Gooseberry Grushenka: characteristics, features of cultivation and reproduction
Gooseberries rarely take pride of place in the garden. The branches studded with sharp spikes make it difficult to care for the crop, and harvesting becomes an extremely difficult procedure. Taste qualities of berries are not always attractive, and the plant itself is often sick. These factors can serve as a significant reason for varietal renewal of shrubs. The gooseberry variety Grushenka is a worthy representative of the culture, devoid of most of the inherent disadvantages of this plant and possessing excellent characteristics.
The scientist I.V. Popova worked on the development of a new variety at the All-Russian Institute of Horticulture and Nursery. For selection, Moscow Red, Northern Captain and uniforms 595–33 were selected, as a result of crossbreeding of which they managed to obtain an unpretentious non-studded shrub with fruits of an unusual shape and color.
Grushenka bush grows compact, low, slightly spreading, but with strongly branching shoots. The drooping branches bear fruit along the entire length with plum-purple berries and an unusual elongated-drop-shaped, resembling a pear. Not too large, they “stick around” the shoots of the bush so densely that sometimes leaves are not visible. A remarkable feature of the variety is the complete absence of thorns, which greatly facilitates the care of the plant. The variety is early-growing and already at the age of three begins to please the harvest.
Video: Bearless gooseberries Grushenka
Advantages and disadvantages
Gooseberry Grushenka is unpretentious enough to successfully grow and bear fruit even among a novice gardener. But, like most other varieties, waterlogging of the soil is painful and in wetlands can die from fungal infections. Some inconvenience is caused by the need for annual pruning and garter weighed down by abundant harvest branches.
- But these shortcomings cannot outweigh the prevailing merits of the variety, among which are noted:
- lack of thorns;
- resistance to infections;
- high frost resistance;
- early maturity;
- ability to grow on almost any soil;
- good storage and transportability.
Did you know? Gooseberries are a relative of currants. After their crossing, a yoshta hybrid was obtained, characterized by high growth, nutmeg taste berries, lack of thorns and resistance to diseases inherent in parent plants.
Drought resistance, frost resistance
The shrub tolerates heat and dry periods, but without additional moisture, the berries form small. High frost resistance of the variety allows it to tolerate frosts down to -30 ° C even without winter shelter, and flowers and ovaries are not afraid of spring return frosts. Gooseberries have a powerful immunity to common diseases of a viral and fungal nature.
Productivity and fruiting
Grushenka berries are not the largest, their weight is, on average, 4 g. But the small size of the fruit is offset by an abundant harvest - up to 6 kg per bush. Full ripening begins in August, although the collection can begin already in the second half of June in the stage of technical ripeness. Fruiting continues until the plant is 20 years old. Sweet and sour berries covered with thick skin are not prone to cracking, shedding and have high rates of transportability and storage. Universal variety with a tasting score of 4.1–5 points on a five-point scale.
It is necessary to prepare for planting a bush in advance.The success of the event, to a large extent, depends on the choice of location, adherence to deadlines and process technology.
Gooseberry planting can be carried out in the spring - before the start of sap flow, or in the fall. The autumn period is considered more favorable. The optimal period is 1–1.5 months before the onset of frost. This is due to the need to build a root system that can survive the winter.
Choosing the right place
The unpretentiousness of the variety allows it to be grown on various types of soils. For landing, choose well-lit or partial shade areas with protection from the north winds. Flooded lowlands for gooseberries are not suitable. Bushes are placed immediately at a constant place of growth, as adult plants take root poorly after transplantation.The places along the fences are well suited, but it must be taken into account that other gooseberry varieties or different types of currants were not the predecessors of the culture.
Soil preparation consists in deep digging and adding 15 kg of humus, 2 kg of phosphate rock or dolomite flour and 0.4 kg of potassium salt for every 10 m². Weed herbs are carefully removed along with the roots.
