Gooseberry dressing - a way to a generous harvest

The advantages of gooseberries are widely known: it quickly begins to bear fruit, annually gives a high yield, does not deteriorate during storage and transportation. For the growth and proper development of plants, obtaining sustainable crops, and increasing immunity to diseases, the berry needs good care, including regular and well-fed dressings.

Feeding gooseberries - a vital necessity

Feeding gooseberries, along with watering, pruning, processing from pests, is part of the necessary measures for the care of plants. This procedure is carried out by various types of fertilizers, depending on the time of year and has the following objectives:

  • Acceleration of growth and development of bushes.
  • Improving the taste of fruits.
  • Increase crop yields.
  • Replenishment of nutrients missing in the soil.

Gooseberries belong to drought-resistant crops, adapt well to the environment and grow well on various types of soils:

  • heavy clay;
  • loamy;
  • sandy loam;
  • black earth;
  • sandy.

The main thing is that the soil is not swampy, cold and sour. This is due to the fact that the gooseberry root system is not deep in the ground: the main roots are at a depth of 1 m, and the majority of the suction ones are up to 0.5–0.6 m. Therefore, with excessive moisture and insufficient soil aeration, the root system of the bushes is very affected, plants get sick and can die.

The soil reaction should be in the range of pH 5.5–6.7. If this indicator is less than 5.5, i.e., the soil has a high acidity, then before planting and during the process of growing gooseberries, wood ash or dolomite flour is periodically added to it in the following amounts:

  • wood ash 700-800 g / m2;
  • dolomite flour 350-400 g / m2.

Video: how to care for gooseberries

Despite the unpretentiousness of gooseberries, the size and quality of berries increase markedly when grown in a well-lit area with fertile soil. And with the obligatory addition of humus, compost to the planting pit, and later with regular top dressing with organic and mineral fertilizers. The plant is very responsive to additional nutrition, but with its excessive use (especially in combination with abundant watering), the bushes thicken, are more damaged by aphids, they mature worse and hibernate. If, when planting a seedling, a sufficient amount of organic and mineral fertilizers was introduced into the planting pit, then top dressing of gooseberries begins at the age of three.

All nutritional components necessary for the normal growth and development of plants are divided into two groups: macro- and microelements. The former is introduced in significant quantities, the latter in ultra-low doses.

Macronutrients include:

  • nitrogen,
  • phosphorus,
  • potassium,
  • calcium,
  • magnesium,
  • sulfur,
  • iron.

Trace elements:

  • boron,
  • manganese,
  • copper,
  • zinc,
  • molybdenum,
  • iodine.

All of them are contained in organic and mineral fertilizers. Distinguish between simple and complex mineral fertilizers. Simple ones contain only one battery element and depending on which they are divided into the following types:

  • nitrogen
  • phosphoric
  • potash
  • magnesium
  • boric.

Complex fertilizers contain several batteries.

Video: how to properly fertilize berry bushes

Complex mineral fertilizers are the most recommended for basic top dressing, because they contain nutrients in an optimal, balanced ratio, which favorably affects the development of plants. For example, Ammophos consists of phosphorus oxide (46%) and nitrogen (11%). Nitrofoska contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a ratio of 16:16:16. This top dressing is best done in the spring when loosening the earth after the snow melts.

From the experience of gooseberry breeding, it is known that when growing on heavy, dense soils, complex fertilizers are best used in the fall. And for loose, light soils, it is more effective to apply this type of top dressing in the spring. With autumn rains and melt spring waters, these substances will gradually be absorbed into the ground and absorbed by plants.

Complex fertilizers with microelements are especially useful in case of deficiency of certain minerals in the soil, which can cause leaf chlorosis in gooseberries, underdevelopment of shoots and fruits, and weakening of the root system. Among others, the MicroMix complex has proven itself particularly well. It contains trace elements in chelated form, i.e., the most accessible for absorption by the plant. The composition of this top dressing includes:

  • nitrogen,
  • phosphorus oxide
  • potassium oxide
  • magnesium,
  • boron,
  • iron,
  • manganese,
  • zinc,
  • copper,
  • molybdenum.

