Date - gooseberry with a southern temperament
Summer is coming to an end. The gooseberry bush beckons with large dark berries. If this is an old, fruitful, but prickly bush, you will probably have to get acquainted with Date. An amazing combination of noble color of berries and a delicate duet of sweetness and sourness. And how solemn the bush, hung with fruits, looks like a Christmas tree with toys! The date is an oxymoron, someone with a good sense of humor called the northern berry with a hot name. However, the ruse worked in part. The variety has been known for a long time and has become entrenched in the areas, and this could not be achieved by the sonorous name alone.
The history of growing gooseberry dates
According to some reports, gooseberries have been known in Europe almost since prehistoric times. Serious berry cultivation has been started in France since the thirteenth century, but English breeders achieved a significant breakthrough in the nineteenth century. The warm and humid climate of the country of fogs turned out to be so favorable for the development of new varieties of gooseberries that the bushes of English selection took a dominant position in Europe and spread to the American continent. The popularity of the gooseberry proved to be the cause of his death. Disputes of American powdery mildew, spherotek were brought from America to Europe.
Modern varieties are the result of crossing old European varieties with wild American gooseberries that are resistant to spheroteca. New thornless varieties are resistant to spheroteca, but Dates, unfortunately, are affected by this disease and have thorns. The variety has been known for a long time, it is considered a national selection of gooseberries.
Description of the variety
Gooseberry Date forms tall, spreading, up to two meters high, bushes. Shoots arched or straight (depending on location), covered with single thorns, except for the tops. It has a powerful root system extending at least two meters deep.
Leaves are medium or large, green in color, differing in shape on vegetative and flowering shoots. The flowers are medium, with small greenish-white petals. Most often, the flowers are single, less often there is a two-flowered raceme.
The bush has arched branches
Ripe gooseberry bushes give berries weighing up to 20 g. In shape, oval or round, almost spherical, green, not pubescent. The dense rind is covered with a purple blush. On the sunny side, the intensity of pigmentation reaches black. The pulp is green, juicy, of pleasant taste, has a characteristic sourness. Sugar content up to 9%.
Of all the gooseberry varieties, Date has the largest berries, which is why the variety is also called Goliath.
Berries are used to make jellies, preserves, marinades. Date wine has a rich ruby color and exquisite taste. For canning, the berries are harvested at the stage of technical maturity, depending on the summer, from late July to mid-August. The dense skin makes it possible to transport the berries.
For table use, there is no need to harvest immediately, since ripe fruits do not fall off and remain on the branches for up to three weeks without compromising quality.
Characteristics of the variety Date
- Late ripening: the berries are harvested in mid or late August, depending on the climate.
- Self-fertile: the ability to form ovaries after pollination of flowers with pollen of their own variety.
- High-yielding: gives an average of 8-13 kilograms of berries per bush.
- Full fruiting of the bush begins at the age of 4–5 years.
With thickened plantings or lowland location, it is prone to damage by spheroteka. With rare plantings and sufficient illumination, only the tops of the shoots are affected.
The variety is resistant to temperature fluctuations, can withstand frosts of thirty degrees. Thanks to the powerful root system, it calmly reacts to insufficient watering. The situation with waterlogging is worse, so it is not recommended to plant dates near groundwater and in lowlands.
The variety is surprisingly tenacious. Bushes give a full harvest for 20 or 25 years. According to gardeners, longer fruiting is possible.
With proper care and adherence to agrotechnical recommendations, up to 20-25 kilograms of harvest are harvested from adult bushes
The disadvantage of the variety is poor resistance to spheroteca. Relative disadvantages: late maturity, presence of thorns. Bonuses: high yield, longevity, resistance to frost and drought, maximum size and pleasant taste of berries, their long-term storage on a branch.
Features of planting and care
To ensure a stable and high-quality harvest, gooseberries need sufficient light and fertilized soil. Considering the appearance of the bush: spreading, height, and how powerful the root system of the Date is, when planting, a large area is allocated for this variety.
Landing is done as follows:
- They choose high, light areas, above the groundwater level. Slightly acidic or neutral soil is preferred. If the soil is acidic on the site, you need to deacidify it in advance by adding dolomite flour. Gooseberries grow well on loam or sandy loam soils.
- Pits for planting are prepared in the fall. Holes are dug at a distance of two meters between rows and at least one and a half meters in a row. It is advisable to take into account that close proximity to fruit trees is undesirable for Dates, since their root system can oppress the roots of the gooseberry. The optimal dimensions for the fossa are 60x60 cm, and the depth is 40-50 cm.
- For the full development and further abundant fruiting of the bush, the planting hole is filled with rotted manure, at least one bucket, 150 g of superphosphate, 40-50 g of potassium nitrate or a large mug of ash are added.
- It is known that in fertile heavy soil the roots are located superficially, therefore, sand is often added to the soil-moisture mixture, improving the mechanical properties of the soil and facilitating the penetration of roots into deep layers.
- After planting, the bush is watered abundantly at the rate of 1 bucket per hole.
