“Every gardener has a gooseberry bush in the garden,” a simple nursery rhyme reports. And many of us keep memories of the grandmother's gooseberry, which seemed the most delicious in the world. Today's gardeners are constantly tempted by unusual novelties from among fruit and berry crops, but the good old gooseberry does not go unnoticed by the owners of summer cottages. The demand for gooseberries was, is and always will be. Moreover, today there are very tasty varieties resistant to powdery mildew. They will be discussed in this article.Gooseberries in my garden - 5 varieties resistant to powdery mildew.
Following Grandma's Gooseberry
In the 19th century, gooseberries, incredibly popular in Europe, began to spread in Russia and neighboring countries. In those days, prickly berries were called "kryzh" or "bersen" and grown in monastery gardens and noble estates. Subsequently, gooseberries became a popular berry crop and was certainly present in every household plot.
But the love of diversity played a trick on gardeners. In the 20th century, new varieties of American gooseberry were introduced into the European continent, along with which an insidious fungal disease called sferoteka or "American powdery mildew" migrated to the gardens.
Local gooseberry varieties were unstable to overseas disease, and their cultivation became almost impossible. Continuing its victorious procession, the restless sphere library eventually got to my grandmother's garden, where about a dozen bushes of delicious emerald green berries grew.
For many years, the entire surrounding children enjoyed a rich harvest of large fruits with a thin skin and amazing sweet taste with a slight acidity. But after several years in a row, every single gooseberry was covered with a touch of black-gray "mold", it was decided to part with the cherished tusks.
However, as soon as I became the owner of my own garden, the first thing I was puzzled by was the search for the delicious grandmother’s gooseberry. Though not the same, but no less tasty and resistant to powdery mildew. As it turned out, breeders have been working on the creation of varieties with immunity against an insidious disease since the time of Michurin, and the assortment of modern nurseries offers a fairly large selection of resistant cultivars.
The main criteria for choosing gooseberry varieties for my garden were determined by me: the green color of the berries, high taste (tasting score preferably at least 4.9-5 points) and high resistance to the sphere library. Last summer, three-year-old bushes massively entered fruiting and made it possible to assess the quality of berries and the degree of their similarity with gooseberries from childhood.
1. Gooseberry "Altai license plate"
I intuitively had the highest hopes for this gooseberry, as it seemed to me that “number plate” means “premium”, “elite”. (In fact, this is not entirely true, initially each variety gets a serial number and only after successful trials it is a beautiful name, and a license plate means "having a number").Gooseberry "Altai license plate".
This gooseberry variety was the earliest of all the tested varieties of my garden. The first fruits could be tasted already in mid-July. The berries of the Altai license plate turned out not as green as I expected. The color of fully ripe could be called rather yellow with a small rosy barrel.
The size of the fruit was also slightly different from the 8 grams stated in the description (it averaged 4-5 grams). However, since this was the first fruiting, and the place for this gooseberry was not quite suitable (the bush turned out to be flooded in spring), then a small mass of berries is most likely not a feature of this variety.
As for the taste, it turned out to be really amazing, and, as I later found out, the sweetest of all the candidates for the title of “best” that I selected. The fruits of the "Altai license plate" have not a shade of sourness, so characteristic of gooseberries, and even the peel of the fruits was quite sweet, although it seemed to me slightly rough.
The shrub itself is low and slightly spreading, there are very few thorns on the shoots, so you can safely attribute it to slightly prickly varieties. Traces of powdery mildew on fruits and leaves were completely absent.
Cons varieties "Altai license plate"
In addition to the small size of the fruit, which was rather a consequence of a combination of circumstances, a too dense skin can be considered a minus of the variety. At the same time, the fruits of the gooseberry "Altai license plate" remain solid even in the phase of absolute ripeness, and do not soften like other varieties. (But this feature, if necessary, transportation turns into a plus). In addition, the variety was observed to show high flaking behavior if the fruits were not collected on time.
2. Gooseberry "Ural Emerald"
Despite the fact that in literature this gooseberry is described as a cultivar of an early maturity, in our conditions its fruits were ready for use somewhat later than the Altai license plate - at the end of July. And unripe berries, although they had an attractive and mouth-watering appearance, turned out to be so acidic that eating them was unpleasant.Gooseberry "Ural Emerald".
In a slightly unripe state, the gooseberry berries have a truly emerald color with light veins, with a smooth, pubescent surface and a matte finish. In terms of size, the fruits turned out to be quite large - 6-8 grams, but not one-dimensional, and on one bush you can find both very large berries and much smaller ones.
With the onset of full ripeness, the berries soften slightly and from light green their color turns into yellowish, gooseberries find a pleasant taste with sweet flesh and slightly sour thin skin.
The bushes of the Ural Emerald are slightly spreading and small in height, thick shoots are densely dotted with thorns. Gooseberry variety showed high resistance to powdery mildew. Yields are so high that they are literally tired of collecting - about a bucket from one young bush.
Cons varieties "Ural Emerald"
Despite the high tasting score of 4.9 points, this gooseberry seemed sour to our family. After all, even in a slightly overripe state, the acidic peel interrupted the taste of sweet pulp.
