ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Plant and Grow Gooseberries

Updated on May 5, 2017
Gooseberries
Gooseberries | Source

Gooseberries

This fruit is an easy crop to raise. They are now sweeter than years ago due to hybridization. Many varieties are available.

My first memories of gooseberries are of picking them with my Grandmother. A neighbor had a huge crop and offered them to her. We went in the early morning and picked several large bowls. They tasted a lot like grapes, but aren't as sweet. My memories of eating them fresh from my hand is that they were good, I don't care for sour foods, so they must have been somewhat sweet. Grandma was a big pie maker, so the rest were used for pies.

Gooseberries haven't been that popular in the United States until recently.In Great Britain they have been popular for years and almost every gardener has a bush in their garden. I remember years ago, our local newspaper editor had some in his yard and he offered them to anyone that would pick them. He didn't have the slightest idea how to use them. Now most people know what gooseberries are and what to do with them.

The berries are native to the US and many other countries. Later settlers from England brought plants from there and the wild native ones mixed with the new plants creating a better variety that although smaller are hardier. The scientific name for them is Ribes, Included in this same genus is black currants.

Warning! Do not grow gooseberries in areas where your pets or livestock may reside. They may be poisonous to them.



Characteristics

Gooseberries are hardy to US Zone 3. Now there are two varieties than can even survive in Zone 2. Zone 3 means they can withstand temperatures as low as 40 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit. The plants grow three to five feet tall and are just as wide. The branches have thick thorny spines and are arched.

This fruit is available in different colors depending on the variety. Some are green when ripe and others are orange or red.

Gooseberries are available in several different colors.
Gooseberries are available in several different colors. | Source

Varieties to Choose From

Gooseberries are available in two different types - American or European. The European type has large fruit, but is susceptible to the powdery mildew fungal disease. If you ever dealt with the disease, you know it is hard to control. I would prefer to purchase the American type plants for this reason. They are a cross between the English variety and the American. You'll get smaller fruit, but you won't have as many problems.

It is best to find which varieties to choose for your area by contacting your local county extension. You should be able to choose from several colors and varieties.

How to Plant a Gooseberry Bush

The flowers are self fertile, so you can grow just one plant or many. They are pollinated by the wind and insects. Bees aren't usually attracted to them.

1. Find a spot that is sunny or has partial shade, that is neither too dry or stays too wet. Purchase plants that have at least 3 to 5 branches from a reliable nursery. If you'd like to get the plant in the ground right away, buy one in a pot.

2. If you are purchasing a bare root gooseberry, plant in late fall before the ground freezes or in the early spring.

3. Before planting prune back the tops to 6 to 10 inches. Be sure all the roots are good and if any are dried out or dead, cut them off.

4. Gooseberries can be grown as a bush in the garden or trained to grow up a wall or a trellis. . Use a mulch around You can even plant in a large container if you do not have space in the garden.

4. Place your new plants in the soil as soon as you can. You should plant them in a hole just a little deeper than they were in the pot or in the nursery. Plants should be no closer than 3 to 5 feet apart or rows closer than 8 to 10 feet together. Tamp the soil around the plants.

5. Consider using trellising as this will give the plants more air and they will not be as disease prone. If you don't have a lot of space, planting a large pot works also.

Gooseberry flower
Gooseberry flower | Source

Care of Gooseberries

These plants like some sun and well drained fertile soil.

The need to be pruned or they grow out of control and become unhealthy at the same time. When pruning keep the center of the plant open, just leaving a few main branches. The video below will explain how to do this.

How to Prune a Gooseberry Bush

Have You Ever Tried Gooseberries?

See results

When to Pick

Don't pick your gooseberries too soon. When they come off the stem heads easily it is time. Green gooseberries will become almost clear in color when ripe. You will know when to pick them then.

If you picked them too soon, try to ripen them yourself. This may or may not work for you.

Ways to Use Gooseberries

You can eat them fresh with sugar or use for pies, tarts and jellies. The jellies aren't as sweet as some might be used to eating. If you feel it is a little tart, add some cream cheese. It is said to taste delicious this way.

Following is a pie that you will enjoy using strawberries and gooseberries combined. .

Gooseberry Cherry Pie

Serves 6

1 1/2 c sugar

3 tbsp tapioca

2 cups fresh pitted cherries, uncooked

2 cups fresh gooseberries, uncooked

  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Mix sugar and tapioca together. Then combine with cherries and gooseberries.
  3. Place in a prepared 9 inch pie crust made ahead.
  4. Sprinkle the top with extra sugar.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until fruit is done. You should test with a knife to see if the fruit is completely cooked.

Gooseberry Meringue Pie

Serves 6

2 cups cooked gooseberries or 1 No 303 can gooseberries

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup flour

2 eggs, separated

2 Tbsp melted butter

.1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

  1. Drain the syrup from the gooseberries, add water
  2. Mix together 3/4 cup sugar, the salt and flour. Now stir in well beaten and yolks and melted butter.Cook this mixture until thick.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla and gently fold in the gooseberries.
  4. Cool.
  5. Pour into a baked 9" pie shell.
  6. Make the meringue from the egg whites, cream of tartar and remaining sugarbake in a 400 degree oven until nicely browned.
  7. Cool slowly.



Gooseberries for Sale
Gooseberries for Sale | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 months ago from England

      I am useless at growing anything! lol! so any advice is great!

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      21 months ago from USA

      billybuc, I remember them fondly because of my Grandma. Thanks for commenting.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Our whole front yard is filled with berry bushes, but I don't believe we have a Gooseberry. You have motivated me to get one. Thanks Barbara Kay!

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      2 years ago from USA

      Nell, They seem to be more of a British thing than American. I hope you find a slice somewhere. Thanks for reading.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      2 years ago from England

      I haven't had a good gooseberry pie in years! thanks now I want one! lol! love gooseberries! great hub, and very nostalgic for me as my mum used to grow them in the garden!

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      2 years ago from USA

      aviannovice, They are rare here in the US. I hope you get the chance sometime.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I've heard of these, but have never had the pleasure of tasting them.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      2 years ago from USA

      AliciaC, Thanks for reading the hub. I hope you'll get to enjoy them again. As a child I remember them as being sour too.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I was very interested to read that gooseberries are sweeter than in the past. I enjoyed eating them as a child, but they were so sour that I had to add lots of sugar to them. Thanks for sharing all the information and the recipes.

    • Barbara Kay profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Badder 

      2 years ago from USA

      ChitrangadaSharan, Now that is a good idea. Adding the medicinal uses to the hub also. Thanks for reading.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Gooseberries have lots of health benefits and it is almost a regular in Indian kitchens. We use it in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes as well.

      I liked the information about growing them.

      Thanks for sharing this useful and informative hub!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)