Gooseberry, Currant, and Jostaberry Growing Instructions
Gooseberries and currants will grow well in full sun to partial shade. Plant 3 - 5 feet apart or from other plants. Plant in late afternoon or evening and water in well after planting. New plants need to be watered daily if your temps are 65 degrees or higher. Avoid planting under or near trees. Tree roots can out compete most other plants and extend well beyond the tree canopy.
Avoid poorly drained soil and adjust pH to 6.0 - 6.8. Plants will bloom early in the season so avoid areas where cold settles and has late spring freezes. When planting, if plant has not been pruned back, do so to promote branching. More branches equal more fruit in future years. Dig a hole wider and deeper than the container or root system, work in organic matter and plant a little deeper than the plant originally grew. Fertilize and water in the new plants to settle the soil around roots.
In early spring fertilize with up to 1/2 pound of 10-10-10 on large mature plants and 1/4 pound on 1 year old plants, work into soil within a 2 foot circle of plant. Do not pile close to canes. Composted manure, feather meal and bone meal are good alternative for organic growers.
Prune yearly to promote vigorous growth and to allow for better air circulation. Remove all 3 year old branches. Both gooseberries and currants produce best on 1 or 2 year wood. Water the equivalent of 1 inch of water per week during the growing season. If your plant is too dry it will not produce fruit.
Harvesting: Currants and gooseberries will bear fruit 1 to 3 years after planting depending on the size of plant that you start with. Ripe fruit will be sweeter, so don't pick until berries are soft and fully ripe. Mature currants will yield 3 - 4 quarts per plant and gooseberries will yield about 5 quarts per plant. Refrigerate excess berries to keep them fresh for several weeks.
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