Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gooseberries Native to the Ozarks, Easy to Grow, and Tasty to Eat Says Extension Specialist

Contact: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

Gooseberries are a late spring-early summer favorite in the Ozarks according to Patrick Byers, a horticulture specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Gooseberries also have roots in the Ozarks hills. They are actually native to much of southern Missouri,” said Byers.

How difficult are gooseberries to grow? According to Byers, gooseberries are easy to grow. The small shrubs are useful in landscapes and reach three to four feet in height. The plants are relatively carefree (as far as pests) and one plant may produce up to 25 pounds of fruit.

“For the best results, I recommend planting the Pixwell, Poorman or Welcome varieties,” said Byers.

When are gooseberries ready to harvest? Pick gooseberries when the berries are fully sized. Gooseberries may be picked when they green and tart, which is when they are best for pies or cakes. Gooseberries may also be picked when fully ripe, purple or red or color, with some sweetness, for use in preserves or sauce.

“Most gooseberries are thorny plants so be sure to harvest with gloves,” said Byers.

How should gooseberries be handled after harvest? First, remove the stem and the calyx then refrigerate the fruit until used in cakes, jams, preserves or sauces.

For more information on gooseberries, or answers to your specific lawn and garden questions, contact Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist, University of Missouri Extension or the Greene County Master Gardener Hotline at (417) 881-8909. Information can also be found on the Greene County Extension website at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to see information about tips for growing currants in Missouri, too.

12:15 PM, April 12, 2013  

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