Alarmed by the increasingly sagging branches of one gooseberry bush, I headed out straight after breakfast and picked a load of unripe fruit to lighten the bush’s load. (Stewed with a little extra sugar, it’ll be fine.) There’s so much fruit that the centre has collapsed.
In contrast, this is what remains of the other gooseberry bush.
It had never really thrived, and I had to cut off half the branches earlier this year as they were dead. The rest looked OK (albeit very lop-sided) and had fruit, but a couple of days ago the leaves started to wilt, despite regular watering. Given that a neighbouring bush died two years ago and all that remained of that root system was a single stick, I feared the worst and consulted Dr Google. It sounded like verticillium wilt, which spreads upwards from the roots through the water-conducting tissue. Even if my diagnosis is wrong, I’m concerned for the other fruit trees. So I dug out the bush (the roots had some lesions on them) and wiped the tools I’d used with white spirit. The little patch will be returned to the lawn.
If I really need more gooseberries I can plant a bush elsewhere.
And now I’m looking at the plum tree adjacent and wondering if it’s looking a bit peaky.