Growing Gooseberries (Kruisbessen in Dutch) is new to us. We had never consider to grow fruit trees with prickles before.
We bought two red Gooseberries (Ribes Uva-Crispa) in Spring 2005. And we set both trees immediately in the soft clay ground at the center near the North side of our back garden.
We gave both of them a net over the tree trunk to protect from the cold . However, one did not survived in the spring 2006; due to the winter frost.
Gooseberry is mild winter-hard. It is a dwarf fruit tree; tree trunk was rough and it was about 40cm in height when we first bought.
It was small and it loves plentiful of sun power. It is sensitive to the cold.
The tree needs no pruning. It carried little leaves.
In the year 2006 (picture 1) and 2007 (picture 2) it did not do well; and so we did not harvest.
*This Gooseberry tree started growing well from 15th April 2008 (picture 3).
*On 19th April it showed some opened small little light yellow flowers (picture 4) below the leaves.
*On 27-4-2008 flowers dropping and it showed fruit buds (picture 5).
*On 27th May (one month later) the tree was fully covered with green Gooseberries (picture 6).
*On 8th June berries were expanding (picture 7).
*On 15th June (in one week) some berries had changed their colours to pinkish (picture 8&9).
*On 17th June (in two days) some berries were in darker pink colour (picture 10).
*On 21st June (in 4 days) the whole tree occupied with sweet looking beautiful berries (picture 11).
*On 26th June the berries were darker in colour (picture 12).
*On 30-6-2008 all the ripe and sweet gooseberries were ready for harvest; and we harvested (picture 13) on the vary day.
During the whole growing period we only supply rain water; besides the piece of ground. No pest problem.
You can bring a tray along when you are harvesting the Gooseberries. Because if the berries are very ripe; they will drop easily if you give just a soft touch.
You can eat Gooseberry fruits fresh just like grapes. You can juice it. You can also use the berries to make drinks; sauce; tarts; salads; chutney; and pickles.
Try growing Gooseberries in your small backyard garden?