Gooseberries Transplanting


Established gooseberry bushes are easy to transplant to a new location. This article aims to describe the process in detail with the best chance of success. It is rather detailed so always remember that simply pruning the bush first, then digging it up and replanting will succeed in the majority of cases.

The best time to transplant a gooseberry bush is when it is dormant – December to late February in the UK is the ideal time.

As a fail-safe, it might be wise to take four or five cuttings before transplanting the bush. The best time time to take gooseberry cuttings is late September to late October. Click here for our stepĀ  by step instructions on taking gooseberry cuttings.

Below we describe the step by step instructions for transplanting an established gooseberry bush.

Choose a suitable position for transplanting the gooseberry bush.

In the UK gooseberries prefer a position which receives full sun or partial shade. A position in full shade is not suitable. They also do far better in soil which is moist (but not waterlogged). Gooseberry bushes are far less likely to suffer from disease problems if they are planted in a position which allows good airflow.

Prepare the transplant area.

Very light (sandy) and very heavy (clay) soils especially should be improved before transplanting, all soils can be improved in the same manner.

Dig in lots of organic matter such as garden compost or well rotted manure. If these are not available, dig the soil over and add two handfuls of blood, fish and bone.

Prune the Gooseberry bush

When you dig up the gooseberry bush there will inevitably be some root damage. To alleviate the stress on the remaining roots I would advise pruning the bush to at least 50% of it’s size. This will also make the bush more manageable as far as handling it is concerned.

After pruning, water the soil very well around the bush to make it easier to get out of the ground.

It will greatly help in moving the bush if you have a tarpaulin ready onto which you can place the dug up bush. It will assist in taking it to the new site and save many scratches to your arms!

Transplanting the Gooseberry bush

Remove the soil from the new site to the same depth as the rootball of the bush to be transplanted. As far as width goes, dig out an area at least 50% bigger than the width of the rootball.

Infill the area around the transplanted gooseberry bush with soil from the hole and firm it down with your boots. The bush should be at same soil level as it was before transplanting. Water the transplanted bush very well.

Mulch, mulch and mulch!

Gooseberries like a soil which retains moisture and the easiest way to achieve this is to apply a thick layer of mulch. This can be garden compost, woodchips, shredded bark etc.