Jostaberry
Jostaberry
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Jostaberry

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A complex crossbred fruit, the Jostaberry (Ribes × nidigrolaria) originally involved 3 species to create this delicious and easy to grow fruit.

This thornless plant resembles one parent. a Black Currant in growth habit, and the foliage is similar to the other two parents; both the North American and European Gooseberry, and the fruit is somewhere in between. Unripe fruit tends to taste more like a Gooseberry, and as it ripens it tends to move more towards the Black Currant flavours and colours, and ripe fruit will hang well on the bush if protected from birds.

Jostaberry grows into a disease resistant non suckering bush and displays great hybrid vigour. They are frost hardy and grow better in cooler areas. Plants need a chilling period to successfully produce fruit so warmer climates are not recommended. Jostas are self fertile meaning only one is required for fruit production, and will flower and set fruit on last year’s growth so Winter pruning needs to be kept to a minimum.

Supplied as a dormant cane.

General Information: Grow the canes against a wall or fence or support with a trellis. If grown in rows, allow 1.5m between rows. Most berries bear fruit on 2nd year wood. The canes will grow vigorously the first year and then flower and fruit the second year.
Soil: Likes a rich, well drained soil.
Watering: For optimum fruit production canes need to be kept well watered. Will benefit from mulching in spring to conserve moisture in summer and keep roots cool.
Fertilising: Prior to planting well-rotted animal manure, blood and bone or complete fertiliser should be thoroughly worked into the soil. As growth starts apply a complete fertiliser and a compost of well-rotted animal manure.
Pruning: In winter prune the canes that bore fruit down to the ground and tie dormant canes to the support. These will fruit the following year.
Tips: Protect plants from hot winds, and ripening berries from birds. Best grown in areas with a cold winter as a ‘chilling period’ will assist fruit set.