Gooseberries are easy to grow, a sheltered, sunny or partial shade position is the best place for them as they need cool conditions and if summer temperatures are high, adequate shade. The soil will be well-drained but moisture-retentive and fertile.
You can plant new gooseberries in your garden in autumn or early winter. Larger plants should be planted at about 1-1.2 m apart and cordons at around 30 cm apart. To give them a little help you should dress them with high-potash fertilizer and mulch with compost in every spring. Water them well if the weather is dry, but do not water them when fruits are ripening as the skin may split.
Propagation of gooseberries should be done in early autumn. Propagate new bushes by taking hardwood cuttings from healthy plants before their leaves drop. Take stems of the current season’s growth and remove the soft tip to leave a cutting bout 25 cm long.
Remove all buds except for the top three or four, so that the resulting bush has a head of branches on a clean stem. Dip in rooting hormone and insert in a trench to half their length, or cover an area of soil with black polythene and push the cuttings down through it to about half their depth.
The following autumn, carefully lift the rooted cuttings. Remove basal buds or shoots less than 10 cm from the base before transplanting the young plants.