with annual pruning…

Image not found.Don’t miss the opportunity at this time of year whilst you can clearly see the structure of your Gooseberry bushes to give them a prune. One thing I’ll always remember from my days of training is that you want to aim for an up-turned umbrella shape when pruning. This makes picking the fruit easier and will help you avoid being caught by the menacing thorns! By opening up the centre of the bush means that more light and air will circulate and encourage better fruiting.

Before rushing in, take your time to stand back and consider how you will prune taking care to cut out any dead, diseased, dying and crossing branches in the first instance. The final shaping happens after that. You will also want to trim off low stems that reach the ground back to an upwards-facing bud. Also shorten tall shoots by about half and cut side-shoots back to a couple of buds to encourage fruit growth along their length.

Image not found.Finally, add a good helping of well rotted down compost and feed with a sulphate or potash fertilizer in spring for better fruiting.

© Miranda Bell 2006

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