The Q&A Archives: Growing Gooseberry, Lingonberry

Question: Is there sufficient winter chill in the city of San Francisco (within 2-3 miles of the ocean) for gooseberries, currants and/or lingonberries to bear fruit reliably? The area is generally considered to be low-chill. Jim Vidano San Francisco, CA

Answer: You should be able to grow the fruits you mention. They all need a certain amount of chill, but don't need freezing temperatures. Alexander Eppler Company, in Seattle, Washington, is a source for the plants and would be a good source of information ongrowing them in low-chill areas. The number is 206/932-2211. You might also want to contact your Extension agent about growing these members of the Ribes family. Some of these plants are restricted because they are alternate hosts of White Pine Blister Rust, a fungal disease. There are, however, resistant varieties available. The number of your Extension agent is 415/726-9059.

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