Gooseberry from “A” to “Z”

gooseberry from a to z Blog

What is a garden without gooseberries?

Do you like gooseberries? This question is rarely answered in the negative. Children like it for the sweet and sour taste of large berries, housewives – for excellent jam and elegant look of bushes with a rich harvest, men – for intoxicating drinks from it.

Kryzh or bersen was called it in ancient Russia, and it has been cultivated since the 15th century – first in the monastery gardens, and then in the vegetable gardens. They lovingly looked after him, threw dry leaves, old straw, manure, and then snow for the winter. They took care. And God was careful, as they say, too: the bushes were powerful, the harvests were excellent.

But even today it is difficult to imagine a garden without gooseberries. Its berries are very useful: they contain a lot of biologically active substances, pectin, mineral salts including potassium, phosphorus, iron, as well as organic acids and vitamins. And, probably, not only for the external resemblance, but for the high content of nutrients, gooseberries are called northern grapes. True, one poet-gardener did not agree with this:

Gooseberries are better than grapes

It has aroma, wonderful taste,

He is a favorite of any garden …

What you need to know about gooseberries

This is a perennial shrub with a different shape of the bush and the nature of the growth of shoots – they can be straight, curved, spreading. Depending on the variety, three to six-year-old branches are the most productive, and the peak of fruiting occurs at the age of 4-9 years.

Seedlings are grown very quickly, in the first two years after planting with annual basal and lateral shoots. On the branches of most varieties there are thorns, although there are thornless varieties – Eaglet, Northern Captain, for example.

Gooseberry fruit is a false berry, different in shape, size and color in different varieties. The root system is very powerful, depending again on the variety, it can penetrate into the soil to a depth of one and a half two meters and up to60 cm in the horizon.

Gooseberries begin to vegetate very early, perhaps earlier than all berry crops. But the flowers are very sensitive to low temperatures: below 12 ° C – the setting decreases. Most varieties are self-fertile and can set fruit when pollinated with their pollen.

The gooseberry tolerates any soil, but does not tolerate growing in the shade and thickening: in the shade, the bushes develop poorly, get sick, the berries ripen at the same time and their quality deteriorates. It is more thermophilic than black currant, less winter-hardy, especially sensitive to alternating thaws with severe frosts; does not like waterlogging and high standing groundwater. For him, drought (temporary, however) is better than boggy, but in the period from flowering to ripening of berries, it requires regular watering.

Choosing the best variety

It is advisable to plant varieties of different ripening periods in your garden, winter-hardy, large-fruited, tasty, responsive to care, weak-thorny, and, of course, resistant to powdery mildew. Here are some regionalized gooseberry varieties:

Seedling Lefort. The bush is of medium height, spreading, early ripening and very productive, but prone to rapid thickening. There are few spines on the branches, the berries are small, sweet, thin-skinned and fragrant. The variety is very fruitful, frost-resistant, but unstable to diseases such as septoria.

Gingerbread man. A variety of medium ripening. The bush is not too tall, very spreading, the shoots are weakly thorny. The berries are round, dark red, with a dense skin, large (up to5 g), good taste. The variety is resistant to frost, powdery mildew and septoria.

Hinnonmaki Strain No. 14 (Finnish), also medium-ripening. The bush is smallish, not very sprawling, spherical. Shoots are very elastic, they are well covered with snow, covered with rare hard thorns. Berries are yellowish-green, not too large (weight3.4 g), with delicate skin, very tasty. Collect them immediately after ripening, otherwise they frown right on the bush. The variety is very winter-hardy, high-yielding and disease-resistant.

Moscow red. Brought to the Moscow Agricultural Academy. The variety is medium early, high-yielding, highly winter-resistant. Mixed thorns, rare. The berries are medium and large, round-oval, fragrant, juicy, do not crack or crumble from rain, but are not transportable. Sugars – 12.2, acids – 1.7%, vitamin C – 39 mg%. Medium resistant to powdery mildew.

Russian. Displayed at VNIIS. The variety is medium late, winter hardy, high-yielding. Spines are single, long, straight. Berries are large (up to5 g), broadly oval, dark red, glabrous, thick skin. Sugars – 7.6-12.3, acids – 1.9-2.2%, vitamin C – 32-35, vitamin P 32 mg%: Powdery mildew is weakly affected.

Russian yellow. Displayed at VNIIS. By most of the characteristics, it is similar to the Russkiy variety, but ripens seven days earlier. The berries are transparent yellow, more tender, with a slightly better taste. Relatively resistant to powdery mildew. Universal purpose.

Correct cultivation

Which place to choose? Necessarily well-lit, best of all a small slope of the southeast direction, protected from cold winds. Good predecessors for him are vegetable plants that require careful maintenance. The high acidity of the soil for gooseberries is not a hindrance, but liming will not harm it.

How is the soil prepared? The same as for currants. But it must be borne in mind that it needs potassium more than currants, therefore 8-10 Kg organic fertilizers, 100-120 g superphosphate granular, 80-100 gpotassium sulphide or ash per 2m2. Fertilizers are also applied to the planting pit: 8-10 Kg manure, 150-200 g superphosphate, 40-60 gpotassium sulfate. There is no need to regret the costs, the return will be equivalent to them.

Landing. Autumn is the best time to plant gooseberries. Spring planting is undesirable, since it begins to grow very early, and does not take root well in spring. From mid-September to mid-October is the most optimal time.

