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Video: Gooseberry (Ribes Uva-crispa). Promising Varieties, Gooseberry Breeding Technology
Gooseberries are called northern grapes in Russia
On the Russian land, the fruits of the gooseberry have been known for a long time. There is very reliable information that this plant was grown in monastic gardens in the 11th century for fruit production. In the 15th century under Ivan III, gooseberries were widely cultivated in Moscow gardens.
However, the gooseberry gained its greatest distribution in the 19th century, when a large number of large-fruited, high-yielding varieties were bred in England. These varieties were quickly introduced to Russia, and began to slowly replace local, unproductive ones. However, after powdery mildew, a terrible scourge of gooseberries, was brought to our country from Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century, the area under this crop began to decline sharply. It took a long 15 years to find a means of combating this disease, and then varieties resistant to powdery mildew were obtained, and the gooseberry culture began to revive again.
The gooseberry plant is a perennial shrub belonging to the gooseberry family. The culture is very responsive to care and maintenance, and will always thank the gardener for this by giving him a rich harvest. In addition, gooseberries are one of the most unpretentious and winter-hardy berry crops. For example, on a garden plot in the conditions of the Central Black Earth Region, you can easily get up to 15 kilograms of berries from a bush. Ripe fruits are rather large, usually green or reddish, rounded or oblong, and covered with bristles. Ivan Vladimirovich Michurin called the gooseberry "northern grapes", and this is not unreasonable, since the berries contain vitamins C, B, A, a lot of sugars, minerals and trace elements, organic acids, tannins and flavonoids. In varieties characterized by a dark fruit color,there is vitamin P and a large amount of pectin, which helps to remove heavy metal salts from the human body.
Gooseberry has a fairly high frost resistance. Even with a fairly early flowering of the plant, there are almost no cases of freezing and death of flowers.
The high drought resistance of the shrub should also be noted. It is explained by the deep bedding of the root system and the presence of thorns, which help to reduce moisture loss. The ability to tolerate shading is also a positive feature. A good harvest can be obtained even from a partially shaded area. Amateur gardeners should remember that the fruit buds that provide the future harvest are laid in the second half of summer. It is during this period that the shrubs must be provided with food and moisture.
Gooseberry is a self-fertile crop (sets fruit without the presence of other gooseberry plants), however, to obtain a higher yield on the site, it is still better to have several varieties.
Over the years of breeding work, a large number of gooseberry varieties have been created, differing in color and size of berries, the shape of the bush and the degree of prickly shoots. The last indicator among amateur gardeners is almost the main one!
Despite the abundance of created varieties, gardeners also have favorite varieties, leader varieties, characterized by the maximum manifestation of economically valuable traits. Here are some of them:
Eaglet - this variety is characterized by early ripening, average winter hardiness and high yield. Its plants are medium-sized, medium-spreading. Berries are black in color, atypical for gooseberries, large and medium in size with a characteristic waxy coating, pleasant sweet and sour taste. The main features of the variety are the absence of thorns and resistance to powdery mildew.
Russian is a winter-hardy, high-yielding variety with an average ripening period. Bushes vigorous, medium spreading. The berries are quite large, weighing up to 6 grams, rich red color, very tasty. Thorniness, as well as resistance to powdery mildew, is medium. The variety has become widely known, especially among amateur gardeners.
Vladil is a medium- early ripening variety. Winter hardiness and yield are average. Plants of this variety are medium-sized and medium-sized. Berries weighing up to 4.2 g, dark red, spicy sweet-sour taste. The bushes are covered with thorns only at the bottom. Its characteristic feature is its high resistance to powdery mildew.
North Captain is a medium-ripening variety. The bush is tall, compact with non-drooping branches. The variety is very winter-hardy, quite productive, the average yield is 10-12 kilograms per bush. Berries of medium size (weighing up to 4 g), black, pleasant to the taste. The variety is resistant to powdery mildew and has a weak spine of the shoots.
Gingerbread man - has an average ripening period. Plants of this variety are medium-sized and spreading. A characteristic feature is high yield and winter hardiness. The yield from one bush often exceeds 12 kg. The berries are quite large, rich dark red, have a good table taste. The variety is resistant to powdery mildew, the shoots are slightly spiny.
Senator is a highly winter-resistant variety, with an average ripening period. The bushes are medium-sized, slightly prickly. The berries are dark red, with a sweetish taste and medium size. A distinctive feature is high resistance to powdery mildew.
Russian yellow is a very fruitful and very winter-hardy variety. It is characterized by medium height and medium spreading, perfectly combined with medium spine of the shoots. The variety has gained wide popularity mainly due to its large, amber-yellow color and excellent sweet-sour taste of berries, which are tasty not only fresh, but also suitable for processed products. A positive feature of this variety, which is especially necessary in home gardening, is that its berries hang for a long time without crumbling. The variety is quite resistant to powdery mildew.
