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Gooseberry care advice please

Lynn142Lynn142 Posts: 128
Is this gooseberry bush looking alright at this stage in April as we have 2 others with much more growth than this one?


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 10,811
    That's a bit strange @Lyn142, is it more in shade than the other two or more exposed to wind perhaps? I must admit my two bushes are also looking a bit like ours - perhaps they just need more sunshine like us!  I would cut off a couple of inches on the ends and check to see if the wood is green or brown. If brown, keep cutting off until you get to a green bit. Water the plants well and mulch with well rotted manure or feed with fertiliser, whichever you have to hand.
    Looking at your bush against the fence, which is similar to mine, I am following Alan Titchmarsh's  advice to grow gooseberries as double cordons, which he says produces more fruit in a smaller area and makes it easier to pick the fruit. You have to tie the lowest two branches to canes (in a U shape) and encourage them to grow upwards, tying them to the canes as they grow taller. You prune all side branches off these two main stems back to two or three inches and these produce the fruit.  It works for me!
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Lynn142Lynn142 Posts: 128
    Thank you @Lizzie27 and I will try the advice you have given and see if the Bush improves. By the way, this bush is exposed to the same shade and wind as the other two which is why I thought it odd too that it’s condition is not the same. Maybe, as you said, this particular one wants more sunshine which, thankfully, we’re currently getting here on the South coast - much needed to help us get through this awful crisis!! 
  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 331
    edited April 2020
    gooseberry bushes are I find ridiculously slow growers, if you start off with something small it can take years to develop into a proper bush. A friend of mine had gooseberry bushes that looked more like hedges. I don't think I will ever get to that point with mine.

    Some of my new ones look as small as yours. The soil will make a difference later on (not so much to start with), apart from that the only thing you can change is the location. The more sun the faster it will develop but they do grow in shade.

    Your soil does not look like it has been cultivated much, weeds will interfere with its growth early on and if you did not dig up a very big hole the roots will have a harder time developing, it is also very close to the fence and should ideally be moved to give it more space (and possibly more light). Gooseberries do very well having some mulch like leaves mixed in to the hole.

    Otherwise it is hard to tell if there is a problem - more likely it is just a smaller plant and needs to catch up on growth which it will do with the right conditions

  • seacrowsseacrows Posts: 221
    Wow. I'm further north, and both my gooseberry bushes are absolutely covered in leaves and beginning to flower. I live in a good gooseberry area though, all I have to do to propagate them is pin a branch to the ground, two years later it's an independent plant looking like yours. What's your soil like? we're on heavy clay and they really like that.
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