Bare-Root Fruit

red gooseberry
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Several months ago, I ordered some fruits that came bare root. I did as directed and put them into water for a few days before planting in soil. Now they sit in containers on my back steps where I can watch for growth.

If you look closely, you can see tiny leaves starting to sprout on this Red Gooseberry. I remember my great-grandmother and her gooseberry patch. One of my favorite pies is gooseberry pie, but it’s almost impossible to find them anywhere. I think they are not grown legally in many areas because of a pest that is carried by a pine tree. I apologize for the blurriness of this picture of the gooseberry. Not sure if it is the wind or the camera operator!

gooseberry close-up
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Other plants I received in the package were two Manchurian apricots, one Tophat blueberry, and one Sugar Sweet bush cherry. I could swear I see new buds on the apricots and the cherry, but maybe it’s just wishful thinking. The blueberry might not make it.

I’m debating whether to continue growing them in pots or try to get them into the ground eventually. With the poor luck I’ve had trying to keep a hole filled with soil, I may just keep buying bigger pots. These are all either bush berries, or small trees, however, so I think container gardening might be the answer here.

plants on the steps
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The next photo may present a good impression, but that is NOT one of my bare root plants sending out leaves already! It’s a small “Snow on the Mountain” that is growing out of the lava just beyond where I have the pots on the back stoop.

growing already?
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These plants were mail-ordered from Burgess. I’ve read varying reports on the company’s reliability, but I have friends here who have had nothing but good luck. I’m hoping to have the same results. Many growers on the mainland will not ship to Hawai`i because of the restrictions, but Burgess will ship. I think being bare root might be the key, also.

I can hardly wait for my first gooseberry pie! Even if you can’t get a taste, you’ll be sure to see pictures!

3 thoughts on “Bare-Root Fruit”

  1. The deal with gooseberries is that they are a reservoir (sp?) for wheat rust. It used to be popular to grow berry bushes on the edges and margins of farm fields to maximize the produce of the land. Unfortunately the same funguses that could destroy acres and acres of cash crops liked to live in the gooseberriy plants, which overwintered, and the fungus would then go on to ravage the next year’s wheat crop.
    Here in Ohio it’s illegal to grow gooseberries within 500 feet of a wheat field, or a field which might have had wheat grown in it within a certain number of years, or where you might want to grow wheat in the future…

  2. Thank you for your comment, Jenn! I never really knew what the illegality was all about, but since there is no wheat grown within several thousand miles of me, I don’t think that will be much of a problem. This plant may not ever even grow, but I’d like to think I could get a few gooseberries from it. I may need to go back to trying to find cans of gooseberries, if they still do that anywhere! I really do appreciate getting your feedback on this!

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