Autumn gooseberry care and preparation for wintering: tips
Gooseberry is a perennial shrub belonging to the genus Currant. Among gardeners it enjoys constant popularity, as it is able to actively bear fruit for more than 20 years. Gooseberries have a rich vitamin composition (vitamin A, groups B, C, B) and contain many trace elements (potassium, magnesium, manganese, iodine, ground, zinc, iron), indispensable for the human body. But in order for the gooseberry bushes to bring a decent harvest for many years, it is necessary to properly organize the care of the plant, which will be discussed in the review.
Gooseberry Autumn Care
Shrub care in the fall includes sanitizing the plant and garden after a long warm season, as well as preparing for the winter period (top dressing, water-charging irrigation, shelter for the winter).
Important! Treatment against diseases and pests is a protection not only for gooseberries, but also for other plants on the site.
Gooseberry berries ripen in late June - early July. At this time, the harvest occurs. In late August - early September, the time for autumn preparation of the plant for winter comes: weeding, loosening the soil, fertilizing with minerals (superphosphate and potassium sulfate), treatment from pests and diseases.Sanitary pruning should be carried out in the second half of September or October, when the plant has already thrown off the leaves and the movement of the juices has slowed down, but at the same time the bush will still have time to recover after the procedure.
Watering for the winter and mulching with organic matter (can be regarded as fertilizer) of trunks is usually carried out in mid-October (two to three weeks before the onset of frost). The beginning of October is the deadline when it is possible to treat the bush with Bordeaux liquid and insecticides from diseases and pests, if such treatment has not been done before. Gooseberries should be hidden at a time when the air temperature around the clock keeps slightly below zero.
Instrumentation and preparations
The following tools will be needed for the autumn care of the bush and plot:
- shovel for digging soil;
- garbage rake;
- secateurs and delimbers for sanitary pruning of branches;
- bucket for irrigation;
- Protective clothing to prevent spikes (gloves with high cuffs or gloves).
For autumn top dressing, plants use superphosphate and potassium sulfate (can be replaced with wood ash). For the treatment of diseases and harmful insects, drugs such as Fundazol or Topaz are used, and Actellik or Actofit can also be used.
After harvesting, it is necessary to remove fallen leaves, garbage and be sure to remove weeds under the gooseberry bushes. The ground between the rows must be dug to the depth of the bayonet of a shovel. Directly under the bushes themselves, the soil should be loosened to a depth of not more than 10 cm, so as not to damage the roots of the plant.
Did you know? Gooseberries contain more iron (Fe) than apple fruits.
Loosening the soil is necessary to saturate the root system with oxygen, so that moisture and fertilizers penetrate better into the deeper layers of the soil, which will allow the gooseberries to “winter” painlessly.
Autumn pruning rules
Like any other shrub plant, gooseberries need pruning. If the crown of the bush is not formed during the time and correctly, then it will grow, thicken, the fruits are crushed and subsequently disappear altogether. Thickened bushes are a fertile environment for the development of various diseases and pests, and can become a source of pathogens for all plants growing on the site.
There are three types of pruning gooseberries - depending on how it grows:
- Classical This is the easiest pruning. In the first year of growth, all branches of the shrub should be cut by a third. You should choose the three most powerful and healthy shoots, and cut the rest under the root. In the second year of growth, it is also necessary to shorten all shoots by one third, but at the same time, six to seven strong branches must be left for further growth. In the third year, the shoots should be cut again by a third, ten or twelve of the most developed branches should be left. Such thinning and trimming of the tops must be done annually. All sections are carried out directly above the inner buds of the branches.
- Stam. Stamp gooseberry looks like a tree. In order to get such a plant, you need to leave one of the strongest, most powerful and healthy shoots of all, and the rest just removed under the root. In the future, make sure that new shoots and root shoots do not grow back. From below, at a height of up to 1 m, it is necessary to remove all fruitful buds. Only 4-5 upper kidneys should be left, from which the crown will develop. In the first two years, cut all the shoots in half. Starting from the third year of vegetation, there is no need to shorten the branches. Sanitary pruning of the stem should be carried out annually (remove old, damaged shoots and those that have a growth direction inside the crown).
