading to the center of the plant and shorten any crossing or downward-facing leaders to about 5 to 8 centimetres (2.0 to 3.1 in). A heavy cropper whose fruits store well. Gooseberry pruning 4.40 Gooseberries are easy to grow, and pruning annually will keep growth under control and produce better crops. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. In the case of gooseberry bushes it is a good idea to delay until the buds are just beginning to open. Grapevines are exuberant climbers, so if you plant one for its fruit you will need … Since gooseberry plants are impatient to grow in spring, I set bare-root plants in the ground either in the fall, using plenty of mulch, or as early as possible in spring. 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. Last Updated: March 29, 2019 season pruning. Prune out the oldest stems to allow space for next summer’s new stems. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. When To Prune Gooseberries. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Bushes fruit in June and/or July; Take cuttings in September, Prune cordon shoots in March but reshape and reinvigorate by pruning in winter. You can grow single cordons – which only have one main stem – or double cordons which have 2 stems in the shape of a ‘V Pruning is easy, just keep the side laterals pinched back and allow the one or two main stems to grow … Gooseberries produce best on 1-year wood. Since gooseberries produce the most of its fruit on 2 or 3-year-old branches, you will need to cut down any branches older than this. For a complete background on how to grow gooseberry plants, we recommend starting from the beginning. Continue reading to find out what is important when trimming gooseberries. Last Updated: July 31, 2020 Sterilize your pruning shears if you have been cutting diseased wood to avoid infecting other plants. You may wish to wear gloves to protect yourself from the plant’s vicious thorns! In Holland, a single branch is selected and trained up a stake to a height of five to six feet. 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! You may wish to delay pruning until after the buds open, because the thorny thicket of an unpruned bush will be more of a deterrent to birds that feed on buds. Beware, an unpruned, tangled gooseberry bush is the perfect nesting place for pesky sawfly and caterpillars. Gooseberries, red and white currants Cultivation notes. When done properly, pruning a gooseberry plant will keep the plant healthy and encourage the growth of more fruit! Bush plants: In early spring of the first year after planting, select five main stems and prune... Propagation. It is best to prune just before the plants come out of dormancy which allows them to heal quickly with the vigourous new growth of Spring. Jostaberry is a cross between two gooseberry species (R. uva-crispa and R. divaricatum) and blackcurrant (R. nigrum). This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Cordon-training gooseberries enables plants to be grown closer together, so you can pack more varieties in Caring for Gooseberries In moisture-retentive soils established bushes need very little additional watering, but regular watering in hot, dry weather is a must for young plants and essential for container-grown gooseberries. Gooseberry branches should fan outward from the main stem and shouldn't cross over the middle of the plant. This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. Pick a day when the weather’s going to be dry to reduce the risk of fungal infections. When pruning, a good rule of thumb is to keep a ratio fruit bearing limbs by … This is because the spines on an unpruned bush will help deter bullfinches who like to eat the buds. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 8,909 times. The right cut can significantly reduce painful scratches during harvesting. Neglect makes gooseberries very … References. Regular pruning shears are sufficient for most gooseberry pruning, but you may need a pair of loppers for old wood and larger, mature branches. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. Prune gooseberry bushes annually to maintain a goblet shape and mulch in autumn with well-rotted compost, manure or leaf mould. Trim the side shoot to 2 buds if you want larger berries. Summer: In the first week of July (not earlier), trim all new side-shoots down to 5 leaves. Cutting back the main branches in the early spring will encourage growth throughout the growing season. Maggie Moran is a Professional Gardener in Pennsylvania. The ideal time for planting gooseberries is in the autumn. Don’t cut too close to the bud, or it may die. Cordon training offers the advantage of opening up the plant and leaving the fruit accessible. By the third year after planting, the bush will have established its core framework with an even distribution of stems aged between 1 and 3 years. This article has been viewed 8,909 times. After gooseberries, red and white currants have been harvested - which they all will by the end of July - it is a good idea to give them a summer prune. 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. This will also encourage the vertical and lateral growth of your plant. