Logo

Making tarts, crumbles and jams? Why not grow your own gooseberries?

PUBLISHED: 14:08 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:13 01 November 2017

Gooseberries have long been grown for their sharp flavour, which is ideal in tarts, crumbles and jams

Gooseberries have long been grown for their sharp flavour, which is ideal in tarts, crumbles and jams

Thinkstock/PA

Want an easy-to-grow fruit to put into mouth-watering crumbles and creamy fools? Follow our guide to growing gooseberries

Various colours of gooseberry are available, including the new 'Crispa Darling' Various colours of gooseberry are available, including the new 'Crispa Darling'

Gooseberries have long been grown for their sharp flavour, which is ideal in tarts, crumbles and jams. And with improved breeding work, growers have improved mildew resistance and increased the quality of the fruit as well as coming up with less thorny bushes.

But how should you grow them? Markus Kobelt, founder of fruit specialist Lubera, offers the following tips.

Gooseberries can be planted all year long, but autumn is the ideal time Gooseberries can be planted all year long, but autumn is the ideal time

When should you plant them and where?

Gooseberries in containers can be planted all year long, but autumn is the ideal time. They can be planted in full sun or partial shade and are hardy and happy in almost any type of soil. After removing weeds and breaking up the soil, dig a hole for planting. Put compost in the hole and add fertiliser.

Let new shoots develop

Gooseberries can be planted all year long, but autumn is the ideal time Gooseberries can be planted all year long, but autumn is the ideal time

If you are planting bushes, loosen the roots when you remove them from their containers and plant them in a hole double the size of the rootball, planting 5-10cm deeper than the surface of the container. This encourages new shoots to develop from the ground in later years, which are the base for quality production. Plant these gooseberry plants around 1.2m (4ft) apart. Water them in well.

Plant bare root gooseberries between late autumn and early spring, spreading roots in the large hole where you are going to plant them, backfill with enriched soil and make sure you firm it in well around the roots. Water them in well and keep an eye on moisture levels, particularly during the dry summer months, when they are likely to need further watering until established.

Gooseberries such as the 'Crispa Nibbling' claim better tolerance against mildew Gooseberries such as the 'Crispa Nibbling' claim better tolerance against mildew

Options for small spaces

If you have limited space, have a go with a berry standard, a tree-like form with a bushy head on a short trunk around 1m in length. Any growth appearing on the trunk should be rubbed off when it appears. The trunk should be staked as the head can become top heavy with fruit. Standards can be situated in the vegetable garden, perennial border or in a container on the patio. Berry standards enable the plants to ventilate better and dry off - so there is less disease and more berries. However, make sure any plants in containers remain moist.

Colour your plot

The 'Mr Green' variety of gooseberry The 'Mr Green' variety of gooseberry

Various colours of gooseberry are available, including the bright red, aromatic ‘Crispa Nibbling’, the new ‘Crispa Darling’ and the yellow equivalent ‘Crispa Goldling’, which all claim better tolerance against mildew. For thornless types, try ‘Lady Sun’ and ‘Lady Late’.

You can even buy the two varieties together in one pot. The Moreberries ‘Yellow & Red Gooseberries’ provide the slightly earlier maturing ‘Lady Sun’ (late June/early July) with its sunny yellow colour and sweetness and ‘Captivator’, which starts to ripen at the end of the ‘Lady Sun’ harvest, so you can enjoy gooseberries for a longer season, in July and August. The double berry combination also allows the lushest fruit set because cross-pollination is easier for the bees.

Property search


e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

For sale: New show homes open at Highgate development

Two new show apartments have opened at a luxury development in Highgate.

Elegant cottage formerly home to renowned poet, A.E Housman, now for sale in Highgate Village

A cottage in Highgate Village where the renowned poet A.E Housman once lived is now available to buy.

Comment: A War of the Roses? The challenges of dealing with property and divorce

Trevor Abrahmsohn, MD at north London agents Glentree, writes about his encounters with divorcing couples selling the marital home

Home of the week: Handsome 5 bedroom property in Hampstead perfect for a family

On the market for the first time in many years is this attractive, substantial detached double fronted family house located in a prime location.

Fancy owning a Picasso? It’s not impossible says Belsize Village gallery owner

Emma Rice talks to Andrea Sylvester about art and how we could all potentially own a Picasso or a Chagall, if that’s what we love

Callender Howorth interior designers transform Grade II-listed home in Hampstead

Mark Howorth, the founder of luxury interior design firm Callender Howorth, tells us how he brought elegant Indian influences to a period property on NW3’s Heath Drive

Primrose Hill artist Michal Cole on transforming her paintings into woven masterpieces

“It’s actually bringing these paintings back into what they used to be in the Renaissance times – as tapestries.”

Home improvements: How to make a rustic hanging rail

Fancy getting stuck into a creative project? Try your hand at woodworking and hang your coats on this minimalist marvel.

Home of the Week: Handsome four-bedroom Victorian terrace in Dartmouth Park

An attractive four-storey Victorian family home on the upper slopes of peaceful Dartmouth Park

King’s Cross area guide: shopping, culture, eating out and the station

Your guide to all the things to do in King’s Cross, including the best shops, cafes, pubs and schools. Plus our guide to property in N1C

Three properties for sale in King’s Cross

Here are three properties you can buy in King’s Croos, from new builds to conversions

1930s garage transformed into 10 luxury apartments in Belsize Village

A Belsize Village car repair and parking depot dating back to the 1930s has been transformed into a luxury apartment development.

Escape to the garden: Primrose Hill home gets a new luxury retreat

Chalk farm engineer and treehouse specialist talks about co-designing a new Escape Pod that can sit at the bottom of your garden

Home of the week: Room for all your earthly possesions in sought-after Hampstead enclave

An accommodating and beautifully presented, five-bedroom family house, set in the desirable South Hill Park Conservation Area.

Gardens: How best to stock your pond with fish

From picking suitable species to ensuring your pond is safe, Hannah Stephenson runs through some key points to consider before you start.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2018 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant