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berries. All the packing that is necessary is to put a lid on the
grape basket in which the currants have been picked, and tie
this down with a string; if the haul is a short one it is not even
necessary to tie the lid on. When the fruit is to be shipped for
table use, none but the largest berries should be shipped; they
should be packed in quart baskets and shipped in carriers
similar to those used for strawberries.


47. It is not usual to store currants, but if they are care-
fully picked and placed immediately in a cool cellar they may be
held for several days, or if placed in cold storage at a tempera-
ture of from 32*^ to 34° F. they may be held from 4 to 6 weeks.
They keep better if protected by a paper covering, so that when
currants are to be stored the crates should be Uned with paper.
The red varieties of currants keep better than the white or the

It is sometimes advisable to hold part of the currant crop for
a late market, but in doing so the grower enters the region of
speculation and must take the speculator's chances.


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48. For shipment to distant markets, currants should be
picked when they are hard and firm. For the home dessert
they may be left tmtil they are thoroughly ripe and soft.

A currant crop should be handled quickly in order to secure
the best results. When a large quantity is grown, arrangements
should be made in advance of the harvesting for the disposal
of the entire crop, as it is rather risky to wait imtil the crop is
being harvested to sell it. The most convenient way of market-
ing the crop is to sell it to a near-by canning factory, as there
is not the same necessity for care in regard to the time of pick-
ing in such cases; for instance, if the fruit is picked wet it may
spoil before reaching a distant market, but it would be all right
if used the same day in a canning factory. If arrangements
are not made with a canning factory, it is wise to have a con-
tract with some firm at some partichilar point to handle all or
at least a certain part of the crop.

Currants may, of coiirse, be shipped on consignment, as other
fruits are, but sometimes this is not satisfactory. In some
localities wholesalers from different points will send men to
purchase currants, just as strawberries are purchased, and
will then themselves ship the fruit in well-iced refrigerator cars.
In this way shipments are made from New York as far west
as Chicago.

Unless a grower can sell his currants in a near-by market
it is essential to plan to ship them in carload lots. Smaller
quantities are sent by express, but at the present rates of
transportation, this constmies a large part of the profit.

The markets are seldom overstocked with currants, and
frequently when a market is being neglected, advanced prices
are secured by the wise salesman.

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49. Gooseberries closely resemble currants in many
respects. They are not so extensively cultivated as currants,
but their propagation and general popularity are on the increase.
The area devoted to the gooseberry crop in North America
is about one-half of that devoted to currants, so that the
industry is relatively one of the smallest of the various fruit-
growing interests.

Gooseberries are native to North America, are very hardy,
and are foimd growing wild as far north as Northern Canada.
The growing of the cultivated varieties of gooseberries is con-
fined to the Northern States and Canada, practically none being
grown in the Southern and the South Central States. The
states in which the bulk of the gooseberry crop is produced are
Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan.

The culture of gooseberries has been carried on more exten-
sively in England than in this coimtry, so much so in fact that
it is the popular impression that the gooseberry is an English
fruit. The English gooseberries have been developed to a
greater size and better quality than any of the American kinds,
largely because Americans have not developed a taste for this
fruit and consequently have given little attention to it. The
English gooseberry is commonly eaten raw when ripe, but the
American kinds are usually cooked while green.

The gooseberry grows naturally in bush form to a height
of 25 to 30 inches and will have a spread about equal to the
height. The canes have sharp spurs. The berries are borne
on the lower side of the canes, both singly and in pairs, and
under good cultivation the bushes are exceedingly prolific.

The two great classes of gooseberries grown for market in
North America are the native, or American types, and the

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European types. The American cultivated types of goose-
berries have been developed largely from two strains, or species,
one of which is prickly-fruited, and the other of which may be
regarded as smooth-fruited, or nearly so. These types of
gooseberries are foimd native over a large part of North America
and but few have been brought into cultivation. What will
happen when the attention of a number of expert plant breeders
is directed to gooseberry culture can only be imagined. There
is a wonderful opportunity for development. The remarkable
development of gooseberries in England in the past century
is an indication of the scope and possibilities of the plant. There
is no doubt but that the gooseberry is capable of development,
and that this development will be made when the hand and mind
of the capable plant breeder are applied to it, and the call for the
fruit commercially has become sufficiently large.

50, Possibilities of Overproduction, — ^At the present
time there is little possibility of an overproduction of goose-
berries, although there have been times in the past when the
small quantity of this fruit put on the market has been dvunped
on accoimt of the lack of abiUty to sell it. Today, however,
because of the increased demand for gooseberries at the canning
factories and the fruit-flavor makers, and the small acreage
planted to this fruit, there is little danger that the supply will
exceed the demand.

51, Influence of Quality on Demand. — The market
calls for large gooseberries, and even the canning factories prefer
them. On this account the European types, which bear the
largest gooseberries, are preferred. European gooseberries have
been grown which will measure 1§ inches in length and 1 inch
in diameter, and some have even exceeded these dimensions,
while the fruit of the Downing, an American variety and a large
one, would not average more than f inch in length.

The gooseberries of the English varieties will generally sell
for from 2 to 3 cents more a quart than the Downing. On
account of their large size, the European varieties can be sold
as green gooseberries earlier in the season than the American.

Most Americans arc not acquainted with the ripe gooseberry

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as a dessert fruit. It might be possible to develop a special
trade for these in a local market, but at the present time the
greatest demand is for the green gooseberry for cooking. It is
used in the making of sauce, jellies, jams, pies, etc.

52. Location and Soil for Gooseberries. — Gooseberries
are especially adapted for cultivation in regions where the
season is not long enough to ripen grapes successfully.

They succeed well on a variety of soils, provided the soil is
rich enough to grow a first-class crop of com, is well drained,
and is capable of easily being kept ctiltivated. No profit can
be obtained from planting gooseberries on a poor soil, because
they will not yield enough to make it pay. A heavy clay soil
is too hard to work, and a light sandy soil is not sufficiently
retentive of moisture.

Gooseberries prefer a moist, medium to heavy loam. They
will do well on a lighter soil, but their bearing period will be
shorter and the plants will be more subject to disease. For
gooseberries, a soil should also be free from acid and well supplied
with humus.

53. Character of Site for Gooseberries. — The site for a
gooseberry plantation should be selected with even more care
than that for a currant plantation, as it is even more essential
than in the case of currants that the site have good air drainage
and that the plants have a free circulation of air among them
at all times; this is especially important when European varieties
are to be planted.

If gooseberries are planted on low land where fogs collect
they are sure to suffer from mildew. They cannot, for the same
reason, be successfully grown in small enclosures, such as
gardens with a fence aroimd them, nor can they be protected
to too great an extent by woods. They may have a northern
exposure, but air drainage is a prime requisite.

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54. The two main classes of commercial varieties of goose-
berries are the European and the American. There are many

Fig. 18

European varieties, but very few are of any value under Amer-
ican climatic conditions, as they are readily subject to mildew.

Fig. 19

55. Character of the Bushes. — The most important
characteristic of the bushes of the European gooseberries is

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their stockiness; they have upright, straight, thick branches
in contrast to the curved or drooping, slender twigs of the

Fig. 20

American varieties. The new shoots of the European varieties
show a Hght-gray color in the fall, making the bush appear as
if it had been artificially whitened ; the American varieties show
a pale straw or a reddish-brown color. The old wood on the
bushes of the European varieties is dark gray or pale brown;
the old wood on the bushes of the American varieties has more
of a reddish tinge. The spines of the European varieties are

Fig. 21

strong, thick, and of a whitish to straw color, one to three in
number at the base of the leaf stalk, and the same number

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along the stems; the American varieties bear smaller, more
slender spines of the characteristic reddish-brown color, and
fewer long spines just below the base of the leaf stalks; fre-
quently, on the American varieties, a thick growth of fine
bristles, or spines, will also be foimd near the ground. The
leaves of the European varieties are thick, leathery, and shiny
on the upper surface; the leaves of the American varieties are
thin and lacking in gloss.

