General information About The Jostaberry
The Jostaberry (Ribes x nidigrolaria), in short Josta, is a cross between black currant and gooseberry. Already in the 19th century the first crossing attempts took place, with which a thornless gooseberry should come out. It was not until 1922 that these experiments were finally crowned with success and the Jostabeere was born.
The Jostaberry also called Jochelbeere, belongs from a botanical point of view to the gooseberry family (Grossulariaceae). It grows thornless, fast and expansive. Its three-lobed, notched leaves are ovoid to rounded. The self-pollinating small shrub reaches a height and width of about two metres. In contrast to currants, in which the flowers are arranged in long, sagging racemes, the flowers of jostaberries stand individually or in pairs on the shoots. On the outside, the black-violet fruits ripened in July are more similar to those of currants – except that they are much larger and taste sweeter. The typical smell of the black currant is not present, because the oil glands are missing. The fruits of the relatively uncomplicated growing berry bush can be eaten raw, but can also be boiled down to jams and jellies.
Location and soil
When planting jostaberries, you should make sure that the location is somewhat protected, as late frost, for example, can ensure that the fruit set is sparse. Jostaberries also prefer a deep and humus soil and a sunny to semi-shade location.
Planting and care
So that it sprouts in spring, you should plant the jostaberry in late autumn after its leaves have fallen off. The ideal planting distance is two and a half to three metres in a row. The fruit is available in potted form. Dig a pit twice the size of the root ball, place the bush as deep as it was in the pot and cover the lowest branches with soil. To prevent wind breakage, you should tie the plants to a pole or attach them to a wire netting.
A year-round mulch layer of grass cuttings or compost protects the shallow roots from dryness. In addition, strong mulching keeps moisture in the soil and suppresses grass growth. Fertilization with horn shavings in March/April has also proved its worth. You should also water the jostaberry well, especially during persistent drought and in the summer months. If your Jostaberry has become too big, you can easily transplant it in winter. You should then cover the planting area with compost or leaves.
Since the fruit trees fruit on short shoots, which form on the perennial wood, the shrubs are not cut annually, but only occasionally thinned out a little. Thus it forms more flower buds and better fruits. From an age of about four years, you can remove old guide shoots from the ground so that six to eight strong shoots remain. Pruning is best carried out after the harvest.
Harvesting and recycling
The fruits ripen in June/ July. Since they are unevenly ripe, they must be harvested several times. The berries rich in vitamin C grow close together and are easy to pick. They can be eaten raw, but are also ideal as an addition to ice cream, yoghurt and can be boiled down to jams and jellies. For jelly, the berries should be harvested early because the pectin content is then higher.
Jostine’ is a medium early, medium sized and highly aromatic variety, which grows medium to high upright. Jogrande’ is also medium early, but forms larger fruits. It is very robust, but grows somewhat weaker and flatter than ‘Jostine’. Jonova’ bears great reddish fruits. It is also very robust, grows quickly and is characterised by an upright growth habit.
Jostaberries are usually propagated over woods. Between September and April, cut off about 15 centimeters of shoots from the annual wood, which are then placed in a container with soil. Water the cuttings well and keep them relatively warm until they are rooted. A propagation by lowering is also possible.
Diseases and pests
Since jostaberries combine the resistance of currants and gooseberries, the crossing is very robust. Powdery mildew, rust, leaf fall disease and the blackcurrant gall mite only rarely occur.
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.