Gooseberry, Amish Red
Ribes grossularia 'Amish Red'
6-12 inch height at sale, bare root
Sourced from OR
Deep red. Harvest in 1-3 years. Ripe July.
European Gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa) are Native from Scandanavia south to eastern North Africa. They have been cultivated since the 13th Century in Europe, with popularity growing in the 1500s.
There is also a gooseberry species native to North America. Not surprisngly, settlers cultivated and hybridized these plants with European types. In the US, Gooseberries gained commercial popularity by the mid 1800s.
Ribes (Currants and Gooseberries) were found to be a host for white pine blister rust. Eradication of gooseberries was put on the forefront from 1910 through the 1960s to help save pine species.
Today, Vermont has no ban on Ribes, but white pine blister rust is present in the state. Modern gooseberry cultivars have resistance to the pathogen, but pines remain susceptible.
This Amish Red gooseberry variety has been cultivated from the North American wild-type. The fruits are smaller and milder than the European type, but they are much hardier to disease. Expect a harvest in 1-3 years, with a maximum height between 3 and 6 ft.
Amish Red has red/pink, medium-sized fruits that look similar to grapes. The bush is somewhat thorny and grows upright. It has some resistance to powdery mildew and leaf spot.
Flowers bloom between March and May and berries are usually ripe in July. Consider at least 2 plants for successful fruit set. Gooseberries are tolerant of various soil and moisture conditions, but will need supplmental irrigation during dry spells. They do best with a liberal annual mulching around the base of the plant. Pruning should be performed in late winter.