Introduction to Growing Currants & Gooseberries

Do you want to begin growing currants & gooseberries? Or, have you been growing currants & gooseberries for a long time and simply want to get fresh ideas or helpful suggestions? This growing corner will teach you how to grow currants & gooseberries.

Steps to Success

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Step 1 – Plan your Space

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currants spacing

Step 2 – Select Your Plants

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currants varieties

Step 3 – Prepare your Planting Area

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prepare your space for currants planting

Step 4 – Plant your Currants & Gooseberries

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currants planting

Step 6 – Maintain your Currants & Gooseberry Plants

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currants maintenance

Growing Currant & GooseberryClick to print PDF of the Currant & Gooseberry Steps to Success

Planting Summary

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  • 3’ – 4’ between plants
  • Rows should be at least 6’ apart
  • Choose a sunny location, but avoid southern exposure


  • Planting on a slope facilitates drainage
  • 1" – 2" rainfall or equivalent per week
  • Maintain adequate moisture especially following planting
  • Gooseberry fruit will sunburn more easily if soil is too dry


  • None is required during the planting year
  • In following years, 5oz. of 10–10–10 per plant in spring or split with half in spring half in summer
  • pH: 6.0 – 6.5

Weed Control

  • Cultivation by scuffle hoe or manual weeding is needed
  • Mulch will assist with weed control
  • Straw, sawdust or woodchips can be applied at 2" – 4"
  • Contact a local extension before using chemicals


  • Black currants have different pruning needs from red currants and gooseberries. See pruning guides for specific techniques.

Special Considerations

  • Black currants produce better with 2 or more varieties.

Our videos are written and produced by Nate Nourse and are aimed at your success. You'll find all our Video Learning Guides in our Video Library.

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Healthy berry plants require these important elements:

Berry Planting Tips
  • Early planting! Plant as early as possible in the spring. Snow or occasional frost will not hurt most new plants (green tissue culture plants excepted), and spring rains will foster growth. Planting in the fall is not recommended in the Northeast and Midwest.
  • A sunny, weed-free location with at least a half-day of sunlight.
  • Clean beds that are frequently weeded.
  • Well-drained soil. For poor drainage conditions, consider raised beds.
  • Proper soil pH. Matching soil pH to plant requirements can be a huge factor in your success. Sample the soil before planting and contact your local cooperative extension office for assistance.
  • Crop rotation. Avoid planting strawberries or raspberries in soils where previous crops have included strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant or peppers. These crops may harbor the soil pathogens Verticillium, Phytophthora and nematodes and may affect your new plants.
  • Irrigation. Maintain proper moisture levels throughout the season and, most importantly, during the establishment period. Drip irrigation is imperative when planting in raised beds.

Avoid Common Mistakes

  • Read free planting guide 1-3 months before planting.
  • Plants will fail to flourish if roots are too deep or too shallow.
  • Pack soil firmly around the roots.
  • Do not plant near wild plants or plants whose origins are unknown.
  • Water well one to three times a week, not every day.
  • Avoid fertilizer burn by fertilizing only after plants are established.
  • Do not soak plants in water more than 1 hour!