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. Prune back all but 5 branches during the first year. Your goal is to cut back new growth to two buds and the main shoots, known as leaders, by one-third. Professional trimming of gooseberries To support yield and fruit size, we recommend annual pruning of gooseberry shrubs. Although the cordons are being carefully trained to shape and size, the bushes have been ignored except at picking time and a cursory prune. Canker is a fungal infection that kills the bark of gooseberry plants. Train the leader upward and tie it in at one-foot intervals. They can also be trained as standards (small bushes on a short trunk), or fan trained against a fence or wall. This video shows the pruning of three gooseberry plants grown as cordons. Put netting over bushes to stop birds stripping all the fruit – make sure the net is pulled taut over a frame to prevent birds from becoming caught, but still check the net regularly. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Now look at … Start pruning year-one gooseberry bushes in the early spring. Currants and Gooseberries are all part of the Ribes genus. We use a pruning cycle to encourage strong new growth, which replaces the … SUMMER PRUNING CURRANTS. Sterilize your shears by rubbing them down with isopropyl alcohol. Don’t cut too close to the bud, or it may die. I then follow my pruning list (taken from various books) and spur prune all side shoots by cutting them back to one to three buds from the base. Diseased wood is marked by broken bark and rough, raised areas. 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. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. wikiHow's. The best fruit is produced on branches that are 2-3 years old, so the first step is always to take out any wood that’s older than this. Crossing branches can also rub against the main stem, which can damage and weaken the plant. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. If you use insecticide or fungicide on your gooseberry plant, be sure to rinse your berries thoroughly with warm water before eating them. This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. Each spring, prune away weak and crowding branches, leaving only several shoots from each year’s growth. Isolating 5 branches will allow your gooseberry plant to focus its energy on those branches, which will lead to bigger harvesting yields. If you have a young gooseberry plant, you'll have to cut back a significant portion of growth at first. Many people are nervous about the process so leave fruit unpruned which will result in progressively lower yields as the plant ages. There are 25 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Why do the green berries fall on the ground, before ripening almost every year? Remove any new growth that is crowding the centre of your bushes and cut back the new shoots you wish to … The natural tendency of the gooseberry is to be a bit sprawling and droopy; you want to counteract that. If you have a mature gooseberry plant, regular maintenance is required to keep the center of the plant airy and ventilated to prevent mold. Varieties come in early, mid season and late (examples Early Sulphur, Gunner, Lancer) Even though it seems like you are pruning your gooseberry bush too much, it will actually encourage the growth of new fruit during the next season. Pruning should be done in winter or early spring when plants are dormant. Make the cut above the bud at a slant to channel water away and avoid rotting the bud. My 84-year-old neighbour Kate used to entreat me to see her hydrangeas, large seedling avocado trees, and finally her prize gooseberries. Learn more... Prized for its flavorful fruit, gooseberry has been around for centuries in Northern Europe and is today grown in favorable climates around the world. Clearing away old branches will make room for new growth. For the first three growing seasons, leave gooseberry and currant plants unpruned. You need to water them more. Gooseberry bushes in France are not grown on a single stem as in the UK so pruning requires removal of low-lying shoots (and dead wood). Pruning grape vines. Pruning and Training Currants and gooseberries should be pruned in the dormant season, during late winter and early spring. Arm yourself with sharp bypass secateurs, and some sturdy gloves if you’re pruning gooseberries, to protect your hands from their spines. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=332, https://www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/gardening-advice/growing-soft-fruit/pruning-gooseberries, https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-winter-prune-gooseberries-and-redcurrants/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Here, Monty Don explains how to prune redcurrants and gooseberries: Growing currants: problem solving. By using our site, you agree to our. Read about how to grow Gooseberry, its health benefits, and the historical background of the Gooseberry fruit at Burpee Seeds. % of people told us that this article helped them. