Gooseberries - sun or shade

chuck60March 30, 2009

I have three gooseberries, Hanomaki Red, Pixwell and Invicta, to plant as soon as I get a chance, and I'm having second thoughts on my planned location for them. I had planned to plant them close to a south-facing wall in full sun, but reading here has me thinking this might be way too hot and sunny for them. I don't have a good partially shaded area near the house, but I do have a rather full shaded area under a large crab apple tree. Which is worse, full sun or full shade? Other locations are farther from the house and therefor more attractive to the deer, but I could place them along a tree line where they would get dappled shade during the summer. If I go for that location I'll have to fence them or let Bambi have them.

Chuck

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I didn't have much luck with 100% shade -- I got a bit of fruit but not a lot and they were too disease-prone. Last year I moved all my gooses to an area with 4-5 hours of morning sun. Depending on where your zone 5-6 is they may be OK in full sun.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 8:22PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

As we talked about in this thread, in zone 6b, my Pixwell has really struggled with the afternoon sun/heat. With my new Hinnomaki Red which is coming, I've got a place which is about 60% sun on an east facing slope. I'd avoid both full sun and full shade if you can. -Glenn

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 9:37PM
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lucky_p

Pixwell and Glenndale are two gooseberry varieties that can handle full sun in hot zone 6 - but they don't necessarily LIKE it, and I would think a spot on a south or west wall getting full sun would bake them even more than just being out in the open in full sun.
Other varieties that I tried in full sun here, including Hinnomaki Red, did not survive.
I'd opt for a spot with at least some afternoon shade.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:04PM
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chuck60

I guess I'm going to have to put them farther from the house than I would like in order to get a good sun/shade mix. I'll just have to fence them at least until they get big enough so they can take a little deer browsing. Anyone need any deer? I've got more than enough to share.

Chuck

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:28PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Chuck-
I've got a zillion deer around here. I use the Deer Out and Liquid Fence to keep them at bay. But, the Deer have never bothered my gooseberry. Sometimes I spray the goose, sometimes I forget. But, other plants, even with the deer spray, bambi still gets them sometimes. But, not the gooseberry... yet anyway.
-Glenn

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 2:31PM
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chuck60

Glenn,

That's good to hear. Liquid Fence has protected various things for me relatively well, but I too sometimes forget to renew the stink. I just put out two pears, a cherry, ten grape vines, two ozier dogwoods, two roses, a lilac, five Forsythias, and the three gooseberries. I fence all my trees for the first five years or so, but the bushes and things get sprayed with stinkum. We do have wild native gooseberries in this area which seem to defy the deer, but we even lose roses to the tall rats. I did find a place for the gooseberries that gets afternoon shade. If Bambi doesn't eat them maybe I'll get to see if the tame berries are better than the wild ones.

Chuck

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 5:50PM
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alan haigh

How odd. I'm in zone 6 and grow Invicta and Poorman in full sun with no problem- more sun the better. Invicta is a very productive gooseberry and much better tasting than the American standbys. I mulch the plants with mellowed stable waste (much more wood shavings than manure).

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 6:12PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Harvestman-
Interesting. As you can see in the pics (from the other thread listed above), my Pixwell was well mulched, though no stable manure. Perhaps it was the leaf spot which was caused the later loss of all leaves? Or perhaps it's the difference between Pixwell and Invicta/Poorman? I didn't even know about gosseberries struggling in full (especially late day) sun until other people mentioned it. Time will tell as I have a plan (Kocide 3000) to deal with the gooseberry leaf spot this year.
-Glenn

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 12:37AM
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alan haigh

Mildew is often an issue with gooseberries and on my own site even infects Poorman, which has some resistance. On a full sun site I manage it gets none. Invicta seems completely resistant and when I first planted it over 15 years ago I hadn't heard anything about it. It was the standout performer of 20 varieties I tried. Most of the Euro varieties noted for taste were hoplelessly set back with mildew. Gooseberries just aren't quite good enough in my mouth to be worth spraying.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 5:20PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Yeah, so far, I've only tried my Pixwell. I'd say they were "Ok" to "Good", but certainly not "Great" / "Spectacular". I'm hoping my Hinomaki will taste better. I tend to agree that it's probably not worth it to spray them. Then again, if I'm walking around with the sprayer, and I'm already spraying other things (like apples), I may give 'em a shot. -Glenn

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 5:43PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Agreed about the mildew problem, I also had that in my shady planting. In the new planting with morning sun it has so far been good. I love a dead-ripe gooseberry from my Poorman or other good variety, a wonderful aromatic sweet-sour WOW!

Scott

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 9:39AM
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alan haigh

Yellow Hinamoke is very slow growing though tastey. Poorman and Invicta are much better performers with Invicta having a more attractive fruit- but both taste similar to me. Much, much better than pixwell off the plant.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 8:01PM
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Lena M

Pixwell is the oldest variety of the ones you listed. It is also the least disease resistant. I have several different varieties of gooseberries intermixed throughout my garden, and Pixwell does the worst. It is very productive, fast growing, but berries are small, and it has the most diseases.

I have gooseberries in full sun, and in full shade. The ones in full shade do great. The ones in full sun need additional watering and mulch protection. The best scenario would be part sun of course, but I don't have that kind of space in my garden.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 12:53PM
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coolvol(zone 7)

About disease resistance - you might want to try a new variety just getting to the marketplace. It is named Jeanne and is supposed to be the most disease resistant variety on the market. It is also a very late bloomer and will extend your picking season a couple of weeks. And in years when there is a very late freeze or killing frost it may be the only gooseberries you'll have for that year.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 8:40PM
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