They tend not to fruit on soft new growth.
Dec 18, The best time to prune gooseberries is in late winter or early in the spring when the plants are still dormant. How to Prune a Gooseberry Bush Before pruning gooseberries, wear some thick leather gloves and sterilize your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol. Prune out any dead or damaged branches on 1- 2- or 3-year limbs. In the UK the best time to prune gooseberries is in the winter when the plants are dormant.
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However, a number of beginner gardeners struggle to know how to select the right ‘outward facing’ buds for pruning until they have emerged. Gooseberries are really tough plants so I always prune mine in early March when the buds are just breaking. Jun 19, The best time to prune a mature gooseberry bush is in late winter or early spring when the plant is dormant, just before the vigorous growth of spring when healing will be quick.
You may wish to delay pruning until after the buds open, because the thorny thicket of an unpruned bush will be more of a deterrent to birds that feed on buds%(49).