Gooseberries are easy to grow and can thrive in many kinds of soils. Gooseberries are small, round, thin-skinned, and delicious fruits. They are similar to currants as they belong to the same genus.
There are many varieties of gooseberries, colours ranging from green, pink, and purple to yellow and white. Some gooseberry varieties have different weather, and temperature tolerance, harvest seasons, and tastes. Although they are usually classified into two groups, culinary, and dessert.
Dessert varieties are sweet and can be eaten fresh. Culinary varieties are sour but are usually cooked with sugar to make jams, pies, etc. Here are some recommended varieties to grow: ‘Whitesmith’, ‘Whinhams Industry’, ‘Leveller’, and ‘Marlet’.
How To Grow Gooseberries
Plant bare-root gooseberries between late autumn and early spring, container-grown can be planted at any time. Gooseberries grow best in cool summer climates. Plant gooseberries in full sun, in hot regions, plant in partial shade, although this will lower the berry yield.
Gooseberries are self-fertile so they will fruit and don’t need a partner, but if you want to grow more than one plant space them correctly. Space your gooseberry bushes 1.2-1.5m(4-5ft) apart, space cordon plants 30-40cm(12-16in) apart. If you want to grow in a container/pot, it has to be at least 18 inches wide and deep.
Dig a hole half as deep as the rootball, and twice as wide as gooseberry roots grow wide, not deep. Place your plant inside and spread out the roots. Fill the hole with slightly acidic, well-drained, organic compost with a pH of 6.0-6.5, or some aged manure. Make sure you do not plant your gooseberries in waterlogged soil. Once planted water evenly, make sure the soil is moist all around.
Water your plants regularly, especially in dry spells, irregular watering can cause gooseberry fruit skin to crack as grown. Protect your plants from frost by covering them with row covers. Fertilisers are optional, but if you want the best results, feed with an all-purpose fertiliser, and avoid nitrogen fertilisers.
Nutrients And Health benefits
Gooseberries contain an impressive amount of nutrients, they are rich in vitamins- C, B-5, B-6, A, and B-1. Minerals- Copper, manganese, and potassium, are also high in fiber, beneficial plant compounds, and antioxidants. In addition, gooseberries may help control blood sugar, may have anticancer effects, protects your brain, and are good for your heart.
How To Add To Your Diet
Gooseberries are delicious and can be eaten in many ways. Eat them fresh, cooked, add to smoothies, jams, jelly, pies, cakes, ice cream, fruit salads, etc. Some people even try eating gooseberries pickled, and add to salsa and meets.