January is a great time to prune the prickly gooseberry bushes particularly if they have got a bit over grown.
In late November I planted several new varieties of gooseberry bush as I am looking for more fruit (and fruit pies). These plants do not need any pruning until next year and then only very light pruning. Never the less I have had a good look to make sure that there are no damaged branches to trim and I will check again if we get some heavy snow.
Gooseberry Bush Information
Gooseberries are one of the earliest fruit crops in the UK.
Fruit comes after insignificant flowers on numerous spurs (little side shoots).
To minimise mildew grow a bush with an open branch network.
Pruning Gooseberry Bushes
Use sharp secateurs
Cut the leaders (main large stems) by half their length.
Cut laterals (side branches) back to two or three buds. This encourages more fruiting spurs.
Create an open framework and an open crown.
Advantages of Gooseberry Bushes
Prunings can root quite easily to grow more bushes.
Bushes are normally quite long lived.
Gooseberries fertilise themselves so even a single bush can grow a crop of over 10lbs of fruit.
Bushes will grow in light shade and tolerate cold.
Bushes can be grown as standards.
Varieties of Gooseberry Bush
I have just planted Hinnomaki yellow and red varieties.
Leveller is an old variety with sharp tasting yellow/green fruit.
Pax is a spineless bush with fruit that can be eaten uncooked.
Whinhams industry is a hairy reddish variety.
Invicta has an agm
My Lancashire Lad is a heritage variety that fruits red.
Latin name Ribes uva-crispa