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Josta Berry (Ribes nidigrolaria) takes the looks of a gooseberry, without thorns, and is sweeter. It is somewhere between a gooseberry and a black currant. It combines the vigorous growth and rich flavor of a black currant with disease resistance. It was bred by the Max Plank Institute in Cologne, and released to the Public in 1977. It is self-pollinating.
Josta Berries are great in jams, jellies, and pies, but eating them straight off the bush is good.
Plant it in fertile, well drained soil allowing a 2 m space all round. It may take a couple of years to produce a good crop of fruit, but eventually will produce large fruit crops.
The fruit will be fully ripe when it turns to a dark blue-black and each fruit has a slight “give” to it. Lift up the end of the branch with one hand and pick the string of berries with the other hand. As the fruit does not seem to ripen all at once, several pickings may be required in July and August.
Remove weak and crossing branches in the early Winter, once the leaves have fallen and you see what you are doing. In the Summer, say in June, shorten the new growth to prevent the plant getting too big and completely out of control. This should also encourage the formation of fruiting buds for the next year. After several years, it may be a good idea to rejuvenate the bush by cutting out some of the oldest branches from the base, allowing new branches to grow and eventually fruit.