veggielorna
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:33 am

rasberry and gooseberry shrubs

There are some rasberry and gooseberry shrubs in my garden. Last year they only produced a handful of fruit. Is there anything that I can do to gain more fruit?? I am newbie to the gardening world and would appreciate any advice. They are currently growing in the shade of a very large tree (next door neighbours) ideally where should they be planted? Can they be moved?? Thanks in advance.

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Shade will most likely play a big role in fruit production. Raspberries are usually planted in full sun, I believe that gooseberries are the same. Though, do you have a goosberry or a ground cherry?

Also with raspberries, pruning is huge for fruit production. Each year all of the old canes from the years growth should be pruned back to the ground and the new runners should be staked up to bear next years fruit.

And yes, you can transplant the plants. The best time to do this is the fall but, you can do it in the spring and summer. I put my raspberry plants in last June and was pleasantly surprised to see fruit on them. (Albeit, not that much but, that's the way the cookie crumbles)

hugh
Full Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 10:01 pm
Location: Boucherville, Quebec, Canada

I agree with the last posting that full sun is best for gooseberries but they will actually tolerate partial – not dense - shade. The quirk about gooseberries is that they are surface feeders – the roots are near the surface. So you need to make sure that they don’t get dry and are feed well. Now this may be the problem with the neighbour’s tree, it’s taking all the goodness away.

So move it if you can but if not replant with lots of compost or peat to hold the water – and occasionally top dress. If this does not work then you will just have to move it. Make sure there is a good air current around otherwise they get mildew, also prune it at the end of the season – again this encourages fruiting and also gives a more open shape that helps avoid infection.

By the way around gooseberries and currents, whose roots are also near the surface, you need to weed around them by hand – pull the weeds out – don’t hoe. Otherwise you damage the roots.

Finally lean how to make gooseberry jam.

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

I agree with hugh except on the peat matter. Peat first of all contains non nutrients, and you can never be sure that peat is wet all the way through, even though it may be soaking wet on top and the bottom, the center may be bone dry.

Also, the harvesting of peat from peat bogs is a bit of an environmental nightmare right now.

A safer alternative is to use cocoa bean hulls which you can buy in the form of bricks that you first have to soak in water from Home Depot (which, from my searches seems to be the best place to buy these things.

Cocoa bean hulls are a byproduct from the chocolate industry and you can look them up in the organic forum under NPK values to find their macro nutrient content. They are also great for holding water and the negative effects that using them have on the environment are somewhat less than using peat.

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