For some reason, it so happened that gooseberries are not spoiled with attention — in many areas there are overgrown bushes, whose shoots are intertwined into a dense ball. Many people think that pruning gooseberries in the fall is not necessary at all, but this is a deep misconception. We will talk about the rules for pruning gooseberries in the autumn in this article.

Pruning gooseberry bushes in autumn: rules and deadlines

Gooseberries tend to form a huge number of shoots — this is a feature of the culture. In a short time, the branches become entangled so that it is impossible to reach out for the berries. If you do not cut the bush on time, then the next season the berries are crushed, and their taste will deteriorate much.

The tangled gooseberry shoots gradually turn the plant into a ball, while the air circulation inside practically stops. Fungal spores with poor ventilation are quickly activated, the plant becomes sick. Light does not penetrate deep into the crown, which also affects the health of the plant, insufficient lighting directly affects productivity, because gooseberries are light-loving plants.

Conclusion — timely pruning is necessary, and it is very convenient to hold this event in the fall, because the harvest has already been harvested, the weather is not so hot, and you can allocate free time.

Important! Pruning gooseberries in the fall is carried out after leaf fall, but before the onset of frost.

Information for beginner gardeners about the growth characteristics of gooseberries will be useful to many:

  • One gooseberry shoot can bear fruit for up to 10 years, but it is recommended to renew the bush every 6 years.
  • Every year, the gooseberry builds up new one-year shoots that will already produce a crop for the next season, so when pruning the bushes in the fall, more than 50% of new growths cannot be cut.
  • Old rotten shoots are cut at ground level. If the bush is old, more than 30% of the shoots cannot be removed during pruning.

How best to prune gooseberries in autumn

The algorithm for pruning a gooseberry bush is not so complicated, but the process is somewhat different when processing old and young plants.

There are 4 types of pruning that are performed when processing gooseberry bushes:

  • Formation — this type of pruning is performed on bushes aged from one to five years. After the procedure, you can get a full-fledged bush with a well-developed skeleton.
  • Thinning — perform such pruning on bushes older than 5 years. Such plants already have a formed bush, therefore, when pruning, shoots growing inside the bush or horizontally are removed. After thinning pruning, a lot of light and air enter the crown of the gooseberry bush, the yield and taste of berries increase.
  • Sanitary pruning — with this treatment, diseased, infected, broken or rotten shoots are removed from the bushes. Together with cut off diseased branches, it is possible to get rid of insects that hid under the bark. The time for sanitary pruning is summer or autumn, but it is usually more convenient to sanitize bushes in the autumn months.
  • Rejuvenation of bushes by pruning — an operation is performed on old bushes when there is a sharp decrease in yield. After pruning, the plants can fully develop and produce an excellent harvest for several more years.

How to prune gooseberries in autumn: diagrams for beginners step by step

So, if everything is ready for trimming, you can proceed directly to the operation. The tool must be sharply sharpened, secateurs, scissors, a knife, a saw may be needed.

The weather on the day of the event matters a lot. Choose a quiet sunny day for planning work. If precipitation is expected, work should be rescheduled.

There are general rules for how to properly cut gooseberries in the fall:

  • At the first stage, diseased and dry branches are removed, while the shoot is cut out at the soil level. It is very important when performing this operation not to leave stumps sticking out of the ground. Usually, shoots older than 5 years are removed, they are easy to distinguish from a young growth by the color of the bark — it is dark brown, almost black.
  • Branches growing from below are to be removed, they are located horizontally, almost parallel to the ground. These are weak shoots, devoid of good lighting, so you should not leave them, anyway, the harvest on them is not rich.
  • All branches growing inside the bush must be removed. The crown is thinned out from thickening shoots.
  • Root growth is removed completely.

How to prune young gooseberry bushes in autumn: features

Formative pruning is recommended for young plants in the first years of life. In a few years, you can form a productive strong bush with a decorated crown. This will make it easier to care for the plant, reduce the risk of injury from thorns when picking berries. And the yield on properly formed bushes increases significantly.

Seedlings planted this year must be shortened by 2-3 buds in the autumn. If necessary, remove broken or diseased side shoots.

In the second year of life, a formative pruning is carried out, which sets the shape of the bush. The main skeletal shoots are cut into 2 buds, making a cut at 45 degrees above the bud, looking out. The cut is made above the kidney at a height of about 1 cm.

The third and fourth years — pruning is performed similarly to year 2, but the main shoots before winter are shortened by 1/3.

How to prune old gooseberry bushes in autumn

Old gooseberry bushes, which have already taken shape, need annual sanitary and thinning pruning, it is very convenient to perform these operations in the fall, when the leaves have fallen and the fruits have been harvested. Visually, you can immediately determine the shoots that are to be removed, because the bush is clearly visible from all sides in the fall after leaf fall.

Important! When pruning adult gooseberry bushes, leave up to 20-22 two skeletal productive branches.

Gradually cut out old shoots, forming new ones. It is very important not to drastically cut out many shoots at once. The bush will take a long time to recover, which can affect the yield. An adult gooseberry after a cardinal pruning may not bloom at all, even a year after the operation, you can not wait for the berries. It is necessary to rejuvenate the bush very carefully, stretching it for 2-3 years.

There is another way to get new productive plants — dividing the old bush, but with this method, the plants do not produce crops during the season.

Whether to prune gooseberries in the fall — yes, but you must act strictly according to the rules.

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