Jostaberries are a hybrid of blackcurrants and gooseberries. These plants are spineless shrubs that can reach a height of 1.8 to 2 meters and a width of a similar size. Only one plant is required for reproduction. The fruits are larger than blackcurrants and have a dark crimson-black hue. When slightly immature, these resemble gooseberries, but they resemble sweet blackcurrants when fully ripe in late July or early August.
Taking Care of Jostaberries
- You can grow jostaberries as shrubs that stand on their own or train them to grow against a wall.
- They do best in moist, fertile soil in full sun, but they can handle being in the shade for part of the day.
- Plants can be bought in pots or with their roots still in the ground. They can be planted between mid-November and March, as long as the soil is not frozen.
- They should be put on the ground at the same level as before.
- Some well-rotted manure or compost should be dug into the bottom of the planting hole. Once the plant is firmly in place, a sprinkle of Fish, Blood, and Bone should be raked into the soil, and the area around it should be mulched to keep the soil moist.
- Early in the spring, you should add more fertilizer to your bushes and more mulch.
- You should give them a lot of water during dry spells, especially in the first year after you plant them.
- Wood that is one, two, or more years old can produce fruit.
- When bushes are dormant, they should be pruned to make a framework of straight, open branches. About half of the new growth should be cut off each year, and any older, less productive, or crooked branches should be cut off just above the ground.
When it comes to growing, jostaberries take a long time to reach maturity, so be ready to wait a while before you can pick them. Usually, it takes about five years for a plant to start making much food.
But when they grow up, they can get as tall as six feet, and maybe even taller. At that point, each bush can give you up to 12 pounds of fruit.
Before you get to that point, you’ll have to plant those jostaberries.
The best kind of soil for growing jostaberries is moist and rich. Also, it should be acidic and drain well.
Well-draining soil is ground that lets water flow through it easily. The best thing would be for the soil to drain neither too quickly nor too slowly. You don’t want to plant in soil that drains too quickly because the plant won’t have enough time to soak up water.
To see what kind of soil you have, dig a foot deep hole and fill it with water. It ought to drain in less than an hour. If your plants are longer, your soil won’t drain well. If it drains in less than half an hour, it drains too fast. No one has perfect soil, so don’t worry if yours isn’t the best.
Just add a lot of well-rotted compost to the ground before you plant. Compost helps both poor soil and soil that drains quickly.
How to Choose the Right Location
Jostaberries must grow in the sun. If you want to plant more than one jostaberry plant, you need to be careful about how far apart they are. You should leave at least 4.5 feet of space between each bush or other plant or structure.
The right time of year to plant jostaberry is another important thing to think about. Depending on where you live, you should plant jostaberry in the fall or spring, around November or March. The ground should be soft enough to work and not frozen.
You can’t grow jostaberry below USDA Growing Zone 3 or above USDA Growing Zone 8. They can live in temperatures as low as -40°F, but they need 1,000 chill hours.pixa