Gooseberries need to be pruned to allow air to circulate through the branches – keeping fungal infections at bay.
There are many varieties of gooseberry to try, from ones that produce tiny, sweet yellow sugary fruits to ones that produce large, red dessert types.
- Start thinning gooseberries during late May or early June, removing about half the crop. The fruits from this first harvest can be used for cooking. This will give a longer cropping season and leaves others more room to grow to a larger size.
- The second harvest can be done a few weeks later, and many of the fruits will be packed full of natural sugar and taste delicious.
- Never let plants go short of water when their fruits are swelling and ripening. Heavy watering after a drought can cause fruits to split and rot.
- If you aren’t growing your gooseberries in a fruit cage, cover bushes with netting during June and July to keep off birds. Ensure it’s weighted down at the base to prevent blackbirds getting underneath.
- Wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting the fruit to protect hands and arms from the sharp thorns.