[NAFEX] Gooseberry care

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Sun May 27 09:23:05 EDT 2007

I planted several different gooseberries a year ago, and they're doing 
quite well, despite getting little direct sunlight. Well, in our 
climate, that's probably a good thing. Of course, we've been getting a 
lot of rain this year, which I'm sure they like. But I have a couple of 
questions about summer care (I've seen conflicting information on the web):

1. Most of my plants have set gooseberries (all except the Poorman), but 
the Hinnonmaki Red is absolutely loaded with berries. They're strung 
almost solidly along many branches. Do I need to thin these out a bit? I 
could pick some of the green berries for pie (no, I'm not going to cook 
it, but I can easily give them away) if necessary. Or don't I have to 
worry about thinning gooseberries? Note that I'm growing these for fresh 

2. These gooseberries are thorny as heck, and they tend to grow low. In 
fact, some of the young shoots are lying flat on the ground. Should I do 
some summer pruning and remove the lowest shoots? I thought maybe that 
would let the plants put more energy into the remaining shoots that are 
more erect. I'll be pruning off the lowest ones early next spring, 
anyway. Or do I want to leave all of the vegetation this summer, so that 
the plants can soak up all the light they can get? Both ways seem 
logical, to me. What do you say?


Lincoln, NE (zone 5)

For only $399, you can send your kids away to spend a few days this 
summer with Ollie North, professional traitor, frolicking about on a 
military base and pretending to be brave warriors with absolutely no 
risk. It's the perfect activity for young Republican 
chickenhawks-in-training. - PZ Myers

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