MicroMix universal fertilizer is used for root and foliar feeding of gooseberries during the growing season (spring and summer) in accordance with the instructions

When feeding, it is necessary to observe some general rules, depending on its type:

  • When root top dressing, fertilizer is applied in the immediate vicinity of the root system of the plant (in the grooves along a number of bushes or around the perimeter of the trunk circle).
  • When spraying during foliar feeding, the concentration of the fertilizer solution should not exceed 1%, otherwise leaf burns may occur. In addition, fertilizers must have good solubility in water.

Gooseberry Seasonal Nutrition

The composition of fertilizers for gooseberries directly depends on the period (season) of their use. If in spring berry bushes need to be given as much strength as possible for the growth and development of leaves, shoots, bud swelling and the appearance of flower buds (growing season), then in the summer season (fruiting period), we help the bushes to tie fruits and bring them to ripening by appropriate dressing. In autumn, on the contrary, plants should prepare for winter rest; this is the time of ripening wood and laying the fruit buds of next year. Depending on the periods of development of the gooseberry, the necessary fertilizers are used.

In the spring

In the spring, two top dressings are usually made:

  1. Before budding (March — April).
  2. Before flowering (May).

During this period, the following types of fertilizers are used:

  1. Organic:
    • rotted manure;
    • compost;
    • fermented bird droppings.
  2. Mineral (with a predominance of nitrogen-containing fertilizers):
    • urea;
    • ammonium nitrate;
    • ammonium sulfate;
    • superphosphate;
    • potassium nitrate;
    • potassium sulfate.

The first, early feeding allows the bushes to quickly get out of the period of winter dormancy and begin the process of vegetation, i.e., the development of shoots and the growth of green mass of leaves. Organic fertilizers contain nitrogen in its natural form, so it is more easily absorbed by plants.

  1. In early spring, after thawing the earth, rotted manure or compost is scattered between the gooseberry bushes (according to the crown projection) or along the edge of a row of berry bushes.
  2. The organic layer is sprinkled with urea, superphosphate and potassium salt on top (fertilizer consumption - see the table in the section “Fertilizing with mineral fertilizers”).
  3. After that, the soil is carefully treated: under the bushes, loosening to a depth of 7-10 cm, between the bushes - deep digging (on the bayonet of a shovel).
  4. The surface of the soil is mulched with peat or loose earth.

Nitrogen fertilizers are absorbed slowly and their actions are enough for the whole season.

The second time gooseberries are fertilized in May to accelerate flowering and better fruit setting. The nutritional mixture includes:

  • organic matter (5 kg of rotted manure or compost per 1 bush);
  • complex mineral fertilizer with nitrogen content (Kemira, Nitrofoska, Ammophos) in accordance with the instructions.

This top dressing, like the first, is introduced into the soil, after which the bushes must be abundantly watered and the surface of the earth mulched. During root budding and budding, foliar top dressing of plants with ammonium sulfate or urea by spraying is very effective. This treatment of flowering buds has a beneficial effect on the laying of fruit ovaries and increasing the yield of gooseberries.

The top dressing made in May accelerates the flowering of gooseberries and makes it more plentiful

During flowering, foliar top dressing cannot be done so as not to destroy pollinating insects.

In summer

After the gooseberry blossoms, the next period in its life comes - fruit set and ripening. At the same time, the growth and rapid development of the suction roots of the plant occurs. In June-July, the third top dressing of the berry is performed. It helps gooseberries to enter the period of fruiting, improves taste and increases the size of berries. Fertilizing also strengthens the general condition of the bushes and increases resistance to diseases and pests.

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As fertilizers in the summer are used:

  1. Mineral:
    • phosphoric (simple superphosphate);
    • potash (potassium sulfate).
  2. Organics (slurry that serves to quickly feed gooseberries).

So that all useful substances from fertilizers are better absorbed by plants, it is advisable to top dress after watering.

Combining competent summer fertilizing with fertilizers with sufficient watering, you can achieve high quality gooseberries

Preparation of organics from manure:

  1. Load 1-2 buckets of fresh manure into a 200-liter water tank and add 0.5 buckets of compost.
  2. Cover tightly and leave for 8-10 days for fermentation.
  3. Mix 1 liter of manure with a bucket of water.