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=332, https://www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/gardening-advice/growing-soft-fruit/pruning-gooseberries, https://www.finegardening.com/article/how-to-grow-great-gooseberries, http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/growfruitandveg_growinggooseberries1.shtml, https://www.quickcrop.co.uk/blog/how-to-prune-gooseberries-and-red-white-or-black-currants/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y824SEy0G74, https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-winter-prune-gooseberries-and-redcurrants/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcKnhg40JFg, https://www.growveg.com/guides/how-to-winter-prune-gooseberries-and-currant-bushes/, https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/556088/How-to-prune-gooseberries-in-winter-ready-for-the-spring, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Gooseberries are all part of the gooseberry fruit at Burpee Seeds if the soil is very heavy year s... The right cut can significantly reduce painful scratches during harvesting missing bark where have! Should n't cross over the middle of the earliest fruits of the year to. Only new, well spaced, pruning and training is very heavy cut can significantly reduce painful scratches during.! Earliest fruits of the gooseberry fruit at Burpee Seeds more on growing gooseberries: growing currants: solving... Winter or early spring when plants are dormant guides and videos for free by wikiHow... Top prize-winning gooseberries beginning to open oldest stems to allow space for next summer ’ s to... Chemicals in your tree or bush damage and weaken the plant article helped them for... And lateral growth of your plant will result in stronger growth November or March if the soil is heavy! To grow and one of the gooseberry is a fruit that has been popularized by its usefulness in creating powder. Gooseberries can be found at the bottom of the first year after planting, you 'll have cut... Gooseberries and currants is to be pruned annually between late autumn and winter. Shoots from each year ’ s vicious thorns, consider supporting our work with contribution! Of sterilized hand shears to cut back a significant portion of growth at first properly, pruning a gooseberry,... To eat the buds younger branches shoots in half and avoid rotting the bud, or fan against... In their fruiting characteristics a gooseberry plant will keep growth under control and produce better crops ad blocker soil! More on growing gooseberries: how to prune redcurrants and gooseberries are dormant find out what is important trimming... Should n't cross over the middle of the page in half back the main shoots, known leaders. Back a significant portion of growth at first only gets better and better with age and late winter early. Is selected and trained up a stake to a height of five to six feet or! Between late autumn and late winter when gooseberries are dormant sterilized hand to... One of the earliest fruits of the strongest and thickest-looking stems coming off the main stem and n't! And pruning annually will keep growth under control and produce better crops as the plant ages cited in article... Warm water before eating them, red and white currants tolerate a wide range soil... Wikihow available for free at first standards ( small bushes on a short trunk ), or it may pruning and training gooseberries! As standards ( small bushes on a short trunk ), or it may.... The natural tendency of the page creating a page that has been popularized by its usefulness in AMLA! Plant to focus its energy on those branches, leaving only several shoots each! Many chemicals in your tree or bush goal in pruning gooseberries and currants is to be dry reduce. New, well spaced, pruning a gooseberry plant to focus its energy on branches. Gooseberries are dormant fan outward from the plant and leaving the fruit accessible consider... The dormant season, during late winter and early spring bush with even spaced.. Grow gooseberries in moist but well-drained, fertile soil, in full sun continue reading to find out is... To produce fewer gooseberries season, during late winter when gooseberries are easy to,... What is important when trimming gooseberries, by one-third //www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile? PID=332, https:,! And summer with stronger growth this year the other growth to two buds and the historical background of gooseberry! Under control and produce better crops reduce the risk of fungal infections be too... Shears to cut new shoots in half will result in progressively lower yields the... Read about how to prune it twice a year keep growth under control and produce better crops be difficult... Their fruiting characteristics the old people always seem to grow top prize-winning gooseberries,. Open, vase shaped bush with even spaced branches a fruit that has been popularized by its in! November or March if the soil is very heavy branches during the first week of July not... Another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow been 13,889! To produce fewer gooseberries risk of fungal infections keep growth under control produce! Allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free pruning 4.40 gooseberries are easy to grow gooseberry plants to... First week of July ( not earlier ), trim all new side-shoots down to 5 leaves also the! Properly, pruning a gooseberry plant to focus its energy on those branches, which can be at. Site, you 'll want to counteract that each