Gooseberry Belarusian red: characteristics, features of cultivation and reproduction
There are many different varieties of gooseberries, but one of the highest-yielding and winter-hardy species of this crop is the variety Belarusian Red. Large berries have a pleasant sweet taste, and the plants are unpretentious in care and can be grown in regions with different climatic conditions. A detailed description and characterization of the variety, especially the planting of seedlings and the rules for caring for plants, as well as methods of reproduction of gooseberries and methods of combating diseases and pests - further in the article.
Belarusian red gooseberry (Ribes grossularia) is a new promising variety obtained by breeders of the Belarusian Research Institute of Potato and Fruit and Vegetable. A.G. Voluznev worked on its creation, crossing gooseberry varieties Avenarius and Pyatiletka. As a result of selection, a new variety of culture was obtained, which was distinguished by high winter hardiness and good productivity, and ripe fruits were suitable for fresh use, as well as for processing. The new variety quickly gained popularity among gardeners and is grown in regions with different climatic conditions.
Did you know? The first to cultivate gooseberries were the French - they began to grow it from the middle of the 15th century.
The appearance of the gooseberry bush Belorussky red does not have distinctive features compared to other varieties of this berry culture, but the fruits of the variety can be used for various types of processing and have a rich taste.
Description of gooseberry Belarusian red is presented below:
- The plant is medium-sized and looks compact, and its shoots are slightly spreading.
- The powerful gooseberry root system is highly branched and located at a depth of about 60 cm from the soil surface.
- The branches of the bush are hanging down, and their surface is covered with a thin dark brown bark with short and thin spikes.
- Gooseberry leaves consist of 3 or 5 lobes, are large and rounded in shape. Their surface is painted dark green.
- The flowering period of the bush falls in May. At the same time, small bell-shaped flowers with greenish or reddish petals bloom on the plant.
- Ripe fruits are covered on the outside with a smooth dark red skin, on which light veins are noticeable.
- The pulp of ripened berries has a pleasant sweet and sour taste, has a dense structure. The fruits are used fresh, as well as for the preparation of juices, jams and wines.
Advantages and disadvantages
Compared to other varieties of culture, Belarusian red gooseberry has a number of important advantages, thanks to which many gardeners choose this variety for planting on their sites.
- The main advantages of the variety are listed below:
- high productivity;
- excellent taste and appearance of berries;
- good winter hardiness;
- plant self-fertility;
- persistent immunity to diseases and pests;
- unpretentiousness to the nutritional composition of the soil;
- universality of the use of fruits;
- good transportability of berries.
- The few disadvantages of the variety are:
- the presence of sharp spikes;
- exactingness of plants to light;
- the need for regular pruning of the bush.
Drought resistance, frost resistance
Gooseberry bushes Belorussky red can withstand short-term drought, but with prolonged lack of moisture in the soil, the crop yield decreases markedly. Therefore, during a period of prolonged absence of rain, plants need additional watering.
Important! In the spring, gooseberry inflorescences can suffer from the return of May frost, so it is recommended to cover the bushes with any non-woven material during the cold snap.
Productivity and fruiting
One of the main factors that affect the choice of gooseberry varieties for growing on the site is the crop yield. Gooseberry Belarusian red pleases with a large number of fruits and regularly bears fruit even with minimal care.
The main characteristics of yield and fruiting varieties:
- the plant begins to bear fruit for 4 years after planting;
- mid-season variety - berries reach maturity at the end of July;
- during flowering, male and female flowers bloom on the bush, so the variety is self-pollinated;
- berries are medium in size and rounded in shape, and their weight is 4 g;
- from each bush you can get about 7 kg of fruit.
Gooseberry bushes give a maximum yield of 6-8 years after planting, and with good care, plants can bear fruit until the age of 35 years.
Planting gooseberries Belarusian red is carried out according to the same rules as planting seedlings of any other variety of this berry crop. To do this, you need to buy high-quality planting material and choose the most suitable site for its planting that meets certain requirements.