- Mulch with humus, ash or pine needles to prevent water evaporation and to protect against pests.
Gooseberries can be planted in spring, but some gardeners believe that during autumn planting, before frost, the bush has time to take root, and in spring there is an intensive growth and development.
Video: how to plant gooseberries in the fall
In the first years after planting, provided that the planting hole is saturated with a sufficient amount of fertilizer, gooseberries are no longer fertilized. Leaving comes down to timely pruning. They try to carry out thinning pruning in the fall, so as not to injure the shoots once again in the spring. And in the spring, only weakened twigs touched by frost are removed. Of the zero shoots that have grown from the roots, two or three of the strongest are left, the rest are removed.
In a properly formed bush, branches of different ages should be presented for the normal life of the plant. The shoots of this year provide the bush with young shoots, which will yield a harvest in the future. The most fruitful branches are from three to five years old. They form the skeleton of the bush. Branches older than 6-7 years are cut off.
Video: autumn gooseberry pruning
To prevent fungal diseases in early spring, gooseberry and currant bushes are spilled with boiling water. A hot shower protects not only from American powdery mildew, but also, according to summer residents, from some pests.
Video: spring treatment of bushes with boiling water
Treatment with boiling water does not completely eliminate the spheroteca, but significantly postpones the onset of the lesion. For the prevention of spheroteka, it is also recommended:
- In early spring, spray the bushes with a 1% solution of copper sulfate or Bordeaux liquid.
- In autumn, treat with a concentrated urea solution at the rate of 600 g per 10 liters of water.
- In the spring, spray the bushes with infusion of slurry. For 1 kg of manure add 10 liters of water, stir well, filter and process the bushes. The sludge is used as fertilizer.
- Use ash infusion for spraying. In a 10 liter bucket, you need to pour 1.5 kg of ash, pour water and leave for a week, then strain, add 50 g of grated laundry soap for adhesion and process the bushes.
- Use Fitosporin as a biological defense against fungus.
Regular loosening of the trunk circle and weeding stimulates the growth of gooseberries, has a beneficial effect on its development and prevents diseases. If, nevertheless, the spheroteka struck the gooseberry, the deformed tips of the shoots, leaves and berries are carefully removed and burned. In this case, depending on the intensity of the lesion, one of the drugs is used:
- Nitrafen No. 125.
All of these drugs are diluted and used in strict accordance with the instructions, taking precautions. For spraying, only freshly prepared solutions are used, no later than three weeks before the harvest of berries.
Someone considers the gooseberry Date as a hotbed of the spherotek, but for someone it is not a problem - and there is no summer without dark juicy berries. The bottom line is that this variety leaves no one indifferent.
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Reviews regarding gooseberry Malachite show it from different angles. Some growers think this is the best variety, while others are reluctant to grow it. But all these reviews have one thing in common - a real description of the bush.
Malachite is a perennial shrub variety. The plant has been tested by time and different climates.
- Medium height (maximum height - 1.5 m).
- It grows widely, has an average number of thorns.
For an overview of the Malachite gooseberry, see the video below:
To grow the Malachite shrub, you need to stock up on a large area, since the bush has spreading branches with dense foliage. Growth Strength - Medium. The bark of the shrub is gray-brown, the leaves are large, matte, green. The flowers are small in size with clearly visible outlines.
The berries are large in size with light veins; they begin to ripen in the middle of summer. If you want to increase the sugar content in fruits, then do not pluck them immediately after ripening. Over time, the berries gain sweetness and acquire a richer color. The mass of one berry is about 5 g.
Gooseberry fruits can be stored in a cool place for up to 1 week. It all depends on the maturity period. You can store them in the refrigerator or in the cellar. The refrigerator keeps the berries a little longer.
For the winter period of time, gooseberry fruits are frozen, which helps to preserve a large number of useful properties. To do this, the fruits are folded in the refrigerator, and then transferred to the freezer.
The culture is characterized by medium early ripening, in May the plant blooms, the fruits ripen at the end of June, and you can harvest at the end of July. The shrub bears fruit unevenly, but for a long time. During the season, one plant can be harvested several times, it is only necessary to give the berries the opportunity to "reach", they will acquire a golden color and become sweeter.
One of the main advantages of the shrub is that it is self-pollinated, that is, male and female flowers grow on it. Fruits begin to bear 2 years after planting. At first, there are not too many berries, but in the following years the shrub surprises its owner. The plant continues to bear fruit for up to 15 years, however, subject to correct planting and further care.
The peel of the berries, although it looks thin, is strong. The gooseberry can be moved without harming the fruit. This does not spoil the taste or appearance.
Drought resistance and winter hardiness
Malachite is a great option for growing in any region. Plus and minus marks are not terrible for the plant. However, do not forget about shelters for the winter period of time and intensive watering of the plant in summer.
Disease and pest resistance
The state commission examined all the characteristics of the variety. The plant has a strong immunity to powdery mildew, sometimes it is attacked by sawflies and aphids. The biggest threat to the shrub is anthracnose disease, so regular preventive measures cannot be dispensed with.