Gooseberry dating

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Gooseberries require a moisture-retentive loamy soil that doesn't dry out in early summer.

The fruit will be small on light and sandy soils, although watering as the fruit is starting to swell will increase the berry size.

I am fond of gooseberries, but they suffer from a bad press.

Playing gooseberry describes that extra person when two's company and three's a crowd.

It forms an upright bush that needs pruning to keep the centre open.

Another great variety, 'Captivator', has medium sized, red-skinned fruit that are sweet and juicy.

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It is the acid taste of the culinary fruit (and their designer stubble) that is largely responsible for their unpopularity.Container-grown gooseberries may be planted at any time of the year, but they are prone to frost damage, so cover the bushes with horticultural fleece to protect the flowers on cold nights.There is no shortage of gooseberry varieties but the those stocked by many garden centres are not necessarily the best.The eggs are usually laid on the underside of the leaf.Remove and burn any infected leaves (do not compost).

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