How to shape and trim gooseberries?


The very word "pruning" is sometimes frightening for a gardener: not everyone decides to work with a pruner or saw, and for the most part, for one reason only, afraid to harm the plant. But, in fact, it is possible to do much more harm to a tree or shrub not by pruning, but by its absence. Without pruning the crown and apple tree with pear, and currants with gooseberries, it will thicken, grow shoots that are completely unnecessary for the plant, acquire shoots dry and old, and as a result, the crop will form exclusively on the periphery of the crown, sharply decrease, and the plant itself will increasingly begin to hurt and be affected by pests.

Probably, everyone heard the phrase: "the bush is old, so it’s sick," in fact, it would be much more correct to say "the bush is badly launched, so it’s sick." So, so that there are no "neglected" gooseberry bushes on your site, we will tell you how, when, and why to conduct this or that type of pruning.

The formation of gooseberries on a trellis.


Where to start cropping?

The very first pruning should be done immediately after landing the gooseberry on the plot. Of course, when planting in the autumn, it is better to wait until spring, but when planting in the spring, it makes no sense to postpone pruning. The shoots of the newly planted gooseberry seedling must be shortened so that only a part with four or five buds remains from each shoot, no more.

Do not be afraid, the gooseberry bushes will only look ugly, but they will be grateful to you: after all, such pruning will allow the formation of new shoots that will make the bush as developed as possible and, accordingly, will increase the yield already in the first years of fruiting, compared with gooseberry bushes, which such pruning was not subjected.

The best time for trimming gooseberries is early spring, usually March or early April, before the buds open. But given that the gooseberry wakes up quite early, it is necessary to somehow combine the snow melt and the period before the start of the growing season and have time to trim in this very short period.

But if you do not have time, then it’s okay, pruning can also be done in the fall, the main thing is to start pruning during this period only after the end of leaf fall, when the plants have already entered the dormant stage. When pruning gooseberry shoots, you should try to cut them above the bud, which is directed outward of the crown: from it in the future the shoot will grow not in the center of the bush, thickening it, but out.

Gooseberry bush.

What are the options for forming a gooseberry bush?

Gooseberry is not an apple tree, there are not so many formations, usually only three. The first option is an ordinary bush formation, that is, the usual kind of gooseberry plant in the shape of a bush, often spreading with an open center of the crown. Option two - this is the gooseberry on the stem, it looks like a small tree with shoots on top. The third option is a trellis formation, in this case, after the gooseberry bushes are planted in a row, a trellis is arranged - two columns are placed along the borders of the row and two or three rows of strong wire are stretched between them. It is on this wire that gooseberry shoots, formed in a special way, are laid.

How good is the usual gooseberry shape? It is as simple as possible. What are the advantages of a standard gooseberry? Such plants in the same area can be planted more, and everything else, such plants look unusual, beautiful. Advantages of trellis? Plants are open, not thickened, they are less likely to get sick, are slightly affected by pests, the crown is open, the fruits are well lit and warmed by the sun, and therefore they are larger and more delicious.

Gooseberry Stamp

Appearance - a bush on a leg, a small tree. Outwardly, it looks interesting and it seems as if to achieve this by cropping is very difficult. In fact, this is not so. First you need to plant an ordinary gooseberry bush in a place convenient for both you and the plant. Next, you should choose from a large number of shoots the thickest, strongest and the one that is directed upwards. It is this shoot of gooseberries in the future that will play the roles of both the trunk and the crown.

When you choose this shoot, all the rest ruthlessly remove, cutting them at ground level. After that, you need to determine what height of the stamb will your future tree have. We must say right away that it’s not worth it to overzealous, gooseberries are still a bush (biologically), so you shouldn’t do a stand above a meter, otherwise you will have to install powerful supports nearby.

Choose a height? Remember that lateral shoots do not grow on the stem? Then boldly remove all lateral shoots to the marked height, cutting off into a ring, with the mandatory isolation of all sections with garden varnish or oil paint. In the future, it will be necessary to monitor the growth at this height and remove them approximately once a season. At the top of the growth, it is necessary to leave shoots-branches, because there will be a crown of the future gooseberry tree.

In the first year, four or five such paces should be left, and so that they scrub the next year, they should be cut in half. At the same time, try not to leave those gooseberry shoots that are already initially directed downward, from them there is little sense and aesthetically they look ugly; and also remove all broken and dry shoots.

In the process of growth, remove all shoots that appear at the base of the bush, and try to replace those shoots that are more than seven years old with young growths. By the way, the base of the bush can be mulched with sawdust with a layer of 3-4 cm, this will stop the growth of weeds, and growths from the roots too.