56. Character of the Fruit. — ^The fruit of the European
gooseberries is large and either smooth or bristled, and dark
red, green, or yellow, or almost white, with combinations and
shades of these colors. The fruit of the American gooseberries
is smaller, rarely exceeding f inch in diameter, and is either green
or red in color, although the native wild prickly gooseberr}' is
of a dull browrash-purple color when ripe and has dark-green
pulp. In Figs. 18, 19, 20, and 21 are showTi specimens of
European and American gooseberries illustrating the differences
in size. In Figs. 18, 19, and 20 are shown specimens of Welling-
ton Glory, Industry, and Galopin, respectively — all European
gooseberries. In Fig. 21 are shown specimens of Pearl, an
American variety. These berries are actual size.

57. Quality of the Fruit. — In quality, the best American
are superior to the best foreign gooseberries in that they have a
more delicate flavor and a thin skin, but are not as highly
regarded for jam making or in the markets. For selling green,
the European gooseberries are preferred, because they reach
a salable size earlier than the native fruit ; for selling ripe, they
are also preferred, because they are so much larger than the
American gooseberries and hence attract the most attention.

58. Productiveness. — The American are much more
productive than the European gooseberries. At the Geneva,
New York, Agrictdtural Experiment Station, taking the best
varieties of each class and the average yields for 4 years, it was
found that the American varieties yielded an average of 7.1
poimds per bush, and that the Eiiropean varieties yielded
an average of 4.56 pounds per bush. The details of this

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experiment are shown in Table I. The European varieties
have also proved to be less hardy than the American varieties
imder American climatic conditions.

A yield of from 200 to 400 bushels of gooseberries to the acre
is considered a good crop, although with average yields of 5 to
8 quarts per bush, as shown in Table I, and with the bushes
planted 4 ft. X6 ft., the yield would run from 300 to 500 bushels
per acre.




Classes and Varieties

European class:
. Chautauqua

Crown Bob

Dagwell*s No. i .

Golden Prolific




Wellington Glory


American class:





Pale Red


Smith (Improved)

Average Yield

per Bush for



a few fruits


a few fruits





Average Annual

Yield per Bush

for 4 Years








59. American Gooseberries. — The most important vari-
eties of gooseberries from the commercial point of view are
as follows:

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Fig 22


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Fig. 24

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The Downing gooseberry, shown in Fig. 22, is one of the best
of the American class and is the variety most widely grown.
The bush is a strong grower, is seldom troubled with mildew,
and is very productive. The fruit is large for a variety of its
class; has a thin, smooth, pale-green skin; the pulp is soft, sweet,
juicy, and of good quality. The fruit ripens in mid-season.

The Houghton gooseberry is the parent of the Downing.
The bush is vigorous and hardy, but is a somewhat drooping
grower, and is productive. Although the fruit is small and
dark red in color, with a whitish bloom, the flavor is very good.

The Pearl gooseberry, shown in Figs. 21 and 23, is a cross
between the Downing and Ashton's Seedling or Broom Girl,
and closely resembles the Downing. The bush is a strong, fairly
erect grower, is seldom attacked by mildew, and is productive.
The fruit is meditun in size, or about as large as the fruit of
Downing, the skin is pale green, and the pulp is juicy and of
good flavor. The fruit ripens in mid-season.

The Red Jacket, or Josselyn, gooseberry is a cross between
the Houghton and the Warrington Red. The bush is a strong
grower, does not mildew, and is productive. The fruit is of
good size; the skin is reddish green to red and is tender;
the pulp is rich, fragrant, and of good quality. This variety
is highly esteemed by some growers. The fruit matures in

The Purple Red gooseberry has a strong-growing bush and
is productive.

