Nature’s pharmacy that promotes healing
Natural healing I believe is something that we all desire and what better way to heal naturally than by connecting with nature and giving nature a helping hand. We have the power not only to feed ourselves and the world but to grow plants that can promote our health which brings us to our next topic as we discuss how to grow, care for, and harvest gooseberries.
How to grow gooseberries
- Gooseberries require a few hours of sunlight so when planting ensure that the location you choose provides you with about 6 hours of sunlight
- The soil ph should be in the range of 6.2-6.5
- Organic soil should be added to condition the soil which promote plants health
- The planting hole should be wide enough to accommodate the root ball. Ensure that hole is two times that of the root ball in width
- If planting several of these berries install in rows, give them a spacing of 4-6 feet apart
- Fertilizing with muriate of potash is a good choice. Read and follow the label because the label is the law.
- When watering keep the soil moist, don’t overwater
How to grow gooseberries
Insect pest of gooseberries
Insect pests can be a challenge but the good news is we can strike back and have them on the run. We will be looking at some of these insect pests and how to eliminate them.
- Japanese beetle
- Rose chafer
Fruitworms are brown to yellow. The adults make cuts in the flower and lay their eggs. When the larva hatches they feed on the berries. Control these worms with insecticidal soaps or bonide captain jack
Japanese beetles are metallic green at the adult stage. The larva Skeletonizes the leaves. Control these beetles with neem oil, Japanese beetle killer, traps, handpicking, etc…
Aphids are pear shape black or green in color that loves the young growth of plants these insects can be found on the underside of the leaves. Aphids suck the juice from the plant causing much damage. Aphids can be controlled with insecticidal soap sprays, homemade dish detergent, and water, or bonide ® citrus, fruit & nut orchard spray.
Mites feed on plant sap and cause the leaves to turn brown and in some cases, the webbing can be found. Mites are also found on the underside of the leaves. Control measures include bonide ® citrus, fruit & nut orchard spray, miticide, insecticidal soap, or neem oil.
Thrips are brown to yellow with feathery wings. Thrips feed on the new growth lay their eggs in the plant’s fruit after bloom causing the fruit to scare. Control trips with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Rose chafers have tan wings with brown to reddish-brown edges and tiny long thin hairy legs. Signs include flowers and leaves that are skeletonized. Control measures include talstar, mavrik, tempo, rotenone, etc…
Scales are grey to tan and have hard scaly shells these insect pests can be found on branches and twigs. Scales feed on the sap of plants. Control measures are as followed neem oil, insecticidal soaps or bonide® citrus, fruit & nut orchard spray.
Disease of gooseberries
- Cane blight
- Botrytis blight
- Powdery mildew
- White pine
Cane blight signs. The leaves wilts and fruits shrivel, if the disease is allowed to enter bark it can cause severe damage. Remove or prune infected parts and properly dispose of, also using copper or lime sulfur when the plant is dormant will help.
Botrytis blight signs. Is a hairy mold that’s grey. Fungus affect plant bloom along with fruits. Control this disease by keeping the area free of weeds and debris, raking and properly disposing of the leaves, ensure that plant has good air circulation also using chemical treatments such as Liquid copper sprays and serenade garden disease control.
Powdery mildew signs. A powdery grey-whitish mold that affects the twigs and leaves. Fungus overwinter in fallen leaves. Control with serenade garden disease control, pruning infected plant parts and destroying, treating with neem oil or a fungicide and also fall clean up.
Anthracnose signs. The Plant’s lower leaves have round small brown spots. Defoliation or leave drop starts from the bottom up. Black flyspeck spots on green fruits, pale yellow light brown lesions on the cane, and black sunken spots on leaves. Control this disease by using liquid copper, neem oil, bonide® citrus, fruit & nut orchard spray.
White pine signs appear on the leaves of gooseberries as brown-yellowish spots on the upper surface of the leaf while on the underside fruiting body blisters like pattern appears on the plant leaves. As the infection persists leaf drop takes place. There are no fungicides label for this disease on the gooseberry. It is good to plant only disease-free resistant varieties. Prune infected parts and properly dispose of them.
With some gooseberry, varieties harvest when berries turn yellow, pink, white, red or green. Berries should also be from half an inch to an inch in size and should have some softness when gently squeezed.
The final word
I know it may seem like so much work but with proper cultural practice, it is possible to minimize the negative effects these berries face so installing some of these bushes will compliment your garden area.