In order for young seedlings to successfully root in the soil, it is recommended to plant them strictly on time, observing a simple sequence of actions. For more information about the main features of planting young bushes of the Belarusian Red variety, see the rest of this article.
Gooseberry seedlings are recommended to be planted in the soil in spring or autumn. Experienced gardeners advise giving preference to the second option, because in this case, young plants take root better, and in the spring immediately go to the stage of active growth.
Did you know? The well-known fruit called kiwi appeared as a result of the cultivation of Chinese gooseberries.
Possible planting dates for this berry culture are listed below:
- in the first half of April - planting should be carried out before the beginning of active sap flow, i.e. otherwise the plant will spend energy on the growth of shoots;
- during the summer - such planting is allowed only for young plants with a closed root system and can be carried out in the absence of heat or drought;
- at the end of September or the beginning of October - such a landing should be performed approximately 1–1.5 months before frosts.
Choosing the right place
The success of growing berry shrubs depends on the place chosen for planting seedlings. Gooseberry Belarusian red is unpretentious to the nutritional composition of the soil, but needs certain conditions of light and humidity.
Important! Good precursors for gooseberries are legumes and vegetables (except potatoes), and bad ones are currants and other berry bushes.
The main requirements for the gooseberry growing plot are listed below:
- loose and light soil with a neutral or low level of acidity - it passes solar heat, air and water well to the roots;
- good access to sunlight - it is necessary for the normal growth of bushes and the formation of large and sweet berries;
- protection from the cold wind - in a draft, plants are more often affected by diseases and pests;
- the depth of groundwater is not less than 1.5 m - with an excess of moisture, the roots of gooseberries can rot, and the crop yield decreases;
- a sufficient amount of free space - the culture is planted at a distance of 2 m from trees, fences and buildings.
Selection and preparation of planting material
If poor-quality planting material was chosen for planting a crop, it will not take root even in a site with ideal conditions. Therefore, Belarusian red gooseberry seedlings are recommended only in specialized nurseries.
The main recommendations for choosing seedlings:
- the age of plants should be 1-2 years - such bushes are best rooted;
- the root system of the bush should be well developed and have a length of about 30 cm - such roots quickly strengthen in the ground and can absorb moisture from it;
- the seedling should have several strong shoots - this indicates that the bush is strong enough for planting in open soil;
- the stem of the plant should not have mechanical damage or traces of damage by diseases and pests.
To facilitate the process of rooting gooseberries, before planting young plants they need to be prepared using the following actions:
- trim dried and damaged areas of the roots;
- shorten the shoots of the plant, leaving 5-6 buds on each of them;
- soak the roots of a young bush in a solution of organic fertilizers a day before planting - 4 tbsp. l sodium humate in 5 l of water;
- Immediately before planting, lower the plant roots into a semi-liquid mixture of water and clay.
Did you know? Gooseberries are a good honey plant, and from 1 ha of plantings you can get up to 50 kg of delicious honey.
When planting gooseberries, you need to take into account the fact that the bush needs free space, so it is recommended to place neighboring plants at a distance of about 1.5 m from each other. 2-3 weeks before planting, the area intended for growing berry crops needs to be dug up and cleaned of plant debris.
Step-by-step algorithm for planting gooseberries:
- 2 weeks before planting seedlings, dig out pits with a diameter of about 50 cm and a depth of up to 40 cm.
- The upper fertile layer of the earth obtained by digging a depression, mix with 9 kg of rotted manure, 200 g of superphosphate and 250 g of ash.
- Before planting, pour a small mound of prepared nutritious soil mixture to the bottom of the pit.
- Place the seedling in a hole, placing the plant at a slight slope to the surface of the soil. The root neck of the bush should be at a depth of 1-3 cm.
