[NAFEX] Gooseberry recommendations for TN

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Fri Sep 11 22:35:23 EDT 2009

We fruited about half of these in East TN for a number of years.  Planted
with lots of organic matter on top, and kept adding leaves each year to keep
roots cool.  Ed Mashburn considered this key.  Also chose a site with shade
after 2-3pm.  Most gooseberries suffer above 86F.

I concur that Glenndale is the best performer, year in and out, for our
location.  Very vigorous, and holds its leaves later than any others.  Hence
a bigger bush.
Invicta sunburns badly, and also is a magnet for imported currant worm and a
branch damaging beetle the looked liked (and may be) locust borer.  So
Invicta a good trap crop for a gooseberry planting.
Jahn's Prairie gives good flavored fruit, but not much yield, though
thornless.  Jeanne (aka ORUS 126?) also not a heavy yielder, nor a good
survivor.   Performed much better in Corvallis.
Hinnomakis were patented, not sure when the patent expires, but I like to be
able to multiply my plantings and share plants, so did not put either in.
Black Velvet and ORUS 8 did not impress me during my summer evaluating
gooseberries and currants in Corvallis, never tried them in TN.

Ed Mashburn recommended Captivator, Glenndale and Amish Red, and all have
done very well in East TN, with a comparable climate to his in PA.  Each
also very resistant to mildew, something necessary for TN.  Ed noted how
poorly Glenndale, looked, tasted and performed in Corvallis vs. how well it
grew, yielded and tasted in PA.  If I remember correctly it was not due to
mislabeling as he obtained a Glenndale plant from Corvallis, and it thrived
at his place.  Glenndale does have wicked thorns, but this effectively
deterred the possums and raccoons when they feasted on the thornless and
lightly thorned cultivars.

Poorman grew like gangbusters in TN, but would make me poor if I depended on
its fruit.  No fruit most years, though the 3-5 I did get on occasion from 4
bushes were of good quality.

For my planting at our new place, have put in none of the below, but have
put in Glenndale, Amish Seedling and Captivator.  There is another that does
nearly as well as Glenndale, one from an elderly couple who got it decades
ago from another elderly couple.  So not a new release.  So ask around and
you may find something suited to your area.  There is a TN resident who has
planted quite a bit of Ribes material from NCGR in Corvallis.  If you
contact them, they may be willing to share the person's name with you, that
you could compare notes with someone close to your area.

In summary, would only plant Jahn's Prairie at your site from the list
below, as there are other cultivars better suited for our upper south
sites.  Unless you enjoy documenting your frustrations :)

Lastly, goats, in my experience and that of another friend, will not eat
gooseberry or currant plants in our ecosystem, when they have browse of the
native plants or grass.  Deer also went by the gooseberries (thornless ones,
too) to eat sweet potatoes, okra, tomatoes, pumpkins and squash leaves.

Richard Moyer
Castlewood, VA
Selling Autumn Olives for $32/gallon at market tomorrow.  The real deal, not
Joel, Joy or Jan labeled as such.

> Black Velvet
> Canada
> Hinomaki Red, Yellow
> Invicta
> Johns Prairie
> Jeanne
> Orus 8
> Poorman
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