Gooseberry Senator: The Sweetest Berry in the Garden

Gooseberry Senator: The Sweetest Berry in the Garden

Every gardener strives to plant the best varieties of plants on the site in order to enjoy a stable and good harvest. One of the favorite bush crops is Senator (Consul) gooseberry. But in order to harvest sweet and large berries every year, it is important to know the intricacies of growing this variety.

Breeding history

Gooseberry Senator, or as it is also called, Consul, is quite popular among mid-season varieties, which was obtained at the YUNII of horticulture and potato in Chelyabinsk. During the breeding, the progenitors were involved: African and Chelyabinsk green. The author of the development is V. S. Ilyin.

Gooseberry Senator - a variety of domestic selection

The purpose of creating a new gooseberry variety was to obtain a thornless crop that would perfectly tolerate the conditions of severe frosts and aridity. As a result, in 1995 the Senator was included in the State Register of Breeding Achievements. He gave a bountiful harvest, had a high winter hardiness, and at the same time was practically thornless.

The Senator variety is zoned for the West Siberian, Ural, Far Eastern and Volga-Vyatka regions.

Characteristics of the gooseberry Senator (Consul)

Gooseberry Senator belongs to winter-hardy and thornless crops.

The variety belongs to winter-hardy crops with sprawling, dense and vigorous shrubs. Its characteristic features include the following:

  1. The branches of the bush are of medium thickness, can be even or slightly curved, have a dark green color. Shoots older than two years of age have a brownish tint, usually at the base. No pubescence.
  2. The thorns are practically absent. On annual branches, they can be located singly, mainly in the lower part of the bush. In the second year, the thorniness disappears, the shoots become completely smooth.
  3. The type of inflorescences is one or two-flowered. The flowers are bisexual, reddish in color. Sepals are pink in color, narrow in shape. Average length.
  4. Leaves are petiolate, medium-sized (up to 6 cm long). They have a heart-ovoid shape. Plate with 3-5 lobes, dull color, short pubescence. The central lobe is larger than the lateral lobes, has curved edges with an angle of inclination to the midvein.
  5. Senator's berries are round, large. Average weight 6-8 g, dark red color. There are practically no seeds. They have a pleasant sweet and sour taste. According to the tasting scale, they were rated at 4.9 points out of 5.
  6. The buds are slightly pubescent along the edge, brownish tint, small in size. The shape is oval, slightly deviated from the base of the shoot.

The Senator variety has a high self-fertility (44.7%), the beginning of berry ripening occurs at the end of July. The first few years after planting, you can harvest up to 4 kg of the crop from one bush, after which the number of fruits increases to 7-8 kg.

Advantages and disadvantages of the variety

The variety is distinguished by its endurance, unpretentiousness and abundant yield.

Gooseberry Senator has the following benefits:

  • powdery mildew resistance;
  • versatility of application;
  • high productivity;
  • almost complete thornlessness;
  • resistance to drought and low temperatures;
  • dessert taste of berries;
  • resistance of flowers to late spring frosts.


  • poor transportation performance (due to the thin skin of the berries);
  • medium resistance to septoria, spotting and sawfly.

Features of planting and growing

Senator gooseberry planting rules are quite simple, and even a beginner can easily cope with this task. In general, the culture is considered to be unpretentious, but if you do not take into account a number of peculiarities in agricultural technology, you are unlikely to be able to enjoy a rich harvest and an unsurpassed taste of healthy berries.

Seat selection

For gooseberries, you should choose a well-lit place that will be protected from strong gusts of wind. Let it be fenced off by low buildings or other plants. The main thing is that the sun's rays freely fall on the bush.

Gooseberry loves sunny places without wind

Avoid areas where moisture stagnates, otherwise the root system will rot. The optimal indicator of the occurrence of groundwater is 2 m. The senator takes root well in fertile medium loamy soil. The optimum acidity of the soil is up to 5.5 pH. The ground must also be breathable.

Gooseberries do not tolerate acidic, cold and waterlogged soils. And also clay and sandy soil is not suitable for it.

It is not recommended to plant a crop in places where currants or raspberries previously grew. They leave behind a very depleted barren soil in which the gooseberry cannot fully develop.

Sapling selection

Saplings must have a developed root system

Choosing a suitable gooseberry seedling is a simple matter. Before buying, carefully inspect the root system, since the success of the further development of the bush will depend on its development. A large number of fibrous roots that absorb moisture are your guarantee that the seedling will take root well and will grow rapidly in the first years after planting. Also, the system should have at least 3-5 lignified shoots, at least 10 cm long.

If you are purchasing a one-year-old seedling, then there may be one shoot. But on a two-year-old bush there should be 2-3 developed branches, at least 30 cm long.

For transportation, the root system is dipped in a special chatterbox (water, clay and mullein, mixed in equal proportions), and then wrapped in burlap. This will help protect the young shrub from drying out.

