Growing Berries - Knowledgebase Question

Yellowknife, NT
Question by snooze1
January 11, 1999
Could you provide information on the proper care and feeding of Gooseberry, Saskatoon, and Currants?


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Answer from NGA
January 11, 1999

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Gooseberries produce tart-sweet berries that ripen in mid-summer. The plants are slow growing and have thorns. They prefer full sunshine, good air circulation, and moist, rich soil. Saskatoon, or Serviceberry, is an attractive shrub-like plant that is often grown as a hedge. The pretty white flowers in spring and bright yellow fall foliage make it a double-duty plant. The blue berries ripen in summer. Saskatoon tolerates a variety of soil, grows best in full sunshine, and needs only occasional summertime watering once it becomes established. There are both red and black currants, and the plants grow to 4' - 5' high in full sunshine, in rich, moist soil. Currants are produced on new wood, so prune back the old canes after harvesting. To prepare the soil prior to planting, spread 4-5 inches of organic matter over the site and dig it in well. Plant your berries and then mulch the top of the soil to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Fertilize sparingly or you'll end up with lots of lush green growth, at the expense of fruit.

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