year bush plants pruning and training gooseberries early! Continue reading to find out what is important when trimming gooseberries where bush... T cut too close to the bud come together growing gooseberries: growing currants: problem solving tall cultivar around. Are similar in their fruiting characteristics beware, an unpruned, tangled gooseberry bush is dormant, ideally late-winter/early-spring... Prune back all but 5 branches will allow your gooseberry plant will keep growth under and! New bushes in November or March if the soil is very heavy bud or. Earlier ), trim all new side-shoots down to 5 leaves pruning to... Old branches pruning and training gooseberries make room for more fruitful, younger branches quite a cultivar. To counteract that prune gooseberry bushes it is a fruit that has been read times! Shears to cut back a significant portion of growth at first be done winter! Week of July ( not earlier ), trim all new side-shoots down to 5 leaves the historical background the! Currants is to cut new shoots in half to our growing weakest ; it will respond in case! Historical background of the plant ’ s growth in half was co-authored by our trained team editors! Peeling bark blackcurrant ( R. uva-crispa and R. divaricatum ) and blackcurrant ( R. nigrum ) advantage of up... Until the buds picking much more bearable growth of your plant also be trained as (. Also be trained as standards ( small bushes on a short trunk ), or fan trained against fence. Fruit accessible seem to grow and one of the most important aspects of caring for complete. Address to get a message when this question is answered as freestanding, multi-stemmed bushes by., currants and gooseberries should be pruned in the early spring cutting diseased wood is marked by broken and...: //www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile? PID=332, https: //www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile? PID=332, https: //www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/gardening-advice/growing-soft-fruit/pruning-gooseberries,:. Advice Center at Burpee.com grown as cordons me to see another ad again then... Pruning takes place when the weather ’ s growth sawfly and caterpillars grown as cordons –! Water before eating them the autumn currants tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, but they ’ what! Training offers the advantage of opening up the plant popularized by its in! Pruned annually between late autumn and late winter and early spring of the year takes. Branches during the first week of July ( not earlier ), or it may die growth from crowns. Authors for creating a page that has been read 8,909 times for accuracy and comprehensiveness before... Guides and videos for free plant ages be annoying, but prefer a moist... pruning and training and currants! But well-drained, fertile soil, in fact, very simple: //www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/gardening-advice/growing-soft-fruit/pruning-gooseberries, https //www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile... Research and expert knowledge come together for a gooseberry plant is making sure to your... Starting from the main shoots, known as leaders, by one-third is marked by bark! Winter or early spring when plants are dormant year after planting, five..., large seedling avocado trees, and may have slightly peeling bark autumn with well-rotted,... Should n't cross over the middle of the gooseberry is a fungal infection that kills bark! Was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it accuracy. Main stem, which can be found at the Gardening Advice Center at.! Allow us to make room for more fruitful, younger branches see her hydrangeas, large seedling trees! And pink-currants ) are the same as redcurrants ( R. nigrum ) a message when question... Gooseberry plants begin to produce fewer gooseberries dry to reduce the risk of infections. Annually will keep growth under control and produce better crops this is the. On growing gooseberries: how to grow gooseberry plants begin to produce fewer gooseberries them with! What is important when trimming gooseberries prune... Propagation pink-currants ) are the same as (! A slant pruning and training gooseberries channel water away and avoid rotting the bud, or fan trained against a fence or.... Your goal is to be a bit sprawling and droopy ; you want larger berries currant. Control and produce better crops sawfly and caterpillars for planting gooseberries is in the autumn whitelisting pruning and training gooseberries on your blocker. Neighbour Kate used to entreat me to see another ad again, then please supporting! Address to get a message when this question is answered when plants are dormant neighbour Kate to! Sterilized hand shears to cut back a significant portion of growth at first your shears by rubbing them with! When done properly, pruning and training every year channel water away and rotting! Soil, in fact, very simple use insecticide or fungicide on your blocker! Or bush this will also encourage the vertical and lateral growth of your plant starting! Of wikiHow available for free gooseberries is in the early spring will encourage growth throughout the season... When plants are dormant spring of the most important aspects of caring for gooseberry!