How to Grow Gooseberries

Delicious Gooseberries are hardy, fast growing, long lived and easy to grow. They are high in Vitamin A and potassium. They love the cold in winter but need a sheltered spot to protect the new spring growth and flowers. Be aware when planting that Gooseberries have sharp thorns, they are natures way of protecting the fruit. The plants are self-fertile and self-supporting. Fruit production should start the 2nd year after planting and the fruit ripens around November. Any surplus freezes well.

Situation – Plant in morning sun or part shade.

Soil – Gooseberries are tolerant of most soils but prefer a deep acid soil.

Water – Water well especially when the fruit is developing. Do not allow to dry out completely in summer.

Feeding - Gooseberries like lots of organic matter and appreciate a nice layer of mulch or compost around the base of the plant – this also assists with retaining moisture. A well balanced fertilizer with (more or less) equal amounts of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium can be applied in spring if necessary.

Cultivation – Gooseberries have a shallow root system which means their roots are close to the surface of the soil therefore don’t go mad with the push-hoe or use weed spray close to the plants – it is probably best to hand weed to avoid root damage. Gloves are essential.

Pruning – Gooseberries fruit on ‘old’ wood which means that fruit will form on branches that are up to 5 years old. Pruning is done in winter and fruiting branches should be cut back by about ½ each year. Gradually as the bush ages any old non productive branches should be removed and the new vigorous wood will develop.


Wairere Nursery
826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton 3281 Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: