Can someone talk gooseberries with me?

(32 Posts)
Cathpot Mon 02-May-16 06:51:23

I'd really like to grow some gooseberries but I know nothing about them. I planted what I thought was a gooseberry two years ago and it turned out to be a mislabelled blackcurrant of some sort. I have a little bit of space next to the blackcurrant in a mixed bed which is mainly trees and camillas, acid soil, sunny but windy garden. Are those ok conditions? How much space do they need? Any particular types? I like as low maintenance as possible! We are away from home until late June, have I missed the window for this year?

MohammedLover Mon 02-May-16 17:37:52

Mine are in pots. I have not got any help sorry!

Cathpot Mon 02-May-16 17:45:57

Do they do ok in pots? I've got blueberries happy in pots, I didn't think about that option for some reason!

bookbook Mon 02-May-16 21:12:08

gooseberries are usually fairly easy to grow, - size, in maturity about 1 and a half metres diameter. Give them a good feed/mulch every year, and keep the centre 'open' with pruning for good airflow as they can suffer from mildew. You can still pick up goosberry plants in a pot . Mine are all green , as I make jams and crumbles, but I am tempted to plant a red dessert one next year - heard a lot of good reports smile

Cathpot Tue 03-May-16 05:15:14

Thanks, that's sounds good.

shovetheholly Tue 03-May-16 08:37:45

They are pretty unfussy with regard to soil type and pH - and your site is in sun, which will work well. I would look for an AGM variety - these tend to have higher yields and better disease resistance.

The only thing I would say is that they are not the most attractive plants for a mixed border. They are a bit straggly and can be quite viciously thorned!

Cathpot Tue 03-May-16 11:02:02

That all sounds very doable. Bed is hidden from house behind another bed so I won't have to look at it all the time! Might bung one in the bed and a couple in pots. What sort of size pot- would it have to be huge?

shovetheholly Tue 03-May-16 11:19:00

I think it'd need to be pretty big. I recently moved a gooseberry I had planted last year - bought small from Aldi. The rootball was really large - at least a foot across and a couple of foot deep. It had really put down some roots! Was a shame to disturb it but it had completely outgrown the spot - my fault for putting it in a silly place!

Cathpot Tue 03-May-16 12:42:37

Ok- thank you. I do like a new pot and now it seems I HAVE to go and buy one.

shovetheholly Tue 03-May-16 13:21:06

Oh well, needs must eh? wink

Cathpot Tue 03-May-16 14:37:19

Yes - and I shall say 'mumsnet made me do it' and then distract DH with some gooseberry fool.

Just5minswithDacre Tue 03-May-16 14:45:06

I need to follow this. I love gooseberries

didireallysaythat Tue 03-May-16 21:20:11

Damn you all

<off to Google red thornless gooseberries>

I'm so easily led astray.

shovetheholly Wed 04-May-16 14:18:24

If I don't get you lot to buy things, I can't pull that excuse myself can I?! grin

didireallysaythat Wed 04-May-16 19:43:35

I like the way you think shove.

bookbook Wed 04-May-16 19:59:31

well, I am looking to plant a red one for next year, so any recommendations?
My short list is
Hinomaki Red
Pax
Martlett
Captivator

didireallysaythat Wed 04-May-16 23:41:04

book in the spirit of #yearoffruit and #shovewantstobankruptus I think you need to get all 4 and then report back on your favourite. It would be in the interest of science you understand wink

I will be planting the tayberry and black raspberry (which is a bit puny so may have to go into the raised beds in the garden rather than the allotment) this weekend. The tayberry will need wires but not immediately. Which is good as I need to focus on weeding. Still.

LetThereBeCupcakes Thu 05-May-16 08:45:28

I have nothing useful to add apart from saying I love the fact that #yearoffruit has now escaped the allotment thread! grin

Um... Gooseberries. I have 2 that I haven't killed so they must be quite easy to grow! In fact the swines keep layering and rooting themselves.

shovetheholly Thu 05-May-16 09:20:21

Yes, yes book you are mandated by the collective will of Mumsnet in the name of pioneering scientific investigation in this #yearofourberries 2016, to buy all four. I'm pretty sure there's a charter with a big red wax seal on it that says so, and a Golden Gooseberry award for services to fruit at the end of it.

Cathpot Thu 05-May-16 10:10:57

Now I have an excuse to get 4 pots??? Or should I just wait for bookbook's results? Surely we need repeated tests? I've seen some lovely glazed silver pots ...

I keep looking at tayberries but I am was hugely let down by a thornless blackberry which has grown really well and produced lots of deep black berries - which are really sour. I am now looking suspiciously at the berry section in the garden centre that keeps trying to tempt me in. I don't trust them.

shovetheholly Thu 05-May-16 12:07:28

Cath - I think, given the seriousness of these results and the need to provide sufficient replications of the experiment for results to be statistically significant, you must get four pots as well.

It's for the greater good, you know.

Sour blackberries: I don't know if it's one of those up-the-garden-path stories, but I've heard drought can cause them to go sour. I only pick them wild, but I've been going to the same spot for years, and sometimes there is an absolute bumper crop of sweetness and joy, and other times just a row of skinny poky berries. So my guess is that water and temperature could be a factor, since all the other conditions these plants are in have been the same. Also, I heard that most people pick em too early, and that they are not supposed to be shiny when you take them off. This is news to me. But trouble is when you are wild picking, if you don't get 'em early, they tend to be gone! Perhaps I need to grow some after all.

TheSpottedZebra Thu 05-May-16 15:49:23

Tayberries are really not sour, Cathpot. They are delicious.

You know what you need to now, don't you?
We all know.

Cathpot Thu 05-May-16 18:33:57

Oh dear lord am I now on 4 pots of compulsory gooseberry strains and a tayberries pot? Do tay berries even grow in pots?? Plus apparently I need to mend my relationship with the blackberry bush in case it wasn't it's fault.

I am dubious about this last point.

I am not telling DH that I am about to open some sort of experimental berry farm in our garden as things tend to go more smoothly if he doesn't know my ultimate plans.

didireallysaythat Thu 05-May-16 19:28:04

That's the spirit Cathpot - solidarity !

bookbook Fri 06-May-16 08:57:23

Cathpot - I had a thornless blackberry called 'Oregon' years ago in another garden. - Lovely, large fruit, but really didn't have much flavour. I too go wild picking now!
you lot are a right bunch smile - and you will have to wait for results - I am going to be planting in autumn for next year ! I already have 2 gooseberries, so I really don't think I can smuggle 4 onto the plot without DH noticing, and the spot I have in mind will definitely take 1, shall have to assess whether I can squeeze 2 in, but doubt it.
I have been on the website of my favourite fruit nursery.
Can remove one - 'Martlett' as they don't stock it.
so their descriptions are
Captivator -An unusual hybrid of European and American gooseberry. The large, pinky-red fruit have a delicate sweet flavour and the plant is mildew-resistant with few thorns.
Hinnonmaki Red -One of the best varieties for mildew resistance, producing medium-sized fruit which is sweet and aromatic.
Pax -Virtually spine-free growth, good Mildew resistance and heavy crops of red dessert berries - one to try.
So I think its Pax for me and Hinnonmaki Red if I have room

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