Selection and preparation of planting material
For planting, one-year or two-year-old seedlings are acquired, without signs of disease or pest damage, with well-developed fibrous roots. Skeletal root processes should be 10-15 cm long, and shoots 30-40 cm long.
Dry or damaged fragments are trimmed with secateurs. Before planting, the root lump is soaked for 12 hours in a solution of “Kornevin” or “Heteroauxin”. Leaves are removed and shortened shoots to 5-6 buds. Too young seedlings (under the age of one year) do not need pruning.
The landing instructions include a description of the following steps.
- In the selected area, 2–4 weeks before planting young specimens, dig holes with a diameter of 40 cm, a depth of 50 cm and a distance between them of 1–1.5 m.
- If the soil was not fertilized in advance, a mixture of earth and humus is added to the bottom of the pit with the addition of 200 g of wood ash and 50 g of superphosphate and potassium salt.
- On top of the enriched soil, a small layer of ordinary soddy soil is covered with plenty of water and left for 2–4 weeks for shrinkage.
- After the indicated time, small mounds are poured into the holes, prepared seedlings are placed on them and the roots are straightened.
- They fill up the soil by slightly tamping and deepening the seedling 5–6 cm above the level of the root neck.
- Abundantly water the bush with settled water and mulch the soil surface with hay, sawdust or dry grass.
Features of seasonal care
The stability of fruiting Grushenka makes it possible for the gardener to get an average gooseberry crop without organizing any additional care. But the plant will respond to the application of minimal effort by increasing the quality of the fruits and improving their taste.
Did you know? Gooseberry - very «plastic» culture, it can be grown in the form of a tree (standard form). Berries on such a plant are formed larger and sweeter than on a bush of a classical form.
With sufficient rainfall, the shrub does not need additional irrigation. In a dry climate, it is enough to provide 4 waterings per season: during flowering, during the formation of ovaries, during ripening of berries and before the onset of cold weather to prepare for wintering. It is recommended to use water that has been left standing and warmed to ambient temperature. To irrigate each adult plant, 2 buckets of water are needed, which spills the entire area under the crown of the bush. Young seedlings of spring planting for better rooting need weekly watering.
The soil around the shrub is kept clean, weeds are weeded on time. To improve air exchange, light soils are loosened, and heavy ones are dug up to a depth of 10-15 cm. Loosening is carried out after heavy rains or planned irrigation, up to 4 times during the growing season.
Supporting the plant's own immunity by providing the necessary care increases the chances of successfully resisting various infections and pests. Significantly worsens the condition of the shrub cultivation on heavy, marshy and acidic soils, poor lighting and thickening of branches in the absence of pruning.
To prevent the defeat of gooseberries by diseases, preventive spraying of plantings is carried out in the spring - at the beginning of the growing season and after harvesting, in early autumn. For treatments, a solution of copper sulfate or chemicals of systemic action according to the manufacturer's instructions are used.
Starting from the third year after planting, the gooseberry Grushenka needs additional nutrition. In the spring, before the start of the growing season and during the growth of the ovaries, 10–20 g of urea, ammonium nitrate and ammonium nitrate are added per square meter of beds.When the berries ripen, they feed the shrub with wood ash at the rate of 400 g per bush.
After harvesting, plants fertilize 45 g of superphosphate and 30 g of potassium salt per 1 m². To prepare gooseberries for wintering during the last digging in the soil, compost is closed.
The long flowing shoots of Grushenka cannot hold heavy sweet berries ripening along the entire length and gradually fall to the ground, where microorganisms, pathogens of fungal and viral infections, worms, slugs and insects begin to attack the plant. Thus, the garter of the branches of the bush is necessary to preserve the crop, and also serves as a means of protection and prevention of diseases.
To build a support around the crown of the bush, wooden bars or metal rods are dug in, onto which strips or a rigid wire are fixed in a circle. As the gooseberry grows, the supports move, increasing the area of support.
Grushenka has the ability to intensively grow many lateral branches, which not only bear fruit and increase productivity, but also thicken the inner space of the bush, making it difficult for air and sun to access. In such an environment, favorable conditions are created for the occurrence of diseases and pest attacks, and the quality of the crop is deteriorating.
