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Growing Gooseberries

Growing Gooseberries

Pixwell Gooseberry


 A fruiting shrub hardy in zones 3 to 7. There are American and European types of Gooseberry, as well as hybrids between the two. Fruit is used in desserts, jams, and jellies. Somewhat thorny plants, gloves may be helpful when harvesting fruit. Store bare root plants in a cool spot away from direct sun until ready to plant. Can hydrate by soaking roots in water for 2 to 3 hours before planting. Plant outdoors 4 to 8 weeks before the last frost in spring. Loosen the soil 12 inches deep and wide enough to fit all the roots. Add organic matter like compost to loosened soil. Trim off any damaged or broken roots, and spread roots out evenly without bending. Plant so that roots are slightly deeper than when grown in the nursery.


Plant in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils and cool climates. Benefits from mulching and afternoon shade in hot climates. Adding organic matter such as compost to heavy or clay soil when planting helps improve drainage and moisture retention. Avoid planting in low spots prone to frosts. Prune in late winter to early spring, removing weak or crowded canes and those 4 or more years old to keep plants fruiting strongly.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use low rates of Algoflash Flowering Plant 4-6-7 Liquid Fertilizer (51087), Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 (51221), or Osmocote 14-14-14 (51173).

Alternative Products

Other fruiting shrubs are Currant, Jostaberry (30255), and Nero Aronia (20085). 

Complimentary Products

Benefits from yearly fertilization in early spring before growth resumes. Use Bird-X Netting to protect fruit from birds. Treat powdery mildew with Serenade Garden Disease Control (50296).

Product Recommendations

Can use Scarecrow Ribbon (52102) to repel birds and protect fruit.

Gooseberry Facts

Usually not bothered by pests or disease. Powdery mildew can be a problem, but some varieties are resistant, particularly American types. Cane borers sometimes attack plants. Host for white pine blister rust disease, and has some restrictions to where plants can be shipped for this reason. Can protect blooming plants from late frosts by covering them with a blanket. Gooseberry is related to Currant, and Jostaberry is a hybrid cross of both species.


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