‘Pixwell’ is a classic variety with medium, pale green fruits becoming pink when ripe. Fruit borne on long pedicels with few throns. Unpicked, ripe fruit will keep up to a week. Great for all culinary purposes.
‘Hinnomaki Red’ has outstanding flavor, its outer skin tangy while the flesh is sweet. This gooseberry is very productive with dark red medium sized fruit on upright plants. Very adaptable with good mildew resistance, ‘Hinnomaki’ begins fruiting in the first year of planting. Fruit is perfect for bottling and preserves, but if left to ripen fully can be used as a dessert gooseberry.
‘Black Velvet’ is a cross between a European Red Champagne and the Warcesterberry. It is a vigorous upright productive shrub that bears heavy crops of sweet dark red to purple berries. The skin of this gooseberry is a bit “velvety”. The taste is like most other gooseberries sweet with a slight tartness and a very fruity flavor. These berries are used in jams, jellies and pies. ‘Black Velvet’ is a hardy shrub that is disease and mildew resistant.
SITE: Gooseberries are a long-lived fruiting plant that grow in full sun or part shade (we’ve seen them produce successfully in fairly heavy shade). Plant the canes slightly deeper than they were growing in their container. Plants should be spaced 3’ apart in rows 6’ apart. Mulch with straw, bark, or grass clippings to keep soil temperature and moisture even year round, and to control weeds.
FERTILIZING: Plants have only a moderate need for nitrogen, and excessive amounts can actually promote diseases and mildew. Gooseberries do like a high amount of potassium — the symptom of potassium deficiency is scorching of leaf margins. Deficiency can be avoided with the addition of Texas greensand, kelp meal, wood ashes, compost or manure. Espoma Tomato-Tone is also a good source of potassium without a ton of nitrogen. Gooseberry plants also have a fairly high requirement for magnesium, so when liming the soil, use dolomitic limestone, which adds magnesium as well as calcium.
PRUNING: Plants can be pruned in late winter or early spring when dormant. Gooseberries bear fruit primarily on 2 and 3 year old wood, so equal numbers of 1, 2 and 3 year old shoots should be maintained to ensure a constant renewal of fruiting wood.