Pits are dug with a depth of 3040 cm and 50-60 cmin diameter. Before planting, the roots of the seedlings are dipped in a clay mash. The branches of the seedlings are pruned, leaving 3-4 shoots with 4-5 buds on each. If there is a delay with planting, the seedlings are placed in water for 4-5 hours. After planting, the soil around the seedling is compacted and mulched with leaves, straw, peat, needles or sawdust with a layer of up to10 cm…

Care features

Agricultural technology consists in the fact that for the first 2-3 years the soil around the bushes is loosened, weeds are fertilized, in the fall they dug up the aisles with garden pitchforks, and loosened under the bushes with a rake. In the first year after planting, if fertilizers have been applied, top dressing can be omitted. If the soil is acidic, the introduction of wood ash gives a good effect. Later, during the summer, three additional dressings are made: in early spring with urea around the bush (20 gper plant); after flowering with liquid organic fertilizers in the grooves (2 buckets for a 5-6 year old bush); after harvesting – also organic fertilizers and also in liquid form. So that fertilizers are well and quickly absorbed, the grooves are poured before adding organic matter with water (1-2 buckets per bush). The third feeding is very important, since the plants lay fruit buds for the future harvest.

Watering. If there is not enough moisture in the soil, watered for the first time after flowering. In very dry weather, a second watering is necessary in the phase of forming and pouring berries. To enhance the growth of roots and improve the wintering conditions of plants, the third watering is carried out in the fall, the so-called water-charging irrigation, from 40 to60 l water on the bush.

Pruning, forming a bush. Cut the gooseberry, like any shrub, trying to create a bush with uneven-aged, well-developed and well-placed branches. Pay attention to annual intensive thinning. Of the zero shoots, the strongest ones are left in the spring, which are necessary to replace old branches. Sometimes it is necessary to remove young, but weak branches and leave old, but with good fruits.

Reproduction methods

What is the easiest way to propagate gooseberries? Horizontal layering from a young (3-5 year old) bush. They do it like this.

In early spring, the soil is loosened and fertilized under the mother bushes. Then shallow (10-12 cm) grooves, well-developed shoots are placed in them, they are tightly pinned with hooks in several places and the middle part of this shoot is sprinkled with earth, leaving the top above the soil surface. As soon as vertical shoots grow up to 8-10 cm, they are hilled with moist soil, and after 2-3 weeks the hilling is repeated, watered throughout the summer and mulched.

In the fall, the rooted shoots are separated from the mother bush, the ones that have given good roots are planted in a permanent place, the rest sit near the bush for the second season, they are planted next fall. Biennials with 3-4 shoots and a developed root system bear fruit 2-3 years after planting in a permanent place.

What else does gooseberry reproduce? Some varieties can also be propagated by lignified cuttings (Smena, Kolobok, for example). In autumn, annual shoots are cut off, cut into cuttings, as for black currants, placed in moist soil or sand and kept for 45-60 days at a temperature of 2-3 ° C. Then the cuttings are placed in a container and covered with snow until spring. In early spring, cuttings are planted in nurseries, care for them, and in the fall they are planted in a permanent place.

Can gooseberries be propagated by seeds? This method is used only for breeding new varieties in nurseries. The properties of the parent varieties in their pure form are not repeated.

Gooseberry pests

It is very important to know the signs and nature of the damage caused by them.

Pests. This is a kidney currant flare, the insect is very small and very harmful. The kidneys, after being damaged by a tick, swell and become like a small head of cabbage. Mass infection leads to the death of the bushes. In addition, this mite is a carrier of a dangerous disease – terry, as a result of which the bush becomes sterile.

Kidney moth. Its orange-red caterpillars, released in early spring, gnaw out 5-7 buds each, and the damaged buds look like burnt ones. Damage can be noticed only after the leaves have opened, when bare shoots are visible.

Gooseberry moth. The most harmful pests. Bright green caterpillars feast on berries immediately after they are tied, entangle them with cobwebs, the berries color ahead of time and dry out, remaining on the branch.

The caterpillars of the blackcurrant berry sawfly also damage the berries at the beginning of their setting. The berries grow strongly, rib, prematurely stain and fall off.

The yellow gooseberry sawfly causes considerable harm to the bushes, eating the leaves, leaving only thick veins. It happens that the bushes become almost leafless, and the berries become very shallow.

A very unpleasant pest is the red-gall aphid, whose numerous larvae settle on the inner side of the leaves and suck the juice out of them. These lesions are clearly visible by swelling (galls), painted in a dark red color.

Currant glass jar. It is a whitish, brown-headed caterpillar up to2.5 cm… It penetrates inside and gnaws through the passage in the core, which is also clearly visible.

Gooseberry diseases

Powdery mildew is a white bloom that appears on the underside of leaves in late May and early June. Then the whole plant is covered with a silvery bloom, by the end of summer the powdery mildew turns brown and thickens. High humidity and moderately warm weather contribute to this disease. Hot and dry to her detriment.

In addition, the bushes can get sick with currant anthracnose, when the leaves become, as it were, burnt, currant doubleness, leading to plant sterility, its ugliness.

How to deal with diseases and pests? The main thing is correct agricultural technology. In order to prevent diseases, old fallen leaves are composted and burned, the soil is dug under the bushes, dry and damaged branches are cut to the base, the tops of the shoots damaged by powdery mildew are cut and destroyed, swollen buds are removed, shrubs and the soil under them are sprayed 3% – nym nitrafen or copper sulfate.

In summer, damaged berries are harvested and destroyed; spray the bushes with infusions of mustard, tops, stepchildren of tomatoes, celandine, wood ash; when signs of powdery mildew appear, sprinkle with mullein infusion (pour 1/3 of the bucket3 l water, insist 3 days and bring the volume to 10 l). Use on the day of preparation. With the development of anthracnose, the bushes are sprayed with 1% Bordeaux liquid.

In the fall, the same activities are carried out as in the spring, but without spraying. 

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