Tuesday 19 March 2024

Planting a Gooseberry Hedge

I'm always walking around my plot looking at where I could squeeze in some more plants and increase the productive areas. 

One area is the orchard. I have one half planted up quite traditionally, but I also have one area where the trees are much closer together. In there is about 16 plum trees, plus a n area where I tried an experiment with soft fruit. The experiment worked, but not enough to make me think it was any better than any other way. 

I decided to change it over. the fence near the top needed a hedge (to my mind) and I had been thinking hard about putting in more gooseberries. A gooseberry hedge could be an interesting addition. I went and purchased around 15 different varieties and put them all in 3.5ft apart. 

This should give us plenty of fruit and enough different types to see which ones do really well here. Gooseberry is always going to be one of my favourite fruits, so it's nice to increase the amount we can grow here (I also put in a lot of rooted cuttings from the 14 bushes I already have here). 

I imagine on a good year we'll have far too many gooseberries, and on a bad year we might be able to grow just enough. 

 The other thing to double down on was pear trees. We have a few, but not enough. When I planted a lot of the fruit trees here our children were young and my wife hates pears. Now they're older it's only her that doesn't like them and they're a good bit of security against a bad apple harvest. 

Back in October I ordered18 pear trees, on dwarf stocks with the idea of having a small area of them as vertical cordons. These will be kept small (on dwarf rootstocks) and pruned in the summer like my cordon apple trees. I'm hoping it will give us a small amount of high quality fruit each year, some desert pears and some for cooking. 

Give the video above a watch and let me know what you think to my plans. 

Which would you go for more, pears or gooseberries?


  1. I would go for gooseberries since I don't have any right now! They grow wild and people do pick them though I have never done so. I have eaten a couple tasty gooseberry pies over the years.

    That is my philosophy in fruit planting. Plant enough so that in a bad year, there is just enough!

    All my life, I've only had one pear tree on one of our farms that reliably every year produces about 100 times more than I can ever eat. The catch is that it is a canning pear and not one that you can pick and eat directly from the tree. Last year I planted two pear trees behind my house that are the eating fresh kind. I'm looking forward to them in a handful of years.

    1. Yeah, it always surprises me when people ask what I'll do with all that fruit. Some years it'll rot and others we'll smile as we have just enough.

      I planted a few pear trees at mum and dads and they see us all right for a few months of the year. But more is always better. And canned ones are incredible.


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