Ready slurry is poured into the furrow of the near-stem circle, mulched from above with peat or dry humus. The procedure can be done 2 times a month, before the fruit ripens. Feeding is carried out only with the presence of potassium, phosphorus and complex preparations with trace elements.

The end of June - mid-July is the time of filling gooseberry berries, when, with optimal soil and air humidity, sufficient heat influx, the maximum weight of the berries is formed. Therefore, it is especially important at this time to maintain the correct watering regime, which is carried out right now. By the way, the first time watered 10-15 days after flowering. Then - during the period of filling berries. The next one - two weeks before the harvest, which significantly affects the increase in the size of berries. But after harvesting, with a lack of moisture, it is repeated. I note that when watering, the effectiveness of mineral fertilizers increases. The maximum moisture consumption occurs in the upper soil layer, therefore, it is necessary to improve water supply and nutrition directly in the area where the main mass of roots is located (along the projection zone of the bush, to a depth of 30 cm).

V.S. Ilyin, doctor s. Sciences, Chelyabinsk

Gardens of Russia Magazine, July 7, 2011


In the process of flowering, setting and ripening, gooseberries spend a lot of energy. From the soil, it consumes phosphorus and potassium, other elements important to it, as a result of which the land under the bushes is depleted. Therefore, in the autumn it is necessary to make up for the missing substances. During this period, the fourth, last top dressing is performed. It is very important for gooseberries. Proper soil fertilization after berry picking allows plants to lay the fruit buds of the next year’s harvest and strengthen immunity for good disease resistance and successful wintering.

In late September - October, after harvesting, the following work should be performed:

  1. Remove weeds.
  2. Collect and burn fallen leaves and dried branches.
  3. Make water recharge irrigation (3 buckets of water under 1 bush).

Then the autumn digging of the soil with fertilizer is carried out. As in spring, deep cultivation is done according to the projection of the crown and along the edge of a row of gooseberry bushes.

  1. Humus or compost is scattered on the prepared soil.
  2. Superphosphate and potassium salt are added from above (fertilizer consumption - see the table in the section “Fertilizing with mineral fertilizers”). It is also useful to add wood ash.
  3. After fertilizing, the soil is thoroughly loosened and mulched.

Nitrogen fertilizers should not be applied during autumn top dressing, since this provokes increased shoot growth and does not allow the bush wood to completely mature before winter, which leads to the death of plants.

Video: feeding gooseberries in the fall

The composition of fertilizers for fertilizing

Nitrogen and phosphoric mineral fertilizers can be not only “chemical” (ammonium nitrate, urea, ammophos, superphosphate), but can also be produced from natural products, that is, be mineral-organic.

Organic mineral dressings include:

  • humates - nitrogen fertilizers in granules obtained on the basis of processed manure and bird droppings;
  • nitrogen fertilizers in the form of bone meal from horns and hooves of livestock;
  • phosphorus fertilizers from blood and bone meal of livestock, as well as flour from fish bones.

Video: fertilizer overview

The practice of feeding gooseberries shows that at the same time, organic and mineral fertilizers should be used strictly in accordance with the recommendations in the instructions. There are a number of substances that are not compatible with each other. As a result, chemical reactions can begin that cause the fertilizer to become unusable.

Table: compatibility of various types of fertilizers



Nitrogen Phosphoric Potash Organic
Ammonium nitrateUrea


Ammonium sulfateSodium NitrateCalcium nitrateSuperphosphate




Potassium chloridePotassium sulfateManure


Wood ash



















Feeding gooseberries with mineral fertilizers

The use of mineral fertilizers for feeding healthy plants is dictated by the requirements of competently conducted agricultural technology. But sometimes, with insufficiently good care of the bushes, they show symptoms of a lack of certain nutrients. It is easy to determine by the following signs:

  • Nitrogen deficiency:
    • slow growth of bushes;
    • poor development of shoots;
    • dull leaf color;
    • a small number of inflorescences.
  • Insufficient amount of phosphorus:
    • late flowering;
    • shedding of ovaries;
    • discoloration of leaves from green to red;
    • weak bearing.
  • Potassium Lack:
    • dry and brittle shoots;
    • yellowing and shedding of leaves;
    • shredding of fruits.