60. European, or Eiiglisli, Gooseberries. — Among the
European, or English, gooseberries, of which about a thousand
are catalogued, the following appear to have been of some value
in certain sections of the Northern States and Canada:

The Industry gooseberry, shown in Fig. 24, is one of the
best of the European gooseberries for American conditions.
The bush is a heavy cropper where it succeeds, but it often
suffers from mildew. The fruit is medium to large in size,
the skin is smooth or nearly so and dark red, and the pulp is
very good in flavor. The fruit of this variety is excellent for
marketing in an imripe condition.

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The Crown Bob gooseberry is a good variety for the early
market. The fruit resembles the fruit of the Industry in color
but is smaller.

The Wellington Glory gooseberry, shown in Fig. 25, has
proved productive in some parts of the coimtry. The fruit
is an attractive pale yellow.

The Warrlngtx>n Red gooseberry has a strong-growing
bush that is somewhat subject to mildew. The fruit is a pale
red and hairy, and the pulp is sweet and of good quality.

The Wliltesmltli gooseberry is frequently recommended
as a desirable variety, especially for the home garden. The
fruit is medium to large in size, the skin is smooth and pale
yellowish green, and the pulp is of good quality.

61. American-European Hybrid Gooseberries. — Two

of the American-European hybrid gooseberries, which resemble
the European gooseberries in type, are of value :

The Columbus gooseberry has a strong-growing bush that
is comparatively free from mildew. The fruit is white or
greenish yellow, and of good quality.

The Chautauqua gooseberry, shown in Figs. 26 and 28, has
a vigorous, healthy growing bush. The fruit is large, smooth,
and pale green.


62, According to information compiled by the American
Pomological Society, varieties of gooseberries, like varieties
of other fruits, vary widely in their adaptability to different
sections of the country. Some varieties of gooseberries have
been found to succeed well in many different parts of the
country, though with varying degrees of success in different
sections, and other varieties have been found to do well in a
certain few sections only. The following lists of varieties are
classified in the same divisions as currants, the ntmibers of the
divisions corresponding with those given on the map of Fig, 4.
The varieties given in each division are known to do well in
that district. The varieties given in italics are known to be
highly successful in the divisions in which they occur. The

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first time the name of a variety is given its less common name
is put after it in parentheses. Where a division heading is
omitted, such as Divisions 5, 6, 7, 11, 17, and 18 in the follow-
ing list, no varieties of gooseberries are known to do well in
that division. The other remarks given under currants apply
with equal force to gooseberries.

Division 1: Dimming (Downing's Seedling), Houghton
(Houghton's Seedling), Industry (Wyndham's Industry),
Josselyn (Red Jacket), Pearl, Smith (Smith's Improved),
Whitesmith (Sir Sidney Smith).

Division 2: Champion (Mills* Champion), Chautauqua,
Columbus (Triumph), Crown Bob, Dovuning, Houghton, Indus-
try, Josselyn, Pale Red (American Red), Pearl, Smith, Wel-
lington (Wellington's Glory), Whitesmith.

Division 3: Champion, Chautauqua, Columbus, Crown
Bob, Downing, Houghton, Jossel5m, Smith.

Division 4' Downing, Houghton, Industry, Josselyn, Pale
Red, Smith.

Division 8: Champion, Crown Bob, Downing, Houghton,
Josselyn, Pale Red, Pearl, Smith.

Division 9: Carrie, Champion, Chautauqua, Columbus,
Crown Bob, Downing, Houghton, Industry, Josselyn, Pearl,

Division 10: Champion, Chautauqua, Columbus, Downing,
Industry, Houghton, Pearl, Poorman, Smith.

Division 12: Berkeley (Dwinelle), Champion, Chautauqua,
Downing, Houghton, Industry, Josselyn, Oregon (Oregon Cham-
pion), Smith, Whitesmith.

Division 13: Downing, Houghton, Industry, Pearl, Smith.

Division 14: Champion, Downing, Houghton.

Division 15: Champion, Downing, Industry.

Division 16: Berkeley, Champion, Houghton.

