I swear you and I are doing mostly the same things this spring!
There’s some good info in this thread:
From what I’ve gathered here and elsewhere, currants are as close to a guarantee as you are going to get, whereas gooseberries need a little more care. I’ve also learned that they typically leaf out before they root if started in spring, so keeping the leaves from transpiring too much moisture is going to be a big part of the challenge. What types did you get? I’m currently lavishing some Rondom red currant cuttings with more attention than is probably warranted.
I’ve rooted currant cuttings in 50 /50 coir and perlite with no heat and got nearly 100% take. stuck cuttings in native soil covered in 3in. mulch in early spring. had near 100% take. i only leave 1 bud above ground. never tried gooseberries but can’t be too much different. keep them moist but not soaked. never used root hormone on currants but can’t hurt.
A couple of years back, I took maybe 30 cuttings from red and black currants. Stripped most of the buds, dipped 2” in rooting hormone, poked a hole in the ground with a piece of rebar, inserted the cutting, stamped, set up dripper, and walked away. Almost all of them took.
Almost no work, bordered on negligent care, good success rate.
Evidence tells me currants are pretty badass-easy when it comes to propagation. If you do something in nice soil, pots, irrigation, etc, I doubt you can go wrong.
I mentioned this before in the past several years, so don’t know just where to look: Put a bit of myccorhizal inoculant alongside your stem when you bury it. I put a Myko Pak (from Raintree; there are other sources of root inoculant) beside a cutting each of Ben More and Ben Sarek, leaving just the topmost buds showing above ground. Then put mulch over them & waited to see what they did in spring. They grew to twice the size of the mother bushes (without Myko Paks) in just one season.
8 years later the original Ben More is still half the size of the other. (I took out Ben Sarek. In this area it proved to be an aphid magnet & bore very small crops.) Oh, added compost to the soil before planting in each case.
Some have buds swelling and starting to show green. I’m not sure if that’s good yet or not? It’s only been a couple of weeks. I have them in a clear tote with a vent to keep the humidity up so if they leaf out too soon they won’t dry up right away (I hope).