Harvesting Gooseberry Plants

Are you ready to enjoy delicious homegrown fruit? Harvest is the time to enjoy the results of your hard work. Keep a few things in consideration as you reap the fruits of your labor: the best time to pick the fruit, and how to store your harvest.

NOTE: This is part 8 in a series of 8 articles. For a complete background on how to grow gooseberry plants, we recommend starting from the beginning.

When to Harvest

You can expect your first harvest in the third season. Gooseberries are ready to harvest in late June to mid July when the fruit is full size and soft. One-way to test if the berries are ripe is to squeeze gently between your fingers, they will be soft when they are ripe.

Depending on the variety, the color of the ripe fruit will vary:

  • Gooseberries are usually red or green.

Gooseberries have needle-like thorns that may slow harvest down. When harvesting gooseberries make sure to pick the ripe berries carefully. When using the berries for jam, harvest before they are fully ripe that way the natural pectin levels of the fruit are higher.

Annual average yield:

  • Per gooseberry plant, 4-5 quarts


Refrigerate berries immediately in a covered container or closed bag and they will keep for several weeks. Freeze for longer storage.

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