- Spread the roots of the plant on the surface of the mound. Sprinkle them on top of the soil, periodically shaking the bush to eliminate the voids between the ground and the roots.
- When the landing pit is filled with earth to the very top, tamp the surface of the soil around the trunk with your hands.
- Pour seedlings abundantly with warm water. When all the moisture is absorbed, put a layer of mulch from leaf humus or peat around the bush.
Features of seasonal care
Gooseberry Belarusian red is not too whimsical to care for, but with a lack of moisture or improper farming techniques, the bushes give a less generous crop and are more often affected by diseases. Therefore, rooted seedlings need proper watering, regular top dressing, pruning shoots and caring for the soil around the bushes. More about all of this later in the article.
A sufficient amount of moisture in the soil is a prerequisite for the formation of large and sweet berries, and proper care of the earth around the gooseberry bushes can reduce the risk of diseases and pests.
Basic watering and soil care rules are listed below:
- plants are recommended to be irrigated every 5–7 days so that the soil around them does not dry out completely;
- only warm water is used for irrigation, pouring it under the root of the bush;
- for each young plant spend 1-2 buckets of liquid, and adult bushes require 3-4 buckets of water;
- the beds are irrigated in the evening so that the moisture does not evaporate from the soil and enters the roots in full;
- especially carefully you need to monitor the uniform moisture of the soil during flowering, at the stage of fruit formation and when the crop ripens, t.lack of moisture can cause reduced yields and cracking berries;
- weeds around plants are removed as they appear, so that they do not draw moisture and nutrients from the ground;
- every 10-14 days they perform loosening of soil around the bushes to a depth of 7 cm - this improves air circulation and facilitates the access of water to the roots;
- To reduce the rate of moisture evaporation, the soil on the beds is mulched with peat.
With proper care, Belarusian red gooseberries are rarely affected by diseases and pests, but preventive measures are recommended to increase the plant's immunity. They consist in simple techniques of agricultural technology aimed at combating infections and insects, as well as in the processing of berry culture by special means.
Important! Spraying gooseberries with special drugs from diseases and pests should be carried out in dry and calm weather, using personal protective equipment (bathrobe, rubber gloves, a respirator and glasses).
The main measures to prevent the appearance of gooseberries on diseases and pests are listed below:
- for planting, you need to use only healthy seedlings, observing the recommended layout of bushes;
- before flowering and after it, gooseberries are sprayed with special insect repellents (for example, “Aktellik” or “Tabazol P”);
- to avoid the development of fungal diseases, you need to adhere to the irrigation regime and the feeding schedule;
- to improve air circulation, weeds must be removed periodically and the soil around the plants loosened;
- regular pruning of bushes will help reduce the risk of pests;
- in order to protect the berry culture from diseases, plants are treated with fungicides in the early spring and autumn (for example, “Fundazol” or “Topaz”);
- during the ripening of the crop, it is possible to carry out preventive treatment of gooseberries with biological products (for example, “Fitosporin” or “Fitoverm”);
- in autumn, it is necessary to clean the area of the near-trunk circle of leaves, weeds and debris - pest larvae and pathogens can winter in them.
Gooseberry Belarusian red can grow in any soil, but plants need additional top dressing for abundant fruiting. You need to make them only in clearly defined terms, that is, from an excess of fertilizers, the root system of the bush can get burns.
Basic rules for feeding gooseberries:
- fertilizers should be applied for the first time only 2 years after planting - until this time, the plant has enough nutrients laid in the hole during planting;
- adult plants are fed 2 times a year - in spring and autumn;
- before flowering, 40-60 g of ammonium nitrate are introduced under each bush - this stimulates the growth of shoots and foliage;
- in the fall, 8-10 kg of compost, 80 g of superphosphate and 20 g of potassium sulfate are added to each gooseberry bush; these fertilizers help the plant regain strength.
Immediately after planting, it is recommended to tie a young gooseberry bush to a small peg installed next to it. This will ensure vertical growth of the culture, as well as protect the bush from falling to one side during strong winds.
