The Q&A Archives: Gooseberry Harvesting

Question: This is our first summer in our new house, and there is what I have figured out is a gooseberry bush growing on the south side. Full sun, so-so soil. My Question is, "When do I harvest the fruit?" They are bright green (do they stay green?) and the sizes range from half inch diameter to 3/4 inch in diameter.

Answer: Gooseberries come in all sizes and colors including golden yellow, green, orange, pink, red, and purple, and some cultivars ripen earlier than others. Most gooseberries ripen over a 2-3 week period, so bushes should be picked over every few days to harvest only the ripest berries. Early cultivars usually ripen in June, late cultivars ripen mid-July through late August. Only experience can tell you when your gooseberries are ready for harvest. Bright green probably means immature; they should feel firm but not rock hard, and the color, if they remain green should be pale, not bright. Sample a few berries beginning now and keep sampling until you find ripe berries. Then note on the calendar when to harvest next year. Enjoy your gooseberries!

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