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Thread: Tougher? Gooseberry's or Blackcurrants.

  1. #1
    Kirk is offline Cropper
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    Default Tougher? Gooseberry's or Blackcurrants.

    Just dug a long narrowish bed and am thinking of putting the gooseberry bushes there or the blackcurrants.

    Now the soil is not good, have added a few bags of "compost" and will add more but a rich fertile loam it will never be. It is also dry.

    Compost I get is not really compost, it is more a very fine mulch more then anything but does well to dig in and open up and alter the soil into something better. Another 4 at 10 should at present be all I add. Mainly to allow it to incorporate before I grab more bags if they have it in later (doubtful).

    Hoping the added compost will retain a bit more moisture also.

    It is a reasonably sunny area.

    So guesses, estimates, whatever on whether the blackcurrants or the gooseberries will do the best there?

  2. #2
    SarrissUK's Avatar
    SarrissUK is online now Early Fruiter
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    I think they would both do alright there, though I would just dig a hole somewhere you haven't already dug a whole bed. I'd plant the bushes and mulch the ground well with whatever you have at hand, but I wouldn't bother digging anymore than necessary, but get some horse manure or fertiliser into the hole before planting

  3. #3
    muck lover is offline Tuber
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    Black currants will like a sunny spot and should do well in your improved soil. They will appreciate a mulch of manure every year and if you think it’s dry give them a good water and mulch immediately with grass clippings or even cardboard to keep soil moist. Good luck.

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    Kirk is offline Cropper
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    SarrissUK the ground had to be dug, it was solid and hard, and I mean solid. Nothing in it retained the last bit of moisture. Hit it with the back of a fork and the fork rang, no mark in the soil/ground. Have collected a good number of stones from it as well. The Stone Fairies seem to visit a lot. Biggest problem with digging it is not to bury the robin that accompanies me around the garden at somewhat close quarters and snatches the creepy crawlies that appear. The bird has an odd apertite.

    I was debating the bed for the saffron crocus they are said to like baked ground and this was baked. What I will do is buy a small bag of whatever is on sale at St Albans market each visit and put those in as well.

    Actually have decided to make a bit of a change. The rear was to have a 4" sleeper on the wood base and the front to get about an extra 2" on its base. However the construction has meant the rear is somewhat higher (was intended to be a bit) then makes sense. So the front gets the 4" sleeper(s) and the rear get just under another 2" added. Now front and rear are similar height - rear still a little higher.

    Does mean that eventually I will need to add some 4" of soil or whatever to it. Had thought around 2" or a bit less. So going to end up a bit deeper then initially expected. Plants will be happy.

    As mentioned all I do is grab whatever is on offer at the garden centre up the A1, I can also add in the used compost from last years container grown potatoes and other stuff. What to do with old compost is not a problem.

    One unexpected aspect is that one end is under a overhanging plum and forms a nicely hidden and secluded retreat - just the place to sit and let the world revolve uninterrupted. Need something suitable to sit on.
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  5. #5
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
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    gooseberries are tougher and longer-lived than blackcurrants and will cope with quite a bit more shade, but probably more people enjoy blackcurrants as a fresh fruit.
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  6. #6
    chrisdb is online now Rooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickdub View Post
    gooseberries are tougher and longer-lived than blackcurrants and will cope with quite a bit more shade, but probably more people enjoy blackcurrants as a fresh fruit.
    Agreed that gooseberries are way tougher and need less coddling than blackcurrants to get a good yield. I'd disagree with you on flavour though: the reason a lot of people think they don't like gooseberries raw is because they haven't tried a truly ripe dessert gooseberry. A ripe gooseberry should be soft to the touch and the skin should give a bit when you squeeze it gently.

    I gave some to a colleague at work who'd been tasked with picking hard ones for jam as a child and claimed not to like raw gooseberries, and he immediately went and bought his own plant. He'd never been given a truly ripe one before, and thanks to that he'd missed out on decades of a really great dessert fruit.

    For my taste, the older dessert varieties are some of the best, such as Whinham's Industry or Langley Gage. Rokula and Xenia are newer and also good. The Hinnomaki ones sold just about everywhere are ok but nothing special.

  7. #7
    Nicos's Avatar
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    Be aware too of which diseases/pests you are more likely to be exposing them to.
    Do you or your neighbours have a history of gooseberry sawfly or leaf blister?
    Last edited by Nicos; 21-09-2019 at 09:58 PM.
    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

  8. #8
    chrisdb is online now Rooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicos View Post
    Be aware too of which diseases/pests you are more likely to be exposing them to.
    Do you or your neighbours have a history of gooseberry sawfly or leaf blister?
    Having had sawfly doesn't necessarily doom you forever. I had really bad attacks of sawfly in the current garden in the first couple of years, but since then I've barely seen any. I'm not sure if the plants toughened up as they got older somehow, or if some predators arrived. But if you do have a bad attack, it can be painful to pick them all off by hand giving the very sharp thorns...

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