What is Jostaberry?
Jostaberry (Ribes × nidigrolaria) is a medium size deciduous fruiting shrub. It is part of the Grossulariaceae or current family and is a cross between the Black Currant Ribes nigrum, the North American coastal Black Gooseberry Ribes divaricatum and the European Gooseberry Ribes uva-crispa. Jostaberry has lobed green leaves that form a neat compact growing habit. It produces clusters of small flowers in Spring which then is followed by small dark round coloured fruit. Harvesting time is usually around the start of Autumn. The fruit forms on previous years growth. Jostaberry are self fertile so you will only need one bush. They prefer a full sun position in the garden that has free draining soil. They are drought and frost tolerant. Jostaberry need a chilling period to successfully produce fruit.
Benefits of Growing Jostaberry
Jostaberry are a thornless shrub with a vigorous growth habit. They are self-fertile, non-suckering shrubs which require little pruning. Jostaberry are ideal to be grown in containers, courtyard/patio gardens or in a food garden. They are an excellent fruit to eat fresh or after they have been refrigerated. They also freeze well. Jostaberries add a delicious flavour to homemade ice cream and are excellent in pies, cakes, jams and stewed. The fruit of the Jostaberry is high in vitamin C.
How to Grow Jostaberry
Cool, temperate, arid.
Height: 2m, Width: 2m
When To Plant Jostaberry
Jostaberry prefer moist and rich well drained soils. Dig through some well broken down animal manure or compost into the soil before planting.
How To Plant Jostaberry
Plant in full sun, with the plant crown at soil level. Jostaberry can be grown as a upright shrub or can be grown trained as espaliers against a wire mesh fence or trellis.
Once the soil has been prepare, dig a hole which is twice the size of the pot, but not deeper.
Jostaberry Plant Care
For optimum fruit production Jostaberries need to be kept well watered.
Mulching in Spring to conserve moisture in Summer and keep roots cool.
Feed with general fertiliser each Spring and top dress with well broken down animal manure or compost.
Prune in late Winter, by removing broken or drooping branches. Also remove the oldest branches. Most flower buds form on branches that are at least one year old so it is important to not prune very hard as this will reduce potential cropping
Place fruiting nets over the plant to protect the berries from being eaten by birds.