Favorite Gooseberries and Currants


#1

Is anybody else growing either gooseberries or currants? My plants were devastated by mildew and heat last year, but this year I got at least some berries from about half the gooseberries and a few black currants.

The gooseberries remind me of plums. The interior is pretty sweet, while the skin it quite tart.

I haven’t had any of the black currants since I don’t think they’re ripe yet, and my colored currants all died so I had to replace them.

Does anybody have other experience or favorite types?


#2

Gooseberries:
Poorman is good but plenty of little thorns. Jahns Prairie has less thorns and is good. Black Velvet is a newer variety with good reviews but for me it doesn’t taste any better and produces less fruit. I’ll give it one more year.


#3

I had seven currant bushes. One red Jonkheer von tets, lived for five years, and then died two years ago. I did not replace it. The one plant would yield six pints of jelly. My pink, Champagne and white Blanca lived for seven years and both died last winter. One black currant died last winter as well. Rabbits built a nest under it last summer and that killed its roots. Found the nest this summer when it didn’t leaf out. I have three very large black currants left. They are loaded with berries and netted. Since I am moving replacing the lost currants will have to wait for my new home. I loved them all and will make my last batches of black currant jam this summer, unless my house sells before the end of July. They loved getting new soil every spring and being mulched too. Also, prune out the dead branches every year and prune them at least five inches after you have picked the berries in mid to late July. I use a simple garden fertilizer every spring. Hope this helps!


#4

btw, I have red and white currants planted and although they produce alot, they really can’t touch the flavor of black currants.
My favorite alcoholic drink is probably a Cassis (Black Currant Lambic, which leans on sweet+tart pomegranate-like flavors).

I was pleasantly surprised to see nice frozen ones at my russian supermarket in Philly (Net Cost Market)… and they were AWESOME! That perfect sweet+tart taste (i was surprised they had a tinge of sweet to them).
I just assumed they are bitter since most people just make jam out of them with lots of sugar I assume
and the Ribena type drinks I’ve tried are ridiculously too sweet with too much sugar added.

If interested here is the frozen currants I got, maybe they have at your location:

I actually ordered these black currant jams on amazon to try them as well:
Hero Black+Red Currant jam
Mrs Bridges Blackcurrant Scottish Preserve

Anyhoo, I actually haven’t gotten a good crop from my own plants yet, but I’ll be sure to report back when i do (I have a decent amount of varieties growing and they fruit in semi-shade). All i know is the gooseberries and black currants i tried are way better and tastier than red and white currants (although they are very pretty).

Here is my list:
White/Red Currants:
Primus
White Imperial
Jonkheer Von Tets
Gloire de Sablons
Pink Champagne currants

Other:
Crandall currant

Black currants
BlackDown
Minaj Smyriou (extra one from Whitman Farms)
Hills Kiev Select (rooted one in back area)
Titania
Tsema (rooting)
Belaruskaja
Kirovchanka

Gooseberry;
Leveller
BlackVelvet
Jeanne
Hinnamaki Red
Hinnamaki Yellow
Amish Red
Langley Gage
Invicta
Jahn’s Prairie


#5

We just planted four varieties this spring, Jeanne, Poorman, Oregon Champion and Hinnomaki Red. So obviously no samples to speak of. They were planted in April and have done real well so far.


#6

I planted these since I had never seen or heard of currants or gooseberries before I got some fruit books. I’ve got

Black Currants: Blackdown, September, Titania, Sirada, Ben More, and Ben Sarek
Non-Black: Rovada, Jonkheer, Pink Champagne, and a ‘random White’ from Raintree
Gooseberry: Jeanne, Invicta, Leepared, Captivator, Black Velvet, Canada, Hinonmaki Red

I’ve only had a few fruits from a few plants. Mildew destroyed production last year when they were in pots, and while it and the heat only defoliated the blacks it killed the colored currants. I moved everything to in ground this year, but I suspect I disturbed the roots too much. My soil is heavy on clay too, so new growth has been slow.

Scott lists Minaj Smyriou and Poorman as good results, and he’s the closest grower to me that I know of, so if something disappoints I’ll probably replace with those.


#7

I have a 3 year old Hinno Red GB that has fruit for the first time and I planted a belaruskaja black currant this spring. I had a Pixwell GB in my yard for a few years that I didnt really like so I moved it out and put the black currant in its place.


#8

Invicta is easily the best gooseberry in my collection up to this point. It’s large, very productive and tastes great. Hinnomaki Red is productive, but much smaller and not as tasty. H. Yellow is decent sized, but not as tasty at this point, Black Velvet hasn’t fruited enough for me to have an opinion and Jeanne was affected by mildew and then was overgrown by other gooseberries until I cleaned them up. I should finally taste it this year.


