Just got my blackberry and gooseberry plants today. They look terrible, very unimpressed. They were tiny little plants with all dried out roots. They had shredded newspaper around them, but the newspaper was bone dry. I ordered back in January and they sent me an email the day before they shipped showing they were out of two gooseberry plants. Maybe I’m spoiled, but all other blackberry plants I’ve ordered from other vendors put these to shame.
I have ordered two gooseberries from IB in the past (2017), and they were both little twigs, no more than 8 inches long, and not many roots. One plant didn’t last a year, and the other is still alive but has struggled compared to other gooseberries I’ve planted.
Two years ago I ordered four thornless blackberries from them, and all the plants had very good roots. They sprouted new canes within a month, and have done well the last couple years. I ordered Freedom, Traveler, Osage, and Ouachita.
What blackberries did you order from them?
I ordered Caddo, triple crown, PAF, prime ark 45, Osage, and hinnomaki yellow gooseberry for myself. They were out of the two invicta gooseberries I ordered. I ordered Caddo, PAF, Navajo, Arapaho, and Apache for friends that I did some trading with. Blackberries are tough so maybe they will make it after soaking their roots. Simmons plant farm blackberries out of Arkansas will eat their plants, just saying.
I ordered from another vendor and got the exact same thing you described. Planted it, but I doubt it will make it. It’s like rolling the dice ordering from anywhere.
@Robert, where did you order from this year? Anyone out there order from Pense or Nourse this year, curious what their plants look like this year. I have ordered from Simmons plant farm three different times and their blackberry plants and asparagus crowns were top notch, blackberry plants were a minimum of 5 times bigger than these. The PAF produced blackberries the same year of planting. I will guarantee these aren’t producing this year. I’m going to take a pic of a few of these for all to see after they rehydrate a bit.
Yeah, as long as they didn’t get totally dried out they should be okay if you re-wet them and keep them wrapped in a damp paper towel and keep in a cool place before planting.
I have also ordered raspberries from them two years in a row ('17 and '18). They all had very good roots, but 4 out of 5 never sprouted the first year. I ordered 11 the next year, and 8 did sprout and are still going. So, I haven’t had the best of luck with their rasps, but I think it’s more because rasps are harder to get established than blackberries. They aren’t nearly as vigorous here as BB’s.
I put in orders with just about everyone this year. Gooseberry I got at Scenic Hill, Rolling River, e-bay, and a local nursury. Went hard with those this year. The scenic hill ones are small, but potted and in good condition. Rolling River gave me a nice potted one, but it was expensive. Ebay I got one small nice potted one and then the one matching yours. The local nursery had five gallon potted ones practically fully grown for $25. Me and another woman wiped all of those out.
I ordered asparagus from Nourse, they were in very good condition and most were nice sized, they sent 27 crowns in an order for 25
I know I’ve ordered strawberries form Indiana Berry. And was happy.
Can’t remember if I’ve ordered other items or not. Been awhile since I placed anything with them, but I may have ordered blackberries or raspberries 2 or 3 years ago, and they all lived for 30 days, and I don’t know if the person I ordered them for took good care of them or not beyond the period I promised to be responsible for them.
An ‘edible landscaping’ customer.
Thats disappointing to hear about IB. I put in a fairly decent order with them. Supposed to ship next week so I guess we’ll see. They sent me an email early this week saying they were out of a few and wanted to know if I wanted a substitution. Sent 2 emails throughout the week leaving plenty of time to respond, tried calling today and voicemail was full…
@Travis Same here, I called several times with no answer and emailed once either Monday or Tuesday with no response. I had an instant bad feeling when I picked up the box of 20 plants before opening it up and it was feather light. Im not sure what you ordered, but Caddo and PAF were better looking than the other 6 varieties I ordered. I’m still hopeful that most of what I got will live after rehydrating. Their roots were developed descent if they hadn’t been all dried out. I wouldn’t be so confident if they were something else besides blackberries. I have almost no confidence in the tiny dried out gooseberry plant I received.
I ordered blueberries, currants, and gooseberries… I was just looking at their site and they have a satisfaction guarantee. I’ll make sure and take pictures.
The Bob Gordon elderberries I got from them last spring were pretty great. Very large root systems.
Yeah it’s too bad they seem to be slipping on some things. They used to be an excellent nursery. I can say gooseberries look dead all the time. If the cambium is green they are good to go. Really gray and dry looking things! Really these things root easily. I got some cuttings of Invicta and like 3 out of 4 rooted. I have an extra plant, it just started leafing out.
In a 1.5 qt black nursery pot.
Funny it got to 26F and the plant could care less, leaves and all were fine. I love how currants and honeyberries leaf out so early.
@Drew51 what do you think about planting gooseberries under a grape trellis? I have a 80 ft long grape trellis with somerset seedless that I planted last year. I was thinking about planting gooseberries under the trellis between grape vines. I thought maybe this would be a good use of space and maybe offer the gooseberries a little shade.
Sounds like a good idea. Funny yesterday I planted 2 blackberries under my grapes. They have to share the trellis! I have used currants between trees too.
You can prune to fit too, If the gooseberry grows some canes in a bad direction, just remove them.
I visited @ZombieFruit to trade a few things and see his nice garden and fruit trees and he was growing his gooseberries in the shade of his grapes and I think they were doing very well for him. Hopefully he’ll see this and give you a report on it.
This year, I ordered the 4 grafted paw paws that they sell. They looked okay. Well, see how they do. I probably won’t order from them again, because their customer service is pretty poor in my opinion. I called to check on my order and to see if I could add to it and the lady who answered the phone seemed very annoyed that I called. She asked me what my last name was and I said “I have the order number, would you like that.” Instead of kindly saying something like “No thanks, it’s easier for me to search by your last name.” She raised her voice over me while I was trying to finish my sentence and said, in a very nasty tone, “LAST NAME”. I was like “wow, okay.” If I wouldn’t have REALLY wanted those paw paws, I would have told her to just cancel my order. I can’t stand poor customer service.
Gooseberries under grapes has worked pretty well for me. First, gooseberries are early starters in the spring, but grapes not so much. Right now my gooseberries are totally leafed out and have had flowers for close to two weeks. My grapes currently have swollen buds and the canopy will not fill out for some time. When the hot weather arrives, the gooseberries will be significantly shaded. I have never had a gooseberry shrub look like it was struggling with the summer heat (zone 6a/b borderline). Also, when the canopy grows in, I think it obscures the ripe gooseberries from the birds. I also dangle CDs from the grape trellis just as the gooseberries are getting ripe as an additional distraction.
Of course there is no such thing as a free lunch. I think the shade from the grapevines delay the ripening of the fruit by a week or so (my speculation). Also, I had a grape berry moth infestation one year and both crops were impacted. In addition, if you spray your grapes you may have to time the spraying so that you are not putting anything on your ripe gooseberries. Lastly, you may have to dance the limbo of death between picking your grapes and gooseberries (mowing is another challenge).
I do think the positives outweigh the negatives for me, but if yard space was not an issue, I might think otherwise.
This picture is from last August, well past gooseberry harvest. The gooseberries are effectively hidden at this time of the year, due to my poor canopy management. The gooseberries are located directly under the closest wire on the grape trellis, facing the east. I am planning on planting currants on the west side of the trellis soon.
My order just got dropped off. I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the overall plant size and root mass for the price. The roots look a little dry, but there is still some condensation in the bags from the newspaper shreds they use. I doubt I’ll get them in the ground today since it’s raining. Does anyone think I would need to put them in water or moist wood chips overnight? Otherwise, I’ll keep them in the bags wrapped in the garage.