Gooseberry Lighthouse: characteristics, features of growing, reproduction
Gooseberry is a fruit and berry culture with a rich history. Its taste and useful qualities have been recognized at all times, so people created whole plantations of plants. Today, breeders have bred a lot of varieties, the characteristics of which are significantly improved compared to their predecessors, and the Mayak gooseberry variety is one of them.
Gooseberry Lighthouse was obtained by crossing two varieties: Bottle and Houghton. The plant was bred by the breeders of the Siberian Research Institute of Horticulture M.A. Lisavenko. After passing the variety test from 1996 to 1998, it established itself as a high-quality crop suitable for cultivation in the north-western and eastern regions, after which the variety was entered into the state register of breeding works.
Gooseberry Lighthouse is a well-developed tall bush with arched shoots, throughout which there are single (rarely triple) spikes. The leaves are 5-lobed, serrated, dark green with a glossy surface below and lighter on the tops of the shoots.
The size and shape of the berries may vary slightly. The weight of the fruit varies from medium, about 2.2 g, to large - up to 4.6 g, and the shapes are spherical and bottle-shaped.
The color is dark red, even red-violet. The berries have a pleasant dessert taste with acidity, which is estimated at a tasting scale of 4.2 points.
Gooseberries are appreciated not only for their palatability - they have a rich chemical composition, which is why they are often used for medicinal purposes.
It contains a large amount of vitamins (A, B, and especially C - up to 67%), micro and macro elements (iodine, potassium, copper, etc.).
Gooseberries are a good tool for the prevention of cancer, useful for anemia, metabolic disorders in the body. Its use is recommended for people with cardiovascular ailments, kidney and bladder diseases.
Did you know? Gooseberries should be consumed regularly by people seeking weight loss. It is necessary to prepare a special broth: 1 glass of dried fruit, pour 0.5 liters of boiling water and insist 15 - 20 hours, after which it should be taken every morning during the diet. The mixture will provide the body with the necessary vitamins, give energy and relieve stress, which often accompanies diets.
Advantages and disadvantages
Each gooseberry variety has its undeniable advantages, but there are also disadvantages that can not be discounted. When choosing a variety, it is worth knowing the description of both of them.
- The benefits of gooseberry lighthouse include:
- stable high yield;
- pleasant taste of fruits;
- excellent frost resistance;
- drought tolerance;
- low requirements for leaving;
- immunity to serious diseases such as powdery mildew and anthracnose.
- the presence of thorns on the shoots;
- cracking of berries with excess moisture (during heavy rains, berries should not be left on the bushes for a long time).
Drought resistance, frost resistance
Gooseberry Mayak easily tolerates severe drought (this trait was passed to it by the “parental” variety Bottlenoe). Even if there will be no watering throughout the summer, the bush will remain, but most likely, it will drop berries in order to preserve moisture reserves.
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The shrub is characterized by good frost resistance. It easily tolerates a decrease in temperature indicators to -25 ... -28 ° C, as well as spring return frosts. If during the winter the bush is covered with a thick snow carpet, he will be able to survive even more severe cooling to -30 ... -35 ° C.
Even if gooseberries are left without shelter during severe frosts, only annual branches can die, while the bush as a whole remains absolutely healthy.
Productivity and fruiting
Gooseberries begin to bear fruit in the 2-3rd year after planting, so you need to be patient and provide the culture with proper care. Fruiting begins in the third decade of July, when the berries reach technical maturity, which means that in fact they have already ripened, but their crust is still quite firm, yellow-pink, and sourness prevails in taste.
Such fruits are usually harvested if they need to be transported, processed or stored for a long time, during which they will have time to mature. If you want to enjoy fresh juicy sweet berries, it is better to pick them a little later, when they reach biological maturity. From one bush, planted and groomed according to all the rules of agricultural technology, you can collect up to 4 kg of fruits.
Proper landing is one of the conditions for a good development of culture in the future. First of all, you need to choose the right site, carefully approach the selection of seedlings and in the end know what time it is best to plant the crop.
We recommend to find out: what can be planted next to the gooseberry, especially the neighborhood.
The most favorable time for planting gooseberries is considered the autumn period - from late September to mid-October. At this time, the fertilized culture falls into a dormant state, the shoots cease to grow, which means that nutrients will be sent to the rhizome, and the plant will have time to adapt before the onset of real cold weather.
If you decide to plant gooseberries in the spring, you need to do this very early, because the plants need to have time to take root in a new place before the start of the growing season. In any case, spring planting may be unproductive.
