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What Are the Best Tips for Growing Gooseberry Bushes?

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  • Written By: Sarah Sullins
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2016
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Gooseberry bushes great plants for most gardens, depending on the type of soil used and the temperature of the area in which it is grown. These bushes generally need to be pruned regularly to keep them healthy and to allow them to produce more fruit. Although these bushes do not usually attract honeybees, with proper care they are able to self-fertilize with the help of the wind.

When selecting a bush, the proper cultivar must be chosen to ensure the best plant will be produced. A cultivar refers to a plant that exhibits the characteristics that a gardener desires, and when the cultivar is propagated, those characteristics remain. Once a cultivar is chosen, a gardener can take cuttings of the gooseberry bushes during the autumn. The cutting should occur before the leaves have fallen from the bush, should be one foot (0.3048 meters) in length, and should not include any part of the top of the bush.

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Before planting, fertilizer should be applied to the ground where the gooseberry bushes will be placed. The type of fertilizer needed will depend on the levels of nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium already present in the soil. These bushes generally need a fairly significant amount of nitrogen, but not so much that the bushes develop mildew and disease. They also require a lot of potassium, which can prevent the leaves on the bush from scorching in the sun. Liming the area where the bush will grow should add the right amount of magnesium and calcium that the bushes need.

When planting gooseberry bushes, gardeners should be careful to place the plants in sunny areas with rich and well-drained soil. The bushes should be planted in an area that is open to the wind. This may help prevent or deter any diseases that could harm the bush. The bush's roots are generally shallow, so it may help to spread organic mulch around the planted bush to add protection and increase the amount of moisture that is present in the soil.

Gooseberry bushes can be trained to grow in two ways: either with a leg or standing on the ground. A leg keeps the bush from dragging on the ground and allows for easier access to weeds. In order to train the bush to grow on a leg, training must start as soon as the bush is planted. This can be achieved by removing the majority of buds on the bottom of the cutting. After each season, the bush will need to be pruned in order to maintain the leg.

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