- Trellis. On a trellis, usually vigorous gooseberry varieties are grown. Such a formation of the bush avoids excessive shading and comfortably harvest. In the first year of growth, all gooseberry shoots in the autumn should be cut 3 cm above the soil level. In the second year, you need to leave 3-5 of the strongest and tallest shoots, the rest removed. Buds located 25 cm from the ground must be removed, as the shoots they give will lead to thickening of the bush. Starting from the third year of growth, branches should no longer be shortened, it is recommended to tie them to higher tiers of trellis. And at the age of seven, the bush requires thinning and anti-aging pruning (old fruitful branches are cut to the ground, stimulating the growth of new ones).
Common to all types of shrubs are the rules of sanitary pruning. To do this, inspect the bush, select the old dried shoots (they are black) and remove them under the root, without leaving stumps. If there are a lot of old shoots, then in one season it is possible to remove no more than a third. You should also cut branches located close to the ground and root shoots on which there is no harvest.
Important! To form gooseberries on the stem, only frost-resistant varieties should be used.
After trimming, all sections must be treated with garden varieties to prevent infection of the plant.
Treatment of bushes from diseases and pests
Pests such as the butterfly firefly and shoot aphid can overwinter painlessly in the bark and branches of the plant and begin to actively damage gooseberries in the spring. To avoid the propagation of parasites, as well as the spread of the main infectious diseases of the plant, after sanitary pruning, it is necessary to remove from the site all fallen leaves, weeds, the remains of shoots and summer mulch. Loosely soil the bushes under the bushes, and dig thoroughly between the rows, to a depth of at least 10 cm.Also, the bush must be sprayed with 2% Bordeaux liquid or solutions of "Actellica", "Fufanona" and "Topaz" from infections.
The soil around the bushes must be sprayed with a solution of Bordeaux fluid (3%). They do this in late September - the first half of October. Before winter wrapping (late October - early November), chemicals from small rodents should be placed on the mulch layer, which will save kidneys and shoots. The use of pine branches as a heater will help to effectively “ward off” rodents from planting.
Autumn top dressing, watering, mulching
In early autumn, gooseberries should be fertilized with minerals. This should be done in early September, during the digging of the soil. Under each bush, add 20 g of superphosphate and 15 g of potassium sulfate (instead of potassium salt, you can take 300 g of wood ash). These fertilizers need to be poured directly into the trunk circle and carry out abundant watering (15 liters of water for each bush).
At the end of September, you need to make water-charging irrigation: dig a recess around each bush and apply water (up to 30 liters per plant). After the harvest has been completed, the leaves have fallen and the bush has been trimmed in autumn, it is necessary to feed it with organics. Under each bush, add peat or humus in the form of mulch (10 cm layer). After that, pour plenty of water. It is necessary to carry out mulching with organics immediately before warming the plant (in late October - early November), when a steady cooling sets in.
Did you know? Gooseberries are especially appreciated by beekeepers. It is one of the earliest honey plants in the middle lane. Its flowers give nectar to bees already in early May, although the berries ripen much later.
Preparing for wintering: warming
In the southern and middle latitudes, gooseberries, as a rule, are not insulated with special materials. If the snow layer is 20-30 cm, then this shrub is quite enough to maintain heat. If there is little snow, it should be picked up under the bush. The branches of the upright shrub should be collected in a bundle, and if a trellis is used, untie from the support and also tie the shoots together so that the branches do not break off under the weight of the snow that has fallen.
In the northern regions or in conditions of severe frost (-30 ° C), the plant should be completely sprinkled with snow or covered with pine spruce and agrofibre. Such warming must be removed at the first warming, in the spring, in order to avoid warming. Gooseberry is a very frost-resistant plant and, with proper preparation for winter, it calmly tolerates frost to -30 ° C and without shelter. The main preparation of the plant for wintering is competent autumn care.
Key mistakes autumn gooseberry care
The most common errors include:
- Ignoring the sanitary condition of the site, entailing the spread of diseases and pests.
- The use of nitrogen fertilizers in the fall, which threatens the growth of new greens before the cold, instead of stopping the growing season.
- Too early pruning of branches, which can lead to a decrease in plant immunity.
- Lack of processing slices, which leads to damage by diseases and pests.