Choosing the right place
Try to choose a free area in the garden where the rays of the sun will fully illuminate the gooseberries, in extreme cases, a small penumbra is suitable, possibly from the crown of tall crops growing in the neighborhood. It is advisable that gooseberries do not grow in a strong wind. Check out
Observe the color of the vegetation: if it is more saturated than in the rest of the territory, it means that the groundwater is located high - gooseberries cannot be planted here.
It is very good if it is possible to prepare a plot for gooseberries in advance. If you are planning an event for next year, you will have the opportunity to fertilize the soil well. During downtime, the soil is periodically dug up, weeded and organic fertilizers added.
Experienced gardeners sometimes use another method to improve the soil - plant siderata plants such as clover, beans, peas on the site. Over time, they are mowed, dried in the sun and embedded in the soil.
Selection and preparation of planting material
You need to start with where you are going to buy seedlings. It is better to buy from trusted sellers or in specialized nurseries - then you do not risk buying a completely different variety instead of the expected Mayak.
The seedling should have several healthy strong shoots, which, as a rule, are shortened before planting, leaving about 10 cm, so that the plant branches better. Pay attention to the root system - it must be well developed, have a length of at least 20 cm and a stem diameter of about 1 cm.
Before planting, the roots of the seedling can be additionally treated with a growth stimulator (for example, “Kornevin”), which will not only enhance the development of the crop. But it also protects against dangers that may arise with temperature extremes, high soil moisture.
For planting, you need to dig holes, the depth of which is quite large - up to 50 cm, and a diameter of 40 cm. A drainage bed of stones (pebbles, gravel) or broken brick is laid on the bottom. Then a mixture of soil with fertilizers is covered: several shovels of the earth are mixed with 5 kg of manure (compost), 20 g of superphosphate and 25-30 g of potassium salt. The fertilizer pit needs to be watered to provide better impregnation.
Important! When planting gooseberry plantations, it is necessary to observe the distances: between bushes - 1 - 1.5 m, between rows - 1.5 - 2 m.
Seedlings are placed in holes, sprinkled with soil to half the height, watered (5-6 l), then they fill up the rest of the earth, once again watered with the same amount of moisture and mulch.
Features of seasonal care
Gooseberry is not a demanding plant, it can grow without human intervention, as it happens in the wild. However, if you have acquired a varietal look and want to get a good harvest every year, you need to provide him with proper care.
Gooseberries love moisture, but do not tolerate its excess well. Excessive rains can cause the skin of the berries to burst, and wet soil will weaken the root system and possibly rot. Watering should be moderate - 2 times a week for 5-7 liters under 1 bush.
We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the care of gooseberries in the spring season.
In the dry period, you can increase the amount of watering or dosage. The soil should be checked periodically so that it is moist, but not excessively wet. Mulching helps to preserve moisture and reduce watering, it is especially important if the owners rarely visit the site.
In addition to watering, the soil must be loosened once a week. This will ensure good oxygen access to the roots of the plant. During cultivation, weeding is carried out simultaneously, eliminating the site of weed grass.
Throughout the season, the bushes need to be inspected, removed dried, damaged branches, loosen the soil and feed. Such measures will help to avoid many diseases and attacks of harmful insects. To provide even greater protection against these negative factors, you need to periodically spray the culture with special drugs.
In early spring, shrubs are sprayed with a solution of iron sulfate, with the “Prophylactin” insecticide. During the period of kidney swelling - Bordeaux mixture. When the buds begin to form on the bushes, they must be protected from the appearance of fungal diseases and lesions by mites, aphids. Biological preparations Fitoverm, Fitosporin, as well as insecticides Kleschevit and Actellik are well suited for processing.
The last treatment is carried out in preparation for winter - after pruning, the bushes are sprayed with a solution of copper sulfate.
Did you know? The best wood ash is that obtained in the process of burning fruit trees and berry bushes. It gives the plant the necessary amount of potassium, phosphorus and sulfur salts for a safe wintering.
Gooseberries are responsive to fertilizers. It is absolutely necessary to feed the soil before planting, so that the plant takes root well in a new place. Further feeding is needed in early spring, after the awakening of the culture. At this time, gooseberries need a lot of strength to build up shoots, so organic and nitrogen fertilizers will be most welcome. You can add 6-7 kg of manure under each bush, digging it with the soil.
Before flowering, sheet processing is carried out with purchased mineral compounds and nitrogen. The latter can be done independently: in a bucket of settled water, you need to dilute 20 g of superphosphate, ammonium and potassium nitrate, mix everything well and strain. About 1 liter of solution should be spent on 1 bush.