Important! Without regular pruning of shoots, Grushenka berries grow small and sour.
In the first 5 years of life of gooseberries in late autumn, forming pruning is performed. All weak, twisted, diseased and growing branches inside the bush are cut off. Leave 3-5 of the strongest branches, which pinch the tops. In an adult-formed plant, 5 main and up to 20 lateral branches of different ages support vegetation. Subsequently, the shrub needs the sanitary pruning of shrunken, frozen and damaged branches, as well as the rejuvenating pruning of the old prolific shoots.
Grushenka is propagated, like other varieties of shrubs, in a vegetative way - by cuttings and layering. For cuttings from an adult plant, branches of about 15–20 cm long are cut in July –August, and the sections are treated with “Heteroauxin” or “Kornevin”. Cuttings are instilled into loose nutrient soil, leaving 2-3 buds on the surface. Sprouts are regularly watered until new shoots begin to grow from the buds.
Breeding by layering is a more common and gentle way of reproduction. The annual shoots located in the lower part of the bush are bent to the ground and fixed with a bracket approximately in the middle. The bracket should fix the stem firmly. The attachment site is sprinkled with soil, leaving the end of the branch free, and regularly watered. After rooting and the appearance of young shoots, cuttings are cut from the mother plant and planted in a permanent place.
Diseases and Pests
The gooseberry variety Grushenka is notable for good health, but in some cases, despite the care and prevention, it can be affected by fungal infections. At the first signs of a disease, plants are treated with the following means:
- a solution of 1 liter of whey and 20 drops of iodine (per 10 liters of water);
- a suspension of 10 g of baking soda and 50 g of laundry soap (per 10 l of water);
- infusion of 300 g of ash and 10 l of water;
- a solution of 50 g of soda ash and 20 g of liquid soap dissolved in 10 l of water.
When attacking insects use:
- infusion: 300 g of garlic in 10 l of water;
- fresh wormwood steamed with boiling water in a ratio of 1: 1 and infused for a day;
- infused for 2 days, steamed tobacco, at the rate of 400 g per bucket of boiling water with the addition of 40 g of soap.
If folk remedies are ineffective, they use chemicals and systemic insecticides according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but at the same time the current season’s crop may become unusable. In severe, neglected cases, diseased plants are dug up and destroyed.
At the end of the season, after pre-winter irrigation, top dressing and cutting of shrubs, the remains of vegetation are removed from the site, preventive spraying is carried out and the soil is dug up. High frost resistance of the variety allows adult bushes to winter without additional shelters. In the snowy winter, plants are covered with snow, raking snowdrifts on the gooseberry, and in the absence of rainfall mulch the soil under the crown of the shrub with humus or peat (10 cm layer). Young seedlings must be additionally wrapped with spruce branches or other covering material, and mulch the soil above the roots with a layer of 15–20 cm.
Did you know? Green gooseberries are popular in Europe as an additive to soups and sauces, and in Russia it was pickled, salted and served with meat and poultry.
Harvesting and storage
The harvesting period for Grushenka’s berries begins in late June, in the stage of technical ripeness. Such fruits are intended for processing and are suitable for transportation over long distances. Until the beginning of August, fully ripened gooseberries with pronounced varietal characteristics and dessert taste for fresh consumption are removed. Ripe berries are sorted, selecting healthy, with intact skin, dried and placed in a plastic, wooden or wicker container with a volume of not more than 2.5 liters. In a cool room, boxes are stored for up to 4 days. At a temperature of 0 ° C, the shelf life of berries increases to 1.5 months.
The gooseberry Grushenka, unpretentious in its care, compares favorably with competitive varieties with high winter hardiness, strong immunity, and original pear-shaped fruits. A shrub that is not burdensome to grow will bring joy and aesthetic pleasure with a decorative view of purple berry garlands and a safe harvest from non-studded branches.