Growing Gooseberries at the Allotment

Growing Gooseberries at the Allotment

Gooseberries are available in different varieties and are usually planted as bare roots or plants grown in containers.

Gooseberries like a sunny position but will thrive in some shade - some varieties prefer shadier positions and they all like well-drained soil. Autumn is a good time to plant out, but they can be planted anytime. Avoid planting in water-logged soil or frozen soil.

The birds can be problematic, and your gooseberry plant will thrive better with the protection of a fruit cage.

Mulching and well-rotted manure or compost will help retain moisture in the soil. Water evenly so that it does not completely dry out. Over-watering can cause the fruits to split.

Gooseberry plants should be pruned during its dormant months, and it can be trained to grow on a structure. An open-centred plant will help reduce mildew and make it easier to pick the fruit due to the prickly stems.

The gooseberries will form and mature at different rates and can be picked as and when they are ready throughout the season from May onwards. Regular fruit picking will help encourage re-growth.

Young, ripened gooseberries can be bitter and become sweeter in taste as they mature.

Gooseberries can be frozen for storage and make for a good jam as well as dessert dishes and pies.

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Growing Gooseberries in Summary

Planting Gooseberries

  • Plant containered or bare-roots in autumn or early spring
  • Plant in well-drained soil
  • Sun or shade position dependent on the variety

Growing Gooseberries

  • Protect against birds in a fruit cage
  • Water evenly
  • Prune during winter

Harvesting Gooseberries

  • Pick formed and ripened fruits often
  • More mature fruits will be sweeter
  • Can be frozen