Gardening diary December: Prune gooseberries

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The gooseberry is rather out of vogue at present, but that need not trouble those who love its interesting texture and flavour. It will rise again. It requires simple pruning. Firstly, understand that it should vaguely resemble a wine glass, with a short leg crowned by a rising ring of pale and slender shoots. Put on leather gloves and arm protection, and remove any shoots that don’t conform to this neat ideal. Then, shorten this year’s growth (you’ll see) by half, leaving an outward-facing bud at each shoot tip. It takes longer than you might think, because of the prickles.

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