Many faces gooseberries
When talking about the virtues of gooseberries, among others, they necessarily mention its high stable yield. From year to year in spring, bushes are abundantly covered with flowers, which are replaced by numerous ovaries, and then berries.
For a long time, it was believed that gooseberries of all varieties tied the fruit from pollination with their own pollen, and therefore, one-sorted plantations were often planted. Later it was found that although gooseberry is characterized by high self-fertility, its degree varies significantly by variety - from 25 to 73%. There are also almost self-fertile varieties that can yield crops only in the presence of alien pollen (Record), or with reduced self-fertility (Weakly-prickly-3, Chelyabinsk green, Black Sea). And their yield when pollinated by pollen of another variety is significantly increased. Among those varieties that are well tied berries from self-pollination - Russian, Plum, Change, Prunes, Jubilee, Kolobok and others.
© Frank Vincentz
Nevertheless, this method of pollination is reserve for culture. It takes effect under unfavorable conditions during flowering, when insect flight is significantly limited (low temperatures, rains, strong winds) - The main and preferred method even for highly self-fertile varieties is cross pollination, in which up to 70-80% of berries are tied. Nature itself made sure that the cross-pollination of gooseberries took place: the biological characteristics of the flower and the fact that it is an excellent honey plant. Sugar-rich flower nectar attracts bees. When polluted with alien pollen, not only does the berry's setability increase 1.5-2 times, but their mass also increases, the fruits are more aligned, less deformed among them.
Pollen of different varieties is notable for its quality; for some it is generally not viable. Therefore, in the garden it is best to choose three or four varieties taking into account their mutual pollination or use universal pollinators: Russian (full pollinator for many varieties), Plum, Pink 2, Yubileiny, Chelyabinsk green.
The competent formation of the bush from planting, regular pruning taking into account the biological characteristics of the variety, good care, the age of the plant and, of course, the choice of variety, have no less impact on the size and quality of the crop. Sufficient moisture in May-June, when the ovary grows actively, contributes to an increase in the mass of berries by 1.5-2 times. Adverse conditions in the second half of summer (especially moisture deficit) may adversely affect the laying of the next year's crop.
It is generally accepted that, due to its adaptability, gooseberries occupy one of the first places in terms of productivity among berry crops. Even in the harsh conditions of the Urals and Siberia, the average yield from a bush is 2-5 kg. In the European part of the country, its potential opportunities are revealed much wider. Here, on average, 5–10 kg of ripe berries are harvested from a bush at a productive age, and with optimal care, it is actually possible to obtain 15–20 kg of fruits. Domestic varieties of American-European hybrids are most fruitful in modern agroclimatic conditions: Plum, Malachite, Russian, Northern Captain, Yubileiny, Sadko, Rodnik, Smena, Baltic, Yubilyar, Consul, Chernomor, from foreign varieties - Hinnonmaen Punainen and long-cultivated Date. Slightly weakened fruiting in the conditions of the Central chernozem zone was noted in the varieties Ogni Krasnodar, Leningradets, Medovy, Orlyonok.
No less important, and sometimes of paramount importance, is the quality of the berries, determined by the appearance, taste and content of biologically active substances in them. The average weight ranges from 1.7 to 6-7 g, length - from 12 to 30 mm. Varieties with medium-sized and medium-sized fruits prevail: Russian, Krasnoslavyansky, Russian yellow, Salute, Sirius, Prunes, Yubilyar, Shalun, Baltic (3.5-4 g), Black Sea, Masheka, Hinnonmaen Punainen, Northern Captain (3.0- 3.5 g). Varieties Change, Lollipop, African, Houghton are among the small-fruited. The largest masses differ in Plum, Spring, Pink 2, Early Pink, Donetsk large-fruited, Malachite, Phenicia, Belarusian Sugar, Carpathians (5-7 g). These are average long-term data, the maximum mass of berries can significantly exceed such indicators.
The shape of the berries varies from round (Kolobok) to oval (Russian) and teardrop (Grossular). Varieties Leningradets, Early Pink, Souvenir, Krasnoslavyansky have variously pubescent berries. Most varieties have red or green fruits of various shades.
A small group of varieties with yellow-colored fruits, which are currently very popular (Russian Yellow, Yubileiny, Kursu dzintars). Aronia varieties rich in polyphenols are widespread: Chernomor, Prunes, Northern captain, Eaglet. Varieties with the original color of berries stand out: cream-orange (Masheka), emerald green (Malachite).
Author: E.Yu. Koveshnikova VNIIS im. I.V.Michurina, Michurinsk