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Sweet, sour and juicy. These three adjectives describe home-grown gooseberries perfectly. If you want to enjoy the popular berries, you should plant one of the numerous varieties in the garden or in a bucket. Planting Ribes uva-crispa doesn't even require a lot of knowledge, which is great for anyone new to gardening. With detailed step-by-step instructions, you'll have this project up and running in no time.


One of the most important points when planting the ribes is the timing. This determines the success of the project, as the shrubs need a certain amount of time to establish themselves at a location. However, since the plants themselves are very robust, you do not have to wait too long for a direct appointment. Choose either spring or fall. Depending on the health of the specimen to be planted, you should bring forward spring to allow the gooseberry to recover. This is important, for example, after an illness that broke out after the winter. Plant young specimens in mid or late spring. Depending on the temperature in your region, even after the ice saints in mid-May.


In addition to the time, the location also plays an important role when planting. You can only look forward to a rich harvest in autumn and a vital gooseberry throughout the year if this is met by the requirements of the plant. This should be as follows:

  • Light requirement: sunny to light shade
  • Orientation: Southeast, South
  • sheltered from the wind
  • protected from late frosts

It is particularly advisable to choose a place under larger trees or shrubs. This way your gooseberry will not be directly irradiated, which can quickly lead to sunburn. Plants that provide shade are Ribes uva-crispa's best friend and maintain the vitality of the shrub. The soil of the site must also have certain characteristics:

  • relaxed
  • humorous
  • calcareous
  • slightly damp
  • moderate

If the desired location is too sandy or dry, mix some clay into the soil. This will do the gooseberry good. Just be careful not to add too much, otherwise waterlogging may occur. This in turn leads to an infestation by fungi. Never let the soil dry out. It is best to use a drainage system made of gravel or broken pottery. You should also consider how the gooseberry is kept at the location. While many gooseberry varieties are ideal wild hedges with a vigorous growth, there are just as many varieties that can be kept as columnar fruit. In this case, be sure to note how much space the plant really needs and choose the location accordingly.

tip: You can even train gooseberries on a trellis. Of course, you should pay attention to the site conditions and the available space so that the plant does not get too cramped or stuffy, as fresh air protects against fungal infections.


So that the gooseberries can establish themselves at the new location within a short time and are supplied with sufficient nutrients over the first season, you should start preparing the soil four weeks earlier start. This makes it easier for the plant to absorb nutrients, since by then they will have been well distributed. Proceed as follows:

  • Dig a plant pit
  • Size corresponds to twice the root ball
  • optional: 15 percent more for drainage
  • 100 centimeters space between two planting holes
  • Distribute drainage at the bottom
  • Mix excavated soil with mature compost
  • refill the planting holes

In this way, you can start immediately on the day of planting and make further work easier.

Planting gooseberries: instructions

Once you have chosen a planting date and location, you can begin planting. Be sure to wear gardening gloves as a precaution if you have chosen a variety with thorns. In most cases, young specimens have significantly fewer or soft spines, but these can also be painful. The following instructions explain step by step how to plant the gooseberries:

1. Carefully remove the Ribes uva-crispa from the tub or from the previous location. Be careful not to damage the roots and check for dried, broken, or rotten areas. Remove these carefully with sharp scissors that have been previously disinfected. However, do not forcefully remove the soil, as the plant's root ball grabs a lot of the substrate.

2. Prepare a bucket of fresh water and place the root ball in it until no more air bubbles rise to the top. If you have chosen bare-rooted gooseberries, you can easily skip this step.

3. Carefully lift the gooseberries out of the bucket and immediately place them in the planting hole. Especially with young plants, make sure that they are upright, otherwise there may be problems with growth. A stick made of bamboo or wood is ideal for this. If you want to move a larger example, you should get a second person to help you. This will hold the shrub in place while you fill the planting hole.

4. The prepared soil is now filled up to the top and carefully pressed down with your hands. Don't tamp down the earth. You don't want to change the position of the gooseberries or compact the soil. The looser the better, because Ribes like to breathe.

