Gooseberry, Currant, and Jostaberry Growing Instructions

Gooseberry and Currant Growing Instructions

Plants are shipped with leaves in Spring and Summer and without leaves and dormant in Fall and Winter. 

Planting in the ground is more forgiving than planting in a container or raised bed. However, if you are planting in a container or raised bed: DO NOT use Miracle Gro, Virgo, Fox Farm, Jiffy, or any similar potting mixes meant for flowers, vegetables, or marijuana. Do not use landscape mixes that contains over 20% compost or manure, or mixes that do not contain stone grit.  It is in our experience that these mixes are too wet and will root-rot and kill dormant gooseberry and currant plants.  We will not send replacements if you plant your plants in these types of mixes.  See back of this page for tips on how to over winter gooseberry and currant plants.

Both 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 70 degrees or higher. In the fall, winter, and early spring: water only when soil dries out, approximately every 3 – 5 weeks. 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. Dig a hole wider and deeper than the container or root system, work in no more than 20% 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.

Pruning Tips

Prune yearly to promote vigorous growth and to allow for better air circulation, if plant has not been pruned upon arrive, prune to promote branching. More branches equal more fruit in future years. 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 in the summer it will not produce fruit.

Fertilize in Early Spring

If planted in the ground:

Fertilize with up to 1/4 pound of 10-10-10 on large mature plants and 2 tablespoons 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.

In a Container:

Fertilizer needs to be low salt. Organic fertilizers like fish, alfalfa, bat guano, kelp, bone meal and rock phosphate are OK, just keep the nutrients balanced, and watch the nutrient level so you do not add too much or too little. Do not use "hot organics” like blood meal or fresh chicken manure under 1 year aged. Chemical fertilizers should say on the label "for container growing". Do not use 10/10/10 or 16/16/16 and similar fertilizers as they are high salt and will burn your plants.

Winter Maintenance

Gooseberry and currant plants are very sensitive to too much moisture, especially when they are dormant. When dormant, we water them about once every 3-5 weeks.  Commercial/ Big box store potting mixes will retain too much moisture and root rot the plants. Once the plants come out of dormancy and start to grow, water as the plants start to dry out.  If plants appear too wet during the winter, let the plant dry out and if the plant has not already root rotted, it may start to push out new buds.

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.




Scenic Hill Farm Nursery, 2820 NW Scenic Drive, Albany, OR 97321,

541-990-6099     © 2023 Scenic Hill Farm