[NAFEX] Gooseberries for TN?

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Mon Oct 5 10:28:16 EDT 2009

> They are WAY to big to net, whereas it appears that most of the gooseberries are small enough there is some possibility of keeping the birds off them.

For what it's worth, birds haven't bothered my gooseberries* (they do go 
after the currants, though - and pretty much everything else I grow). 
Certainly, if you have cherries ripening at the same time, I wouldn't 
think they'd even notice the gooseberries (although using sweet cherries 
to decoy birds away from gooseberries seems a little odd to me - heh, heh).

And yes, the gooseberries are earlier than most of my fruit - especially 
if I pick them green for pie. I don't make pie, but I can usually talk 
my Mom into doing it for me. Note that we tried ripe - or mostly ripe - 
gooseberries in pie this summer, too. They were great. I don't know if I 
like green or ripe gooseberries better in pie, since they're both good, 
and I didn't eat them side by side. But the color of ripe gooseberry pie 
was very nice.

But I planted gooseberries for fresh eating, and they've been a bit 
disappointing for that. But I can eat them in oatmeal for breakfast. And 
I did discover that combining them with blueberries was wonderful 
(either in oatmeal, or just in a bowl with milk and sugar), so maybe 
I'll have to start growing them, too. :-)

Lincoln, NE (zone 5)

*PS. When I was researching this stuff, I read that birds will eat the 
buds from gooseberries, very early in the spring when they're still 
dormant. I don't remember where I read that, but they recommended 
waiting to prune gooseberries until after the leaves had started to 
open, just for that reason. I haven't worried about it, because I 
haven't noticed birds on my gooseberries at any time of the year, but 
maybe they just haven't figured this out yet.

 From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step. - Denis Diderot

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