5. After planting, water the site extensively. The soil should always be a little moist so that the Ribes uva-crispa can feel comfortable.

In the weeks after planting, you should make sure not to let the site dry out. This is especially important if you have decided to plant in late spring and the sun is getting stronger. Soil that is too dry can take a toll on the plants.

tip: If you want to increase the yield of your gooseberries, you should establish bee pastures and other bee-friendly plants such as willow, rosemary, sage, clover or apple trees in your garden. Despite the ability to self-pollinate, ribes significantly increase flower count and therefore yields.

20 gooseberry varieties

Now that you know how Ribes uva-crispa is grown, you should take a moment and look for a suitable variety. Like red or black currants, gooseberries are cultivated in numerous varieties that have different fruit sizes, resistances and care requirements. The biggest difference between the individual varieties is of course the color of the berries. These are either white, red, yellow or green and differ significantly in taste, which is what makes the varieties so appealing. The following is a list of 20 attractive varieties for your garden:

1. Black Velvet

The 'Black Velvet' is an extremely aromatic variety with sweet, nuanced notes that stands out for its dark red color that almost turns black.

2. Green Ball

This strain is a classic par excellence. Compared to the 'Black Velvet', the flesh of this one shines through almost completely. Due to the growth height of a maximum of 100 centimeters, it is even suitable for small gardens.

3. Höning's Earliest

This variety allows eating straight from the bush. Even grown as a standard, it bears a lot of fruit, which appears early in the year.

4. Invicta

With the 'Invicta' you are offered a robust, undemanding and fungus-resistant variety, which also enables a harvest with large yields. The berries are large, green and have an intense taste.

5. Ironmonger

Classic red variety from England known for its thin skin. The berries always hang in pairs and it is one of the varieties with the highest yields and a noble aromatic taste.

6. King of Trumps

A yellow-skinned variety with red marbling. Due to its juiciness, it is ideal for eating raw and freezing.

7. Larell

One of the thornless varieties, which is particularly suitable for keeping in pots on the balcony or terrace. She is also very healthy.

8 May Duke

With the 'Maiherzog' there is a breed from 1890, which is mainly used for preserving. The red berries can also be eaten raw.

9. Mucurines

This variety is one of the variants that bear a particularly large number of fruits. Seven to eight kilograms of green, egg-shaped berries hang on the subshrub at harvest time.

10th pax

Another variety without thorns, which is also resistant to powdery mildew and other fungi. The fruits are nice and big and red.

11. Redeva

A crimson variety with a lot of aroma that turns sweet. It is often used for the small garden, on the balcony or in the house, as it also has good resistance to mildew.

12. Remarka

Powdery mildew does not affect this variety, which is mainly kept as a columnar fruit. The dark red berries are full of juice.

13. Resista

Yellow variety, which, as the name suggests, is resistant to powdery mildew and other fungal diseases. Well suited for humid regions.

14. Rexrot

You can expect between six to seven kilograms of fruit from the variety, which is also resistant to mildew.

15. Rokula

Spherical, dark red berries adorn the shrub, which is resistant to fungi.


A variety with black-red fruits that can remain on the plant for a long period of time without suffering from powdery mildew or leaf fall disease.

17. Red Triumph

A green variety that is considered a small rarity. Its berries are not very large, but are suitable for picking greens from the end of May.

18. Spinefree

Almost completely thornless. The red berries are very easy to pick, even for children.

19. White Lion

A popular white variety for the tub, which is one of the oldest. The taste is extremely sweet.

20. Xenia

The unique thing about this breed from Switzerland is the orange aroma, which turns into a classic gooseberry taste. Definitely worth trying.

It is advisable to choose one of the varieties resistant to fungus or powdery mildew if you live in a region with persistently humid weather. Mushrooms spread much better when wet, and a resistant strain doesn't mean you have to go without cultivation.

red gooseberries on the bush

tip: If you only have limited space in the garden but want to plant red and yellow gooseberries, you should opt for the duo variety 'Hinnonmäki red and yellow'. Not only does this have a high resistance to powdery mildew, but it also bears yellow and red berries on one bush, making it a popular variety.

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