So, the tree is ready, it takes up little space and aesthetically looks unusual and beautiful, these are obvious pluses. In addition, the crown of such a tree is well blown by the wind, the berries are better lit, therefore, they ripen, as a rule, faster. These are pluses, but there are also disadvantages - a gooseberry boom, even if it is small in height, can easily break a strong gust of wind, so ideally even a 50 cm tall boom still needs support.

The second minus - usually gooseberry varieties are not distinguished by outstanding winter hardiness, but under a thick layer of snow they winter without problems. The bushes on stambik will not hide the snow layer, it should be a very large snow pillow, so such plants sometimes completely freeze out.

And finally, the most important minus is a much shorter plant life, if an ordinary gooseberry bush can live and produce crops for about 30 years, then the bush on the stump is no more than a dozen: because in essence it is one shoot that grows old very quickly .

Gooseberry bush formed on a stem

Tapestry gooseberry

Once the trellis fashion was very high. Scientists have proved that the fruits from plants growing on the trellis are tastier, larger and contain more nutrients, however, the cost of installing the trellis is very high, both financial and physical. And the trellis has become a kind of experiment, which not everyone decides to conduct on their site.

Where to start? Of course, from planting gooseberry bushes. For a full-fledged trellis, you need at least five to six bushes, you can have different varieties planted very close to each other (about half a meter). After the bushes are planted, we build a trellis - we dig along the pole along the edge of the row and between them we stretch three rows of wire at a height of 40 centimeters from the ground, 70 centimeters from the ground and a meter from the ground, this is quite enough. Further, as the gooseberry shoots grow, we tie them to the trellis using twine, placing them so that the branches from each other are at a distance of about 18-20 cm.

Subtleties: it is better to place the trellis with its flat side to the east, so that the sun illuminates it as much as possible until noon and after, and in the hottest time it shines on the side of the trellis, otherwise the bushes may get burned.

Try to leave and tie no more than six strong, powerful shoots belonging to one gooseberry bush to the trellis, the rest can be safely cut at the base of the soil. In the process of growth, the shoots of the last year should be shortened by about 45-50%, and from the growth of the current year no more than six shoots should be left in order to prevent excessive thickening. Five years later, you can rejuvenate gooseberry bushes, for which you leave three or four young shoots on each plant, and cut the rest at the base of the soil.

What are the other advantages of trellis besides the ones listed above? Of course, the convenience of picking fruit; As you know, gooseberries are a thorny culture, therefore it is difficult to collect fruits from a bush, but from a trellis - in fact, a green wall - is much more convenient. The berries always remain clean and are much larger.

Gooseberry bushes formed on a trellis

Gooseberry bush

This is a classic, familiar, gooseberry bush familiar from childhood, but ideally not neglected, that is, not thickened, without broken, dry shoots growing deep into the crown. How to achieve this? In order for the gooseberry bush to be neat, in the first year of its development, it is necessary to shorten all those shoots that have grown in the current season by about 30%, so that at least five buds remain on each.

Of those gooseberry shoots that have grown from the root, it is necessary to leave no more than three of the most well-developed, a maximum of four, the rest can be safely cut. In addition, it is advisable to cut out all those gooseberry shoots that grow too close to the ground, touching it or are directed deep into the bush, and of course, sick, dry, broken and very thin and short.

In the fall of the next season, again it is necessary to cut off all the shoots of the current year by 30%, and leave more of the root ones, about seven.

In the third year, the gooseberry bush, as a rule, begins to bear fruit, by this period, thanks to your pruning and shaping, it will consist of a dozen branches of different ages. And during this period, the gooseberry pruning scheme remains unchanged - all shoots of the current year should be shortened by a third, and two or three of the most well-developed ones should be left from the basal ones.

By the age of seven, gooseberries enter the stage of industrial fruiting. During this period, the bush may consist of two dozen branches of different ages. From this period, and every autumn, it is necessary to completely cut out (at the base of the soil) all shoots older than five years. How to understand that gooseberry shoots are old? By the color of the bark: it will be much darker than in young ones.

Bush shaped gooseberry

And finally, a cardinal rejuvenation. Spend it when the gooseberry bush "knocked" two decades. If you like the variety and you do not want to replace it with another, and the crops are worse from year to year, then just cut all the shoots at a height of 10-12 cm from the soil surface, and a young gooseberry bush will form from new growths.

It is advisable to carry out the anti-aging pruning of gooseberries in the spring, after which the bush needs to be well fed - pour under each tablespoon of urea.

Here it is, not complicated pruning of gooseberries.