Gooseberry – Captivator
Originated in Canada a good hardy variety, good cropper producing large red tear shaped fruit, and is virtually spine free. Fruits are juicy and sweet, making them ideal to be eaten straight from the bush.
Plant 1.5m (5ft) apart in rows 2m (6ft) apart. Likes an open sunny or lightly shaded frost-free spot, sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a slightly acid, moist but well-drained fertile soil.
Soak the root-ball before planting. Plant in a hole twice the diameter of the root-ball or pot. Mix an organic soil improver and general fertiliser with the infill soil. Water regularly until established.
Fruit is produced on previous year’s shoots. Cut back all shoots by one-half after planting. Develop a framework of 6-8 branches. Each winter from year 3 shorten leading shoots by one-half and remove branches from the centre of the bush. Shorten side shoots from last year’s growth to 2 buds. Apply a general fertiliser in spring.