Growing the Productive, Reliable Gooseberry Plant
The Gooseberry bush usually has thorny, arching branches, but some new varieties are thornless. Depending on the cultivar, some plants can reach a height of 20 feet.
Choose a sunny location that has good air movement to reduce disease problems. Gooseberries can be long lived if the soil well prepared before planting; prefers reasonably fertile, well drained but not dry soil.
A sunny location for Gooseberries is good for cooler climates. Morning sun and shade, like north facing walls, is best in warmer areas. Mulch well to keep roots moist and protected from the sun. Plant gooseberry bushes four to six feet apart. The precise distance depends on the vigor of the cultivar and the richness of the soil.
Prune old, woody growth to within 1 inch of their base. A gooseberry bush becomes tangled and unhealthy without pruning. It is a good practice to keep the center open to air and sunlight, leaving a few, regularly-spaced, main branches.
The Pixwell Gooseberry is considered the best variety on the market today. This heavy bearer produces pale green fruit that turns pink when it's fully ripe in August. This gooseberry usually bears fruit the year after planting and is great for pies and jelly. Thrives in zones 3-6 and can grow to 20 feet in height.
The Hinnomaki Red Gooseberry has an outstanding flavor with an outer skin that is tangy, while the flesh is sweet. This gooseberry is very productive with dark red medium sized fruit on upright plants. It is a rounded, deciduous, fruit bearing shrub, with white flowers in spring. Hinnomaki Red displays green, shallow lobed leaves in summer that turn red in autumn. It does well in zones 4-6 and reaches a height of 3-5 feet.