Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Saturday, July 3, 2010



I like gooseberries. They are an under-utilized small fruit in the garden, possibly because they can harbor white pine disease, a virus that affects a valuable wood in northern forests. Gooseberries grow wild in the Shenandoah woodlands, so planting them in VA is not a problem (check with your local ag extension agent before planting gooseberries or currants, members of the Ribes family, for applicable laws in your state). Gooseberries are easy to grow (they like some sun and well-drained soil) and are lightly sweet when ripe (watch for the thorns when picking!). However, though easy to grow, I am often hard pressed to get any fruit off of them before the birds do, though this year I am finding more fruit on the plants. I was just about to follow my rule "If it does not produce, rip it out," but I am a little more hopeful that perhaps all the plants need to do is mature more intro higher production (wishful thinking? maybe)...so they have a reprieve for one more year! The ones pictured above are a variety that matures to a purple or red wine color, so it is easy to tell when these are ripe (you will never forget what an unripe one tastes like!)
Happy Gardening!

1 comment:

Anita said...

They look similar to grapes.
I'll have to ask my mom if she's ever had them.