How gooseberries are grown
The gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L.) is a fruit shrub species of the Grossulariaceae family.
Gooseberries are among the berries.
The optimal soil for the Gooseberry is that of medium texture, deep, rich in organic substance but with certain precautions and in areas where the soils are clayey and a little calcareous, we can still try, taking care to aerate the soil and to provide it with sufficient organic substance. Let’s take into account that the optimal pH for this plant is around 6.5, with high humidity and abundant water in general. Above all, it must never be absent during the flowering period and when the fruit grows to maturity.
Cultivation techniques –
As for the fertilization, it must be abundant and likes additions of phosphorus and potassium. As the plants grow they need to be well supported and linked to the systems we have set up to impale them.
Likes sunny positions or a partial shade condition. As for fertilization, at the time of planting it is good to use good mature organic compost, well equipped with all the elements.
For the supply of water, remember that it is good to irrigate especially in the period preceding flowering and in the phase of fruit enlargement.
The pruning technique must be done above all for the renewal of the vegetation and to adapt the plant to the training system.
Adversity and pathologies –
Gooseberries, among adversities, are particularly afraid of Oidium or Mal Bianco and, among adversities, they fear the wind, especially in flowering.
Most varieties are sensitive to powdery mildew, especially those with red fruit. Almost all varieties of gooseberry are sensitive to sulfur (dust and wettable). The product produces a phytotoxic action on the plant which causes the stopping of the vegetation and the dropping of the leaves. Specific synthetic antioid products must be used to combat powdery mildew.
With reference to the sensitivity to the wind, it is advisable to repair the plants using live windbreaks (tall trees for example) or dead (straw). In addition, it must be borne in mind that a problem that afflicts all Gooseberry plants and not only the red grape is the sensitivity to sulfur which can also cause the stopping of the vegetation and damage to the leaves.
In addition, the leaves are often attacked by a ‘pine rust’ (Cronartium ribicola) which is a fungus that finds an alternate host in currant leaves before it can spread on the pine which is its usual host.
In reference to the temperature, remember that it tolerates cold winter temperatures.
The propagation of Ribes uva-crispa can take place by stump cuttings, tucking up the branched mother plants in the autumn and picking up the rooted stems in the spring.
The European cultivars, which derive from Ribes uva-crispa, are more sensitive to powdery mildew and less rustic than the American ones.
There are numerous cultivars available and all of foreign origin, but which adapt well to our conditions.
– Gooseberries: Careless (English, with large green berries); Poorman (American, with red fruits, not very large, suitable for mechanical harvesting for the syrup fruit industry); White Smith (English, with yellowish berries); Winham Industry (English, with large, oblong, purplish fruits); Leveller (English, with large, yellow fruits); Pax (variety without thorns, of medium vigor, medium-large fruit with good flavor; it is resistant to powdery mildew).
– Blackcurrant x gooseberry hybrids (characterized by medium size and absence of thorns, the fruits taste better than blackcurrant): Josta (Dutch, very vigorous, with purple berries, of medium size); Jostine (very vigorous and productive); Jogranda (less vigorous, with large attractive berries).