Favorite Gooseberries and Currants


Yeah, my brother in-law farms the field… he kind of knows the drill since my 400’ of Raspberries are in the same field, only spray with a North wind and he keeps about 15 rows away from my bushes which I had spray the corn/beans. The 3 acres are my property but I let him farm it so I don’t have to keep weeds down. May do a U-Pick of some type in the near future, testing things now that may work in the field for this. Something to keep me busy when I retire in 10yrs! (Besides hunting/fishing :))


Do you think the heat will be a problem for Currant/Gooseberries? GB,Captivator - Hinomaki Yellow/Red - Jahns Prairie - Invicta - Black Velvet - Jeanne - Josta Berry - Colassal Currants,Pink Champagn - Rovada - Minaj Smyriou - Belaruskaja - Risager - Titania - Ben Lomand - Red Lake


Hey Brett! Haskap, currant and gooseberry can be grown in shade. The haskaps may look worse in full sun and be the biggest issue. Having said that spring and fall is everything. And you said not as hot as me, so I think they will look awful in July, but be fine and survive. The currants and gooseberries should grow fine in full sun. 4 foot spacing is moderate spacing, and may become crowded, but I have spaced even closer. I think it’s a good choice. A little pruning can keep them in check, if even needed from overcroawding. 4 foot is a lot of room. How to prune haskaps, is a good question. Mine are so young, I won’t really know best approach for some time… Like with currants removing 5 year old canes, and limiting total canes is a good idea. Older canes become unproductive, and you can get more sugar, and bigger berries by limiting production, via the number of new canes allowed to stay. Remove low (or use to root new plants), and weak canes. Currants can also be formed into cordons. I’m experimenting with all ways to prune.
I don’t know that much about Aronia, think it wants full sun, and I know serviceberry/saskatoon loves full sun. If you can shade the honeyberries during the hottest part of the day that would be ideal for them, but should with care survive in full sun. Some will do better than others. All the others will be fine. Even though I have been growing most of these berries for a bit, most are in some shade, so my experience in full sun is very limited. So yes a test plot is in order to find out for sure. If your raspberries are fine in full sun, i would think all of these will be too, even if not ideal for honeyberries.
Speaking of cordons I have one red currant growing on a fence. taking years to size up!


Wow, nice Currant Cordon, bet that took some doing! Thanks for the advice. Yes, Raspberries love the sun. Your chainlink reminds me of my raspberries. I have them planted up and down 400’ of chainlink fence with wood chip mulch… My long row will have drip irrigation too so that may help. My Haskap are coming from Canada, place called Prairie Palnt System (PPSFruitTrees.com), they only ship in fall (did not know that when ordered last Christmas!!) so my Haskap will not go in the ground until October this year 30 of them…, Boreal Beast, Boreal Beauty, Boreal Blizzard, Boreal and Aurora. Sure they will be small plugs or something but as long as they are healthy upon arrival… I will have to get some pics of my berries as things progress here. Cut down most of the Fall bearing to the ground and they are all starting back nicely. Black Raspberry are getting small bloom buds already (Jewel, Black Mac, Niwot). Love the blacks the best…we pick 20lbs a day of raspberries when things are really rollin,big family help themselves which is nice.


the newer haskaps tend to be more sun/ wind tolerant than the older varieties. i have indigo treat/ gem and aurora in full sun and haven’t had sunburn/wind issues. i have some bulebell and blue bird planted on a friends property and they start to look like hell about july. they are done fruiting by then so like Drew said, it doesnt affect them. i would be more worried about drying cold winds doing damage in the winter. at least here most of my plants are buried in our 120in. avg. yearly snowfall, which protects them. if you keep them well watered up until freeze up you shouldn’t have any issues. good luck!


Thanks for the info Steve…yeah, we had 30 below F here this year and some 50mph winds with that so it can get cold, but that was pretty extreme. Snow cover is hit/miss. My zone 5 Black Raspberries pulled through it pretty well with only minimal cane loss so I am hoping the Haskap will hold in there. Most of these varieties are later blooming/fruiting I ordered so I hope I did not do the wrong thing with that…was looking at latest/greatest berries with larger size/sweeter. (Boreal series).


Berries Unlimited has developed some super sweet haskaps, they mostly sell wholesale. I got them to send me two, one was a one inch plug, most pathetic thing i ever saw. It managed to survive winter just fine and is now 8 inches. Anyway looking forward to trying these sweet plus varieties.
I have Honey Gin and Blue Banana. I’m just a backyard grower so with the other 5 I have, 7 is plenty! I should get a decent amount this year. off of those 5 older plants. The new Sweet plus are too small this year. i should get a decent sample next year.
I also added Jewel Gooseberry, an orange cultivar. It is supposed to be top rate. I planted it out yesterday. A huge 2.5 foot plant was sent from One Green World. I put it in the ground. i have little room and keep most of my gooseberries in containers. This is a very wet and low area, I found a way to use it.



I have most of those same varieties, and they do fine in full sun near St. Paul, MN.


Thanks for the reply Andrew and Northwood…Yes, I think most of these places just re-name Haskaps so not sure what you are actually getting sometimes… I like the grow bags! Those 10Gal or?? Was thinking of that myself yesterday…pretty neat. Jewel sounds interesting, may try that, but I better get my 45 plants in the ground first that are coming this week! I always seem to go overboard with everything I do…Would be willing to trade/share a few plants/cuttings down the road with you or anyone if things work out…


Prairie Tech propagation has better prices on honeyberry. I got an order from them just a few weeks ago. Don’t get borealis it sucks. Honey bee or indigo gem are better. I’m on nd. They ship spring and fall but not sure what their stock is currently.


Thanks Derek, maybe I can change my order since they have a few months notice! We will see. It was mainly a pollinator for Aurora… Wish I would have seen the PTpropagation site before I placed my order last Dec. I think I am paying abut $100 US to ship the 30 Haskap plugs this fall. I did not know I could find the Blizzard, Beauty and Beast anywhere else at the time.


Yeah ask here on such things. The haskaps or honeyberries, have multiple breeders right now in the private sector, which is very interesting. Dr Thompson has released some of the Japanese haskaps, which fruit later. I have three of them, and they do fruit later. Berries Unlimited went to Russia and developed it’s own line. These guys were very smart, as the UK does no business with Russia, so this company is selling like crazy to the UK all these Russian cultivars, they just renamed. Some were bred, but most were long ago developed in Russia. So besides the Canadians, many others are looking into this market, and we all benefit from all this activity. I have cultivars from all of these sources. The best cultivars have yet to be weeded out of this flood of varieties. Even future better cultivars are very likely, so I’m sitting back a bit and see what takes, what comes about, and what goes away.
Some good info on honeyberries is here


Thanks for the info, I will do some reading on this site!


Gooseberries taste so different from one cultivar to another!

I find Hinnomaki Yellow to be the best tasting (of the ones I grow)! It is also my 3 years old’s favorite! It’s got texture (crunchy skin, jelly inside), aroma, tartness and sweetness.

Black velvet would be my second choice. Skin is thicker and not as crunchy, but a little more chewy. It is more acidic, but also, more aromatic. Different aroma… More “berry” like.

These bushes are soooo different!! Hinnomaki Yellow is small and the branches are droopy. Black Velvet is big and the branches are upright (although they bend down under the fruit load).

I also grow Pixwell and I really don’t like the fruits. Not really juicy, not really crunchy… I find it somewhat sweet with too little acidity. It can develop a nice aroma if left to ripen until pink… but then, the texture is really just mushy.