#9

‘invicta’ is finally picking up steam after sitting there for two years. ‘Oregon Champion’ is off to an OK start this year. Rocky Mountain foothills.


#10

I like all currants and gooseberries, just like the red ones for cooking and processing a lot. Most do not, I really like the flavor. Pinks are awesome too.

Blacks are good. Some hate them. I have not grown them long enough, let alone cooked with them to give any opinion.

With reds, pinks, and whites I like to combine with other fruit. Some interesting combinations are possible.

For growing reds I like Jonkheer van Tets as it’s good tasting, and early.
Rovada is later and produces long strigs. Many other good ones too. I like Laxton’s No 1 because it grows and produces well here. Very consistent. Other new ones look awesome too like Rosetta.

Crandall or clove currants is a type of black currant and very unique. Not a great producer, and I think various strains are around. Some better than others.Ornamental too. It does not taste like other blacks. Various strains are around because this plant is hard to produce from cloning. Most currants root before you make the cut! Clove currant is not your typical currant. So many nurseries used seed to propagate, at least according to Lucy at Whitmans.


#11

Does anyone know of a list showing gooseberry ripening order by variety? This is something I have not been able to find online. Hopefully I’ll have lots of Invicta, Hinno Red and Red George this year, as well as small amounts of Black Velvet, Poorman, and Hinno Yellow. Most of these will be new for me.


#12

U prop invicta? Might need u 2 send me one!


#13

Darn another I’m going to need then! I heard from another user if he had to pick one gooseberry it would be Jewel. I don’t have either.


#14

I grow Belaruskaja, Titania and sminaj black currants and like them best in that order for fresh eating. Bela is an intense and beautiful flavor. Unfortunately their productivity is in the reverse order of my flavor preferences. Sminaj is very vigorous, so maybe when Bela catches up its productivity will be better. Titania is in a shadier drier spot so that is probably impacting its crop. They’re all still young and this is my first year getting enough to do anything with.

For gooseberries I’m growing poorman, hinno red and hinno yellow. I enjoy them all, but haven’t really gotten enough to say which is best. This year I’ll get a reasonable amount of the hinno red and yellow to know more, but poorman only set 3 berries. The hinno reds are definitely smaller berries than the others but seem productive. Poorman and hinno red are side by side at the edge of a mostly shaded raingarden, so maybe poorman just needs a bit more sun. Hinno yellow is in a different location and gets about 3-4 hours of sun. Unlike the others, the hinno yellow is growing almost prostrate, so I’m curious if others are seeing that as well.

For red currants I just grow Rovada, which is nice but it’s also smallish and not very productive yet. Really, i’m very happy to have all of them doing okay since they’re in shadier areas with mostly clay soil - far from ideal. Last summer was very hot and dry so they looked pretty bad and I was please they set any crop this spring. They definitely seemed to slow down faster when it gets dry than crops like raspberries. Here’s hinno red’s fruit set.


#15

I have the hybrid,Jostaberry and it looks like the plant will have a fair sized crop,for the first time.I’ll have to read up on some recipes. Brady



#16

have consort and crandall clove currants. last year i got a handful of berries from the consorts. this year the 2 bushes are loaded! my crandall that i just planted 3 weeks ago has 6-7 flowers so hopefully i get to taste them this year. the consorts are very strong and musky tasting. most don’t like them fresh but i do. will freeze some and make jam of the rest.ive had pixewell gooseberries before but didn’t care much for them. found them bland when ripe.


#17

I had my first fruit from my three 2nd year plants. I found that sampling the Red Hinnonmaki gave a hint of their potential; jostaberry never made it out of the so-so category (very few fruit); and the Crandall Clove were kinda icky up until…when everything finally got really ripe; then wowza…really liked the gooseberries, and the currants got luscious. Lesson = let them get really ripe.


#18

Yes, you must. Black currant may never taste good fresh, but man are they good processed. As are many fruit like dogwood cherries. I left a poorman gooseberry plant hang it’s fruit for over a month and it was as sweet as sweet can be. Gooseberries are very good! Adding Vermont this year from reviews I have read.
Some have no fall colors and others do. So some ornamental value to some of these plants.

Black Velvet

Poorman

Cuttings of these are available for trade for other gooseberries.


#19

I dug out my large Hinno Red this fall, not a fan of the thorns, so most of the berries didnt get picked. Im sure it will come back tho as there are a lot of roots still in the ground. Saved a bunch of the dug out branches that had layered themselves, they are in a bag in my unheated shed, guessing theyll be fine in the spring so I can share them if anyone wants to try it…


#20

my consorts were like that. only when dead ripe are they edible off the bush.