The date is a late ripening variety. Bushes are tall and medium-sized, compact and medium prickly. The berries are large enough, purple-red, characterized by a good sweet and sour taste.
The African is a very hardy and high-yielding variety. Plants of this variety are medium-sized and medium-sized. When fully ripe, the berries acquire a purple-red hue and a good sweet and sour taste. The variety enters fruiting for 2-3 years. It is distinguished by a very high resistance to pests and diseases, it is not at all affected by powdery mildew, but it is affected by anthracnose. The spine of the shoots is weak.
Gooseberry breeding technology
It is not difficult to propagate gooseberries, but it has its own characteristics. As for the breeding of varieties, one subtlety should be taken into account - all varieties reproduce quite well both by layering and by green cuttings, but with lignified cuttings only varieties of the American group and those in the breeding of which were used American varieties can be propagated.
The most widespread method of reproduction by layering, which includes three options: arcuate layering, vertical and horizontal. The reproduction technology with arcuate layers is the same as that of currants, but reproduction with vertical layers is a slightly different method, which consists in the following: in late autumn or early spring, the gooseberry bush is completely cut off, usually only short shoots not exceeding 3 cm in height are left. These stumps usually grow green shoots in large numbers. It is desirable to thin them out, leaving the most powerful ones. Then you need to wait until the length of these shoots reaches 15-20 cm and carefully huddle them, leaving only the upper part. Then the bush must be watered abundantly. It is necessary during the growing season to constantly pile up the plants and be sure to water them.Already in the fall, these shoots will give roots, they need to be undone and, carefully separated from the mother plant, transplanted to a new place.
Reproduction by horizontal layers is a more complicated process than vertical ones, but it is also available to the amateur gardener. With this method of reproduction in the spring, before bud break, all obliquely growing shoots from the bush are bent, having previously dug out small grooves, 6-7 cm deep, equal to the length of the branch. The shoot is carefully placed in a groove and fixed at the bottom with 2-3 pieces of aluminum wire bent in the form of a slingshot. After 10-15 days, green shoots grow from the buds, when they reach a height of 12-14 cm, the groove is filled up, bringing the ground level to half the height of the shoots. By autumn, the shoots have formed roots, they can be separated from the mother plant and transplanted to a new place.
There are even more complex ways to propagate gooseberries, for example, with green cuttings. The essence of this method is cutting green cuttings in June and planting them in a greenhouse with a special soil (peat + sand + humus), covered with a film with shading and equipped with an automatic irrigation system. In the fall, already rooted cuttings are dug out of the greenhouse and immediately planted in open ground for growing, and in the fall of next year, ready-made planting material is obtained.
Gooseberry begins to grow quite early, and therefore it is necessary to plant it early, both in autumn and spring. Planting in the fall should be carried out no later than the end of September, so that by the beginning of frost the seedling has time to take root sufficiently. In the spring, plants must be planted before the buds swell, that is, still at rest, so that nutrients can be used by the plant only after the development of the root system. Gooseberries are planted in a permanent place as one-year and two-year seedlings. Unlike black currant, it should not be planted obliquely.
Pruning and shaping bushes
During its life, the gooseberry drives out a fairly large number of young shoots, which leads to a thickening of the bush. To prevent this, it is necessary to regularly prune and shape.
Pruning should be started immediately after planting the plant in a permanent place: the shoots must be cut off, leaving no more than 3-5 buds. This operation stimulates the regrowth of powerful young shoots. In the future, to form a bush, no more than 3-4 strong shoots are left annually, growing evenly from different places at the base of the bush, and the remaining shoots are ruthlessly cut out. A fully formed gooseberry bush should have no more than 10-16 branches of different ages.
After the end of the growing season, in the fall, all branches older than 7-8 years are cut out. It is easy to distinguish them by their dark color, often severe curvature and weak fruiting.
The shape of a gooseberry bush turns out to be very interesting when it is formed on a trunk, with such a formation of a bush, harvesting is much easier, especially from thorny forms. Such a formation is quite simple: for this it is necessary to leave one vertically growing branch on the plant, and the pruning and formation of the stem is carried out in the same way as when forming, for example, a standard currant.
Gooseberries are harvested at varying degrees of ripeness, taking into account the purpose for which they are needed. For example, for processing, it is better to pick berries at the stage of technological ripeness, when they are still dense, but have already acquired the color characteristic of ripe fruits of this variety. If we want to eat fresh berries, then they must be soft and sweet.
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