Adult plants can be tied to a vertical peg or to a trellis. In this case, the branches inclined to the ground slightly raise and attach to the support, so that all the berries are evenly lit by the sun and ripen in time.
A mandatory component of the proper care of gooseberries Belarusian Red is regular pruning of the bush. This procedure improves the air circulation in the crown of the plant, provides access to sunlight to all berries, and also prevents the appearance of infections and pests.
Important! Gooseberry pruning is recommended to be carried out with a sharpened tool, using tight gloves to protect the skin of the hands from spikes.
The basic rules for trimming gooseberries:
- the procedure is carried out in early spring, before the awakening of the kidneys and in October;
- in the first spring after planting, dried and broken branches are removed, and shoots damaged by frost are shortened to the first healthy kidney;
- in the second autumn after planting, 5 powerful branches are left on the plant, growing in different directions from the center of the bush, and the remaining shoots need to be cut to the root;
- in the third year after planting a seedling, another 3-5 stems are added to the existing skeletal branches, forming a crown of 8-10 main shoots, and the growths of last year's skeletal branches are shortened by half;
- in the following years, every spring sanitary pruning of the plant is carried out, and in the autumn, small branches growing inside the crown and from the base of the bush are cut;
- shoots that have reached the age of 7-8 years need to be gradually replaced with new stems - for this, in the autumn choose a new powerful branch growing from the base, and cut the old one to the root;
- at the end of June, it is recommended to do another pruning of gooseberries - for this you need to shorten the growth of the current year on the side shoots to 5 leaves to give the bush a neat shape.
Harvesting and storage
Gooseberry Belarusian red is characterized by uniform ripening of the crop, so the collection of ripe fruits can be carried out in one step. For storage and transportation, berries can be removed from the bush in a state of technical ripeness, when their flesh remains solid, and the surface only begins to turn red. If the fruits are planned to be used immediately, they are picked at the stage of full maturity, characterized by red color and sweet taste of the berry.
Did you know? As a result of crossing gooseberries with currants, a new type of berries was obtained - yoshta.
Basic rules for harvesting and storage of crops:
- it is recommended to pick berries in dry weather in the morning or in the evening before dew;
- the fruits are plucked together with the peduncle and stacked in small containers;
- for storage and transportation choose only whole fruits with an elastic surface;
- gooseberries can be stored fresh at room temperature for 3-5 days, and in the refrigerator at 0 ° C for up to 1 month;
- berries can be frozen in the freezer - in this form they can be stored for several months;
- To increase the shelf life of gooseberries, it is used to make jams, compotes, wines, jellies and marmalade.
If in the region of Belarusian gooseberry cultivation the red air temperature in winter does not fall below -30 ° C, then adult bushes can winter without additional protection. But when planting plants in areas with a harsh climate, as well as for young and weakened bushes, it is recommended to build a protective shelter for the winter.
The basic rules for preparing gooseberries for wintering:
- after leaf fall, remove all leaves and plant debris from the area of the near-stem circle;
- in early October, carry out water-loading irrigation of the bush so that the earth around it is wet to a depth of 40-50 cm;
- dig the earth around the plant - at a distance of 10-30 cm from the bush, dig the soil to a depth of 8 cm, and between the rows to a depth of 10-12 cm;
- to protect the roots from frost, the soil around the plants is covered with a layer of mulch from sawdust, peat or rotted manure;
- branches of young and weakened bushes need to be bent to the ground and fixed with the help of boards, and then cover the entire structure with lapnik;
- shoots of adult bushes are enough to tie in a bunch so that they are not damaged under the weight of snow.
Like any other variety of this berry culture, Belarusian red gooseberry can be propagated by layering, green and perennial cuttings, as well as dividing the bush. Having studied the features of each of these methods, any gardener can choose for himself the most convenient way to propagate the shrub.
