gooseberries

Jude123June 14, 2013

I have a gooseberry bush that was given to me from a start of one of hers when she divided it years ago. I have no idea what type is. It has never produced any fruit. It blooms and then teeny tiny berries appear (about the size of a pencil tip) then in a few days they disappear! You can even see the little white stripes on the tiny berries. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong? Also, where can you buy gooseberry bushes? They are hard to find here in Bloomington, Indiana. I have ask the nurseries and they don't have them and have no idea where to get them. I remember picking and eating my mamma's berries when they turned ripe and love them. No pies, I just like eating them like you would a handful of blackberries. YUM! Does anyone know anything about these? Where to find so I can replant or/and why mine has never produced fruit? Thanks, Judy

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eboone_gw

I grow a couple plants but am not an expert. Could be a soil condition or disease-I had a powdery mildew problem a few years ago and though my plants survived they never seemed to have the same vigor again. I plan to replace mine soon in another location. You might think of doing the same. Plants are available at many online nurseries-search under 'gooseberry plants'. I really liked my yellow and red varieties- think they were Finnish cultivars. Gooseberry pie is something special and unique.
I am linking an article below on raising gooseberries.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gooseberry cultivation

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 10:34PM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

Sorry but I do not know what has happened to your existing plant. However... some good news...

One of the best berry nurseries is right there in your home state! I picked up a Hinnomaki Red gooseberry plant this year from Indiana Berry. Look them up. They have several other varieties as well but HR is supposed to be one of the best. I also got some hardy blackberries from them and of course the have dozens of all different types of berries.

This post was edited by dmtaylor on Sat, Jun 15, 13 at 7:48

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:44AM
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eboone_gw

Yes, Hinnomaki Red was one of my varieties too - good productivity, good flavor

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 1:44PM
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brookw_gw

How old is this plant? It usually takes mine 4-5 years before they begin bearing anything significant--around a gallon of berries. It also sounds to me like you have pollination issues if it flowers but doesn't bear. I'd recommend getting another one to help w/this. Poorman is a very good variety as are the Hinnomakis. Invicta is a nice green. While Pixwell has been condemned by many, it has been a good berry for me--so much so that I am trying another American variety called Captivator. Hands down, my favorite vendor of ribes is Whitman Farms. Lucille has the widest variety of quality plants I've found, and she is knowledgeable and just outstanding to work with. However, I think I got the last of her plants. Indiana Berry is also a great source, but they sell out pretty early. Gooseberries have become an item of great demand for me, and I seem to add more every year. The odd weather this year has certainly taken them forever to ripen.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:43PM
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fireweed22

Actually all my plants purchased in 1 gallon pots fruited their first year. Now in year three, they are loaded! And there's I believe 7 different varieties, all the common ones.
So I don't think it's an age thing.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:23PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

When you say the embryonic berries 'disappear' do you mean literally? Or do they just drop off before maturing? If they disappear completely I would suspect something eating them. Here birds and squirrels will eat unripe berries.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 5:36AM
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grow_darnit

I was just about to ask that same question. If you see berries and then they disappear without a trace I'd blame wildlife. I have about half a dozen nice big gooseberry bushes and if I don't net I barely see any fruit. Between a friendly neighborhood possum, a couple of raccoons, birds, and squirrels they strip them clean. Same with cherries (both sweet and tart), blueberries and currants. If you see them on the ground it could be several things. Some varieties are more fussy and will drop fruit if the soil is too dry, or too wet, or if there were low temperatures during blooming, or your neighbor sneezed when the moon was full, the tulips already opened and two of your windows face east. My Jeanne dropped most of its fruit this year and it's in full sun, but Pixwell, Poorman and Jewel in semi-shade are covered in fruit. You'd think with the amount of rain we are having this year it would be opposite. Go figure! Gooseberries are self-fertile, so bad pollination is not likely to be your main problem.
Your best bet with getting new varieties would be mail order. Whitman Farms Nursery has an incredible variety and Lucille is a delight to talk to. Can't recommend her enough! One Green World offers several varieties as well. Hope this helps!
Grow

Here is a link that might be useful: Whitman Farms Nursery

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 11:41AM
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greendumb

I have a couple of poor man gooseberries that leaf out wonderfully each year and the plants are 4 years old and very big. I found out the reason I have never had fruit and probably never will is lack of chill requirements. They need 800-1000 chill hours and I receive between 400-700.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 1:42PM
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shane11

Another outstanding gooseberry variety is 'welcome'. It is available from Whitmans mentioned below. My bush is loaded this year and they make the best jam and fools. I have never had gooseberry pie but I bet it is delicious.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:52PM
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