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Gooseberry bush

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They are a funny lot here! :roll:


I have grow gooseberries for ages, so here are some tips from my experience...


Do not grow the bushes too close together, they need the air to circulate through them. They need lots of room to grow and don't like being crowded.


Ideally, they also like sunny areas, unlike blackberries which will grow and fruit in total shade. Make sure they also get lots of good compost, they also like ash, so if you have a fireplace, empty the ashes around the base of the bushes.


The main enemy is the sawfly which forms as a little caterpillar on the plant; which is liable to strip the whole bush of it's leaves if they do not get good air circulating around them. The best way to avoid them, I have found, is to grow the bush as a cane, i.e. a very tall and thin bush, almost like a raspberry cane, tied to a bamboo cane for support. This way the sawfly also have less protection from the birds who like eating them, but leave the berries.


... except for the pigeons; :evil: check my blog below for the latest rant about pigeons and raspberries. If you have pigeons where you are, and they learn about how tasty goosberries can be, they will strip the bushes of the fruit very quicky, and their fat, stupid bodies will snap the bush canes too. So you might have to net them from the pigeons, which means the useful little birds cannot get to the sawfly. :wall:


Anyway, see how you get on. There is nothing as nice as a thick gooseberry pie with thick cream - so good luck! :wink:

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I have 7 gooseberry bushes up my allotment and keep them short. I plot gets hundreds of pigeons, rabbits, muntjac and every pest known to man. The only thing that does not get touched in any way are the goosegogs.


But - they are prone to mildew and sawfly - depending on weather and conditions.


But I have 'bald' bushes - i.e. no leaves for all sorts of reasons but it has never affected the fruit.


Mine are in a windy wild field, open to all the harsh elements and just grow and fruit their little hearts out.


They are very old - and all I do to them is prune out some of the old wood after they have fruited to allow air to circulate around them.


Good luck - you will love them

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