Did you know? In Russia, gooseberries were first grown only in monastery gardens in the 11th century, and then they began to cultivate plants in adjoining territories.
A description of the methods of propagation of the culture is presented below:
- Layering. When using this method in the fall, one of the side branches is bent to the surface of the earth. In the spring, several cuts are made on the central part of this shoot and it is dug up with soil, fixing the shoot in a horizontal position. In the autumn, young roots are formed in the area of incisions, so the layers are carefully cut from the parent bush and planted separately.
- Cuttings. In the middle of summer, green cuttings 10-12 cm long are harvested. One edge of the cuttings is soaked in a solution of the root growth stimulator, and then it is placed in a mixture of peat and sand to a depth of 2 cm. The ground around the cuttings is rammed with hands and watered abundantly, and on top of the stem put on a plastic bottle to create greenhouse conditions. The cuticle takes root for 2 weeks and hibernates under cover, and in the spring it is transplanted to a permanent place.
- Perennial shoots. Pinch one edge of the cut branch and lay it horizontally on the surface of the earth, and then dig it in with soil, leaving its crown above the ground with its growing young branches. The dug stalk is abundantly watered, and when strong young shoots form on it, it is planted for growing in a separate place. By next fall, stronger seedlings are planted in a permanent place.
- Dividing the bush. Before using this method of reproduction, you need to remove all old branches from the bush. The next year, the whole plant is dug out of the ground and divided into 2 parts with a shovel, and then each of them is planted separately.
Diseases and Pests
When fulfilling all the listed recommendations for the care, Belarusian red gooseberry does not suffer from the invasion of diseases and pests. But if the gardener makes mistakes during the cultivation of the crop, then the bushes can be attacked by infections and insects.
Important! Gooseberries can be sprayed with insecticides no later than 2 weeks before harvesting.
The variety can be threatened by such diseases and pests:
- Powdery mildew. Leaves and shoots on the affected bush are covered with a white coating resembling flour. Subsequently, the plaque becomes brown and leads to the drying of the entire green mass of the plant. Fungicides are used against the disease or the bush is sprayed with a solution of 10 l of water, 50 g of laundry soap and 6 g of soda.
- Anthracnose. The first symptom of the infection is small brown spots that appear on the surface of the leaves. Gradually, the lesion foci increase in size and merge with each other, leading to yellowing and premature fall of the leaf. Affected areas of the plant need to be cut off and burned, and then sprayed with gooseberry solution of copper sulfate (45 g of substance per 10 liters of water).
- Septoria. Round gray spots with a characteristic rim of dark color form on the gooseberry leaves. As infection spreads, dark spots with fungal spores appear on the surface of the spots, and the leaves of the plant begin to turn yellow and fall off. For the treatment of septoria, a 1% solution of Bordeaux fluid is used.
- Shoot aphid. Insects live on the shoots of the bush and feed on their juice, so the branches of the plant begin to deform and dry out, the leaves turn yellow and curl. You can get rid of the pest with a soap solution (250 g of soap in 10 liters of water).
- Fire. This insect lays eggs inside the gooseberry inflorescences, and the caterpillars that appear destroy the ovaries and fruits. A sign of the appearance of the pest is a thin layer of cobwebs on the shoots and ovaries of the bush, as well as rotting of berries and falling of inflorescences. You can get rid of the fire using insecticides.
- Sawfly. This pest feeds on the flesh of the leaves of the plant, leaving only a sinewy frame from them.The main sign of the appearance of an insect on the bush is the gnawed edge of the leaf plate, and in the absence of treatment, the caterpillars very quickly destroy the entire green mass. To combat the sawfly, you can use an aqueous solution of wormwood or insecticides.
Even a novice gardener will be able to independently grow Belarusian red gooseberries on the site. In order to receive a generous harvest of delicious berries every year, you must follow the recommendations and rules of care listed in this article, as well as regularly fight against possible diseases and pests of the bush.