The prospective gooseberry grower will have to make trials
for himself to determine which are the best varieties for his


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Pic 27


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63. The cultivated varieties of gooseberries do not repro-
duce themselves true to type from seed. In fact, gooseberry
seeds are planted only when new varieties are sought, as
described for currants. There is always the possibility that
the bulk of the seedlings raised from the gooseberry will be
much inferior to the parent. The seedlings will begin to fruit
when they are from 3 to 4 years old.

Gooseberries are usually propagated commercially by layer-
ing, moimd layering, as outlined for currants, being the most
common method of propagation. In England, gooseberries are
sometimes propagated by cuttings, but this is not so successful
in America. In a small way, gooseberries may be propagated
by taking rooted canes from old plants and transplanting them.

A desirable 2-year-old gooseberry nursery plant is shown in
Fig. 27 (a); a 1-year-old plant is shown in Fig. 27 (b). Note
the more abundant root growth on the 2-year-old plant. This
abundant root growth is the most important feature of a goose-
berry nursery plant, as such a root development insures a good,
strong-growing plant. The scale used in Fig. 27 is the same as
that used in Figs. 7 and 8, and serves to indicate the actual size
of the plants.


64. Planting of Goaseberrles. — In commercial goose-
berry plantations, 2-year-old plants are usually planted. The
method of planting is similar to that outlined for currants,
the distance apart being much the same, 5 ft. X 5 ft. and
6 ft. X 6 ft. being common, and 4 ft. X 6 ft. being used.
After gooseberries are planted, shallow tillage should be main-
tained imtil about the middle of August, when the land may
be sown to a cover crop.

The plan frequently suggested of planting gooseberries under
apple or other fruit trees to secure shade is not to be recom-
mended. When planted in this way they will not do as well
as when they have all of the land for their own use, and the

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spra)dng of the larger trees will frequently discolor the goose-
berries. Gooseberries are sometimes planted in a vineyard,
the vines being planted 10 feet apart, with the gooseberries half
way between.

65. Pruning of Gooseberries. — Gooseberries need prac-
tically no pruning at the time of planting other than to take
off injiu-ed roots or twigs, nor is any usually given for the first
2 or 3 years, except now and then to head in a branch that
is growing too rapidly.

Gooseberries are pruned into two forms, the bush form and
the tree form. When pruned in the bush form, as shown in
Fig. 28, four, five, or six canes are allowed to develop in each
bush in the same way as described for currants; this is the best
commercial form. In some gardens and in Europe the tree
form, as shown in Fig. 29, with a single main stem 8 to 12 inches
high is made and the bush is prevented from producing suckers
that would grow up to be additional canes. The tree form is
not as good as the bush form, because, should the single trunk
receive any serious injury, the entire bush will be destroyed
and a new one must be planted in its place. Even when unin-
jured the tree form is not as long lived as the bush form. In
the tree form, the plants begin to fail after 6 or 8 years of bear-
ing; in the bush form, they may remain vigorous for 25 years
or more, although they are frequently discarded after 10 or
12 years. Gooseberry bushes may be expected to reach matu-
rity after 4 or 5 years, and it may be wise to plant a new goose-
berry plantation on a different piece of ground every 6 or 8 years
to take the place of the older plantation rather than to continue
to carry an old plantation after it is 10 or 12 years old.

There is a mistaken idea that the center of the gooseberry
bush should be pruned so as to keep it open. This is not neces-
sary. In fact, it may be detrimental, as it exposes the fruit
to too much sun. As a general rule, the new wood should be
pruned back probably one-half of its growth each year after
the bush is three or four seasons old, in order to encourage the
development of the lower buds; otherwise the terminal buds will
grow too rapidly and much blind wood, that is wood ^vith no

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Fig. 28

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buds, will be left; such pruning will also tend to keep the bush

Online LibraryInternational Correspondence SchoolsPeach culture: plum culture; grape culture; strawberries; raspberries ... → online text (page 32 of 35)