Step-by-step planting instructions

Gooseberry Senator is planted in autumn (late September - early October). The root system of the culture is quite powerful. In this case, the largest number of shoots is located near the central part of the bush (at a distance of 20-25 cm). In a young gooseberry, 80% of all roots are in the soil layer up to 25 cm, and in a fruiting gooseberry - up to 45–65 cm. This will determine the size of the planting hole that needs to be made.

Planting is carried out in light loam with good aeration.

The process of planting a bush is carried out in the following sequence of actions:

  1. The first step is to dig a hole 60–70 cm wide and 45–50 cm deep. A distance of 1.5 m from each other should be observed between the bushes.
  2. Then you need to add top dressing. 8-10 kg of rotted manure, 2 kg of peat, wood ash (300 g) and limestone (350 g) are placed in each pit. It is peat that will contribute to better aeration of the soil.
  3. Leave the fertilizer pit overnight for all the ingredients to take effect. At this time, you need to soak the gooseberry seedling in a special solution. It is prepared from potassium humate (5 tbsp. L.) And water (5 l.). The substances are mixed in a deep container, where the roots of the planting material are then placed for 1 day. This technique promotes better plant survival.
  4. After the specified time, you can start planting the bush. The seedling is placed vertically in the pit. The root collar should be 6–8 cm deep.
  5. Sprinkle with soil on top and compact.
  6. Finally, each bush should be watered with five liters of water.

Video: the nuances of planting gooseberries

Plant care

At the end of all planting work, you should pay attention to caring for the new inhabitant of your garden. In order for the gooseberry to take root well and subsequently give a bountiful harvest, you need to regularly water, fertilize and prune the plant.

Proper care is the key to the formation of a large and tasty harvest


Gooseberry Senator loves loose, breathable soil. Therefore, the soil around the bush is dug to a depth of 12–15 cm. The first time the procedure is performed in early spring, as soon as the snow cover melts. In the future, hilling is done once a month, starting in June and until the end of the fruiting period.

Top dressing gooseberries

Gooseberry Senator responds well to fertilization, producing a sweet and bountiful berry crop. The feeding process is carried out according to a certain scheme. Fertilizers are applied three times during the season:

  1. The first feeding is done at the stage of leaf formation. You will need a solution made from 1 tbsp. l. urea, 2 tbsp. nitrophoska diluted in 10 liters of water. The norm for one bush is 15–20 liters of the composition.
  2. The next portion of fertilizer is applied during the gooseberry flowering stage. To do this, you need a solution of 2 tbsp. a mixture of Berry and 1 tbsp. potassium sulfate, diluted in 10 liters of water. The norm for one bush is 25-30 liters of solution.
  3. The third dressing is applied at the stage of ovary appearance. You will need 1 tbsp. nitrophosphate, 2 tbsp. potassium humate, diluted in 10 liters of water. The norm for one bush is 30 liters.

Watering the plant correctly

Watering is carried out once every 2 weeks, since the culture does not tolerate excess moisture well. You will need 1 bucket of water for one bush. It is very important not to skip watering during the period from July to August, when the gooseberry bears fruit and at the same time buds are laid to form the future harvest.

Water is introduced from a hose or watering can without a spray under the root of the bush. Make sure that the jet does not wash away the soil, especially in young, fragile shrubs.

The best time to water is in the morning or evening, as this will minimize the risk of burns.

Despite the fact that the Senator variety is positioned as drought tolerant, regular watering will allow you to improve the taste of berries.

Pruning bushes

Competent pruning of the gooseberry bush will help to increase the yield of the crop and the size of the berries, as well as prevent the appearance of diseases.

The procedure is performed in the following sequence:

  1. The first time the branches of a young seedling are cut off when planting, removing 1/3 of the length. This technique will help the plant to bush faster.
  2. Then pruning is done in early spring (until bud break). Weak and diseased shoots are removed.
  3. After that, gardeners carry out regular preventive pruning of the bush, removing old, crooked branches as they form, as well as those that lead to excessive thickening and do not give a lot of berries.

Shoots are removed completely, hemp should not be left.

Correctly pruned gooseberries should have 2-3 strong branches of each age (eg 2 annuals, 2-3 biennials, 2-3 3years, etc.). As a result, there will be about 15–20 productive shoots that will delight you with a stable harvest.

Pruning allows bushes to form crops on strong shoots

Video: pruning gooseberries in the fall

Gardeners reviews

Gooseberry Senator is a successful result of the work of breeders who set the goal to create a culture that is hardy and unpretentious to growing conditions, which will give a rich and tasty harvest. This variety has many advantages and requires minimal maintenance. At the same time, Senator gooseberry berries are universal. They are suitable both for fresh consumption and for making all kinds of jams, preserves, compotes and other delicacies.

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Hello! Let's get to know each other, my name is Yana Dmitrieva, a foreign economic activity manager by education.

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