Planting Gooseberry Plants

Few things are as delicious as homegrown berries, and the success of your harvest begins right with the planting site and method. For maximum growth and yields later on, give your plants the best foundation possible.

NOTE: This is part 2 in a series of 8 articles. For a complete background on how to grow gooseberry plants, we recommend starting from the beginning.

Before Planting

Before you plant, check your soil pH. Contact your local County Extension Office for information about soil testing in your area, or purchase one of our digital meters for quick and accurate results. Gooseberry plants prefer a soil pH of 6.0-6.8. Steer clear of soils that are extremely heavy or poorly drained.

Planting Site

  • Pick a site with partial shade to full sun.
  • Because plants bloom very early in spring, they are susceptible to late season freezes. Choose a site that warms up slowly in the spring, to minimize this possibility.
  • Most soil will benefit from the addition of organic material such as shredded peat or compost.
  • Space the plants 3-6 feet apart in rows that are 6-8 feet apart.


  • After you receive your gooseberries, prune off any damaged roots and cut the top back to 10 inches.
  • Dig the hole deeper and wider than the root system.
  • Set the plants with the lower branches a little below the soil level to encourage a bush form to develop.
  • Fill hole with remaining soil.
  • Fertilize and water your new plants. (If planting in the fall, wait to fertilize until spring for best results.)

Additional Notes

  • The lifespan of gooseberry plants is 12-15 years with proper maintenance.
  • Suggested number of plants for a family of 5: 4-6 plants (1 plant per person).
NEXT: Fertilizing Gooseberry Plants
Previous: Introduction