Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Gooseberry American Mildew

It has been suggested that recycled beer (pee) prevents American mildew (Sphaerotheca mors-uvae) on gooseberries.  You can spray it undiluted before the leaves open, then dilute it once they are open.  I’m all for a natural remedy that does not cost the Earth. 

My two year old gooseberry bush in the corner of the potato bed.

I sprayed my gooseberries with Bordeaux mixture, which was supposed to prevent American mildew but didn’t.  I got a lot of fruit off before the gooseberries were affected but lost a lot more.  You can wash or scrape mildew off the fruit but it takes a lot of time.  I can do recycled beer no problem but I think that the fruit will have to be washed particularly carefully before putting into a pie. 
I eventually gave up on the gooseberries and buried them – as is my want.  The new gooseberry is Xania, which is a red, sweet heavy cropping variety resistant to mildew.  I have also moved the gooseberry row to another part of the allotment in the hope that the new ground will not have mildew spores.   The lesson I have learnt from this is don’t leave gooseberries in the same ground for 30 years.

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