The abundance of thorns on low horizontal branches makes it difficult to harvest and care for the bush. As follows from the description of the variety, the Ural Emerald is only partially self-fertile, requires a pollinator and cannot be planted separately. The best varieties in pair for this cultivar are recommended by the Komandor and Beryl.
3. Gooseberry "Beryl"
To taste, this medium-ripening gooseberry variety turned out to be truly dessert and especially rich in taste for slightly overripe berries. Despite the slight acidity, Beryl can be called very sweet, which is not surprising - because its pulp contains 9.85% of sugars.Gooseberry "Beryl".
The berries themselves have become one of the largest of all the varieties I had, (average weight from 5 to 9 g). The color of the fruit is bright green, and in fully ripened berries, covered with a thin delicate skin, slightly yellowish. At the same time, Beryl gooseberry fruits have completely no pubescence.
As the breeders promised, and a variety was bred at the Ural Research Institute of Vegetable Growing, the gooseberry Beryl had no signs of powdery mildew. However, after collecting berries, the leaves showed signs of another fungal disease - anthracnose. But, nevertheless, the lesions were insignificant, and after the harvest was already harvested, it was not so dangerous to use chemical antifungal drugs.
In general, this gooseberry variety can be called optimal in most respects: the size and taste of berries, the small presence of thorns and resistance to the sphere library.
Cons Grade "Beryl"
One of the most significant shortcomings of the plant can be called the flat shape of the bushes with arched curving shoots that are literally spread out on the ground. A similar structure of the shrub complicates the collection of gooseberry berries - you constantly have to raise spiny branches, and the berries turn out to be dirty when they come into contact with the soil.
To smooth out this feature a little, every spring it is necessary to tie the berry gooseberry “Beryl” to the support, and at the same time it is very difficult not to stick your hands. But in winter, a flat habit allows the plant to be completely covered with snow to protect it from cold winds and abnormal frosts. Nevertheless, on our site, the variety has not very high yields, and on the south side the berries are slightly baked in the sun.
4. Gooseberry "Ural Shipless"
One of the most unpleasant features of gooseberries, due to which many refuse to plant shrubs in the garden, is abundant sharp spikes that injure hands during harvesting and complicate care. Therefore, in addition to resistance to powdery mildew, the originators sought to minimize the number of thorns on the branches of gooseberries, and over time they succeeded.Gooseberry "Ural Shipless".
However, as often happens, studless and slightly spiky gooseberry varieties were less tasty and large than their "aggressive" spiny brothers. An exception to this rule was declared the Ural Shipless variety, and of course I wanted to check if miracles exist.
During the growth of the “Ural shipless” on our site, this variety did not really have a single significant spike, and the berries pleased with a very pleasant sweet taste with a slightly sour dense peel. This variety has a tasting score of 5 points, which is well deserved.
The gooseberries themselves are very large (average weight 7-8 grams), covered with a wax coating, the main tone is bottle green, and the characteristic veins are slightly lighter. Since the bushes of this variety are quite tall and branched, they can also be used for hedges, which are pretty easy to care for due to the absence of thorns.
Cons of the grade "Ural Shipless"
In the description of breeders, gooseberries "Ural bezshipny" are listed as a variety not fully resistant to the sphere library, but "slightly affected by powdery mildew." And there were indeed signs of a fungal disease on it, but in such an insignificant amount that no treatment was required.
5. Gooseberry "Shershnevsky"
This gooseberry variety did not initially fight for the title of “that same grandmother”, but was planted, which is called “out of competition” solely for the bright coloring of berries, which could add variety to the monotonous parade of outwardly identical green-fruit varieties. Another criterion on the basis of which I decided to settle Shershnevsky in my garden is a late maturity, which will allow him to replace early and mid-ripening varieties.Gooseberry "Shershnevsky".
The berries of this cultivar were ready for use towards the end of August. And here the first disappointment awaited me - the color of this gooseberry was different from that shown in the advertising pictures showing berries with an orange tint. Their color turned out to be quite ordinary dark pink.
As for taste, here my opinion also did not coincide with a high tasting score of 5 points. The taste of gooseberry fruits of this variety seemed completely not expressive, sour.
Gooseberry "Shershnevsky" is completely self-fertile, therefore, can be used in a single landing in small gardens. And since this gooseberry is quite tall, it can be planted as a hedge with awesome spikes. During the observation of powdery mildew, the shrub was not affected.
Cons varieties "Shershnevsky"
Of course, the main significant drawback of this gooseberry variety for me was the mediocre taste. But still I won’t try to dissuade gardeners from trying to grow this variety, as practice has shown that the taste of the same culture may differ depending on the growing conditions. And of course, the expression "there is no taste and color for a friend" always remains relevant.
Another drawback is only the relative resistance to the sphere library, although in our garden there were no signs of the disease.
P. S. Finishing the description of the tested varieties, it is time to return to our main question: did I manage to find among them gooseberries that look as much like grandmother as possible? I am afraid that I will answer no rather than yes. But the point here is not the inferiority of modern hybrids in comparison with old ones.
All applicants for the title of "the same" gooseberry undoubtedly have a lot of advantages and can be grown on a personal plot. But the supposedly incredible taste of the “same” gooseberry from the past is most likely “sweetened” with happy memories of distant childhood, where even a crust of bread with sugar seems better than today's cake ...