Good enough to eat

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● Pro­tect­ing goose­ber­ries

If all the leaves dis­ap­pear from your goose­ber­ries, they have prob­a­bly been eaten by the goose­berry sawfly cater­pil­lar, which is of­ten a prob­lem in about the third or fourth year af­ter plant­ing.

They ini­tially ap­pear as a clus­ter of tiny holes in one leaf and then spread out, ru­in­ing the whole bush. If you catch them early, you may stop them in their tracks. Do this by shak­ing the cater­pil­lars down on to a sheet on a dewy morn­ing.

Al­ter­na­tively, knock them off with a jet of wa­ter and spread a thick layer of ash or soot around the stems to stop them re­turn­ing.

Another cause of leaves dis­ap­pear­ing is goose­berry leaf spot, which is com­mon in early sum­mer when tiny black­ish-brown spots ap­pear on goose­berry leaves which then turn brown and fall early.

To de­ter the fun­gus, regularly re­move the fallen leaves to de­crease a re­cur­rence next year.

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