In autumn, the plant is fed to restore strength after fruiting and strengthen the immune system. Along with digging, 100 g of potassium sulfate, 120 g of simple superphosphate, 4–5 kg of humus and 1 l of wood ash solution are added to the soil under each bush.
Read also how to transplant gooseberries to another place.
Gooseberry bushes Mayak have powerful high shoots and a dense crown, so they need support. With it, the bushes will look neat, and the side branches will not spread along the ground under the weight of the fruit. For a bush growing without a “company”, it is possible to make a support of wooden stakes along the perimeter of the crown with a wire stretched in three rows, which will support both the lower and upper tiers.
If the bushes are planted in a row, they build a trellis: two columns are dug along the edges of the row. Between which also pull the cord (wire) in three rows.
The densely growing gooseberry bush Mayak needs periodic pruning, which is carried out in early spring and autumn, approximately in October, when the plant is prepared for wintering.
In the spring, the haircut is of a preventive nature: remove branches that have not survived the winter period - those that have broken or froze. Weakened stems are cut to 15–20 cm. Removal of damaged or infected shoots is carried out throughout the season.
In autumn, the second “haircut” period begins. Now it’s worth removing shoots older than 8 years old from the bush, since their fruiting is already weak. But in their place young strong stems will appear over time. You should also get rid of the lateral root shoots, removing them at the very base, and cut those that have started their growth in the center of the bush.
Harvesting and storage
Gooseberries are harvested for several weeks. In the first days of ripening, as mentioned earlier, the berries are still quite solid, have a higher percentage of acid, but if you are going to store or transport them, then you need such a crop. In a cool place, the fruits will be well preserved for 10 days. Check out
Harvesting is better in shallow containers with openings that will serve as ventilation hatches - baskets, baskets, plastic boxes.
Berries can be frozen, dried or made from them excellent preparations for the winter period - jam, jams, compotes.
In early October, you can begin to prepare the culture for winter. During this period, they trim the bushes, weed through the territory and clean them of litter. Now it is important to dig the soil well, adding fertilizers. Having finished with digging, they carry out water-charging irrigation - each bush needs to be watered with 25-30 l of water and the soil is mulled with a small layer (up to 5 cm) of sawdust and peat.
Gooseberries tolerate frosts, wintering under the snow. However, today's climate often presents surprises, and it is impossible to guarantee that the winter will be really snowy. It is safer to bend the shoots to the ground, tie them to a cord stretched at a height of 25-30 cm along the beds, and cover the bushes with coniferous branches.
Important! The upper part of the gooseberry root system is located quite high. Digging the soil should be no more than 10 cm in depth so as not to damage the plant.
There are several methods for propagating a gooseberry bush - by seeds, cuttings, layering and dividing the bush:
- The first method - by seeds, is used quite rarely by gardeners. It is time-consuming, takes a lot of time, but as a result, you still can’t get a culture with similar characteristics.
- The simplest and most reliable method is reproduction by layering . In early spring, around the bush, you need to dig several trenches 8-10 cm deep and fix the lateral layers in them. When a young shoot appears, trenches are covered with soil. By summer, the shoots will reach a height of about 15 cm - they need to be spudded, and then regularly watered and weed until autumn. In autumn, rooted plants are separated from the mother bush and planted in a new area.
- Cuttings are also very popular due to their simplicity. In early July, cuttings with lengths of about 20 cm are cut from strong stems. The material is placed in a greenhouse with a substrate of sand and peat (1: 1) to a depth of 2 cm. Here they should be at a temperature of + 23 ... + 27 ° С until spring. The bed must be regularly watered and aired. In spring, young rooted seedlings can be transplanted into the open ground.
- Gooseberries can be propagated by dividing into several fragments . It is worth noting that the culture has a tremendous ability to grow additional roots in the places where the shoots are cut, so new plants obtained in this way quickly take root. Such operations can be carried out with bushes, not older than 5 years. In autumn, you need to carefully dig out the bush, divide it into parts so that each of them has roots and a young shoot. The resulting material is planted in pre-prepared landing pits.
Diseases and Pests
The Mayak variety has increased resistance to diseases such as anthracnose and powdery mildew, which in the early 20th century destroyed entire plantations of the crop. Despite this, there are other ailments, such as white spotting, terry, rust, mosaic, which can destroy the plant. To combat them, fungicides are used. The best drugs are Topaz, Fundazol.
Diseases are often carried by insects that attack gooseberries (flower gall midges, fire flakes, buds, aphids), feeding on its juice and laying off larvae. When they are found, shrubs need to be treated with insecticides - karbofos, Bordeaux mixture.