In this case, the complex compositions Mikrovit and Tsitovit are used, which contain the necessary chelating substances for plant nutrition and have some features:

  • do not wash off from leaves and shoots;
  • well soluble in water, they can be used for spraying;
  • completely absorbed by plants;
  • possess increased activity of influence on problem areas of bushes.

Video: review of phosphorus-potash fertilizers

Feeding requirements for plants of different ages are different. Young bushes (up to three years old) need less nutrients than those entering fruiting (4-6 years old) and fruiting plants (from seven years old). With the transition from one growth phase to the next, the amount of fertilizer for feeding doubles.

Table: Root and foliar feeding gooseberries

Fertilizer application period Root top dressing (per 1 sq. M) Foliar top dressing

(per 1 bush)

The first feeding - early spring, before budding Humus or compost: 5 kg for loosening the soilMixture:
  • urea (15 g);
  • simple superphosphate (25 g);
  • potassium sulfate (15 g).
The second top dressing - before floweringNitrofoska (20 g) Ammonium sulfate (20 g per 10 l of water) or urea (30 g per 10 l of water)
Third feeding - ovary and ripeningSlurry: into the furrow of the near-trunk circleMixture:
  • simple superphosphate (60 g);
  • potassium sulfate (40 g);
  • wood ash (liter can)
The fourth feeding - in the autumn after harvestHumus or compost: 8 kg for loosening the soilMixture:
  • simple superphosphate (120 g);
  • potassium sulfate (100 g);
  • wood ash (liter can).

Gooseberry Fertilizer with Ash

Wood ash is a very valuable mineral-organic fertilizer for plants. This product is obtained by burning woody plant debris after pruning trees and shrubs, and cleaning the garden. Especially good quality ash is formed during the burning of waste from fruit trees, fruit bushes and vines.

The fertilizer has a fragmentary structure (pieces of charcoal) and powder (ash ash), in its composition contains salts of potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, zinc in a form convenient for assimilation by plants. Thanks to the application of this top dressing, the taste and size of gooseberries are improved, and plant resistance to fungal diseases and pests is increased. Fertilizer when applied to the soil improves its quality characteristics, reducing the acidity of the soil and increasing its breathability. For this reason, the use of ash is very effective on heavy dense soils.

Video: how to apply wood ash

As a top dressing, wood ash is used:

  • when applied directly to the ground;
  • when mulching the soil;
  • for spraying and pollinating bushes.

It is useful to combine the watering of gooseberries with an infusion of ash with normal moisture. There are various ways to prepare infusions of wood ash:

  1. Three liter cans of ash pour a bucket of warm water and insist 2 days in the heat. Dilute the solution with water 1:10, use for irrigation in the trunk circle.
  2. 1 kg of ash with pieces of ash pour 10 liters of cold water, insist a week. The resulting infusion can be sprayed with shrubs.
  3. The main infusion (uterine) is prepared by boiling a liter can of wood ash in 10 liters of water for 10–20 minutes. The cooled solution is diluted with water: 1 liter per bucket of water.

Feeding gooseberries in spring with folk remedies

To fertilize gooseberries, along with ready-made minerals, environmentally friendly "folk" dressings are often used:

  1. Freshly cut weeds, pour a bucket of water and insist a week. Drain the infusion and dilute with water in a ratio of 1:10. Pour the bush with the resulting solution into the trunk circle. To spray, dilute 1:20 with water.
  2. 1 tsp dilute sour cream in 1 liter of whey. Separately in 1 liter of water, stir 1 tbsp. l honey. Combine both mixtures and add 10 g of bread yeast. Add water to 10 liters. In the heat, ferment the solution for one week, after straining, dilute in a ratio of 0.5 l per 10 l of water. Use for root dressing.
  3. Hot dressing, used in early spring. Potato peelings (liter jar) pour boiling water in one bucket, cover with a warm cloth and cool to 50 ° C. Add 1 cup of wood ash and pour a hot solution over the gooseberry bush in the trunk circle. Well stimulates the growth processes of shoots and awakening of the kidneys.

For full growth and development, obtaining sustainable, regular crops, gooseberries need very little: careful care, regular watering and feeding, and the fight against diseases. The gardener will see the result of his labors on the plot - spring fragrance of flowers, lush greenery of shoots in summer and bushes strewn with tasty, ripe fruits in autumn.


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