Gooseberry Mashek was bred by Belarusian farmers about 20 years ago, and to this day the variety is one of the favorites among gardeners. It is appreciated for its stable yield, attractive appearance and, of course, for its pleasant berry taste. In addition, Masheka fruits are versatile, they are good both fresh and prepared.
Gooseberry Mashek is a variety of Belarusian selection, which was created by A.G. Volzunev is a famous agricultural scientist, doctor of agricultural sciences. The breeder has brought out a huge number of new varieties of gooseberries, while Masheka is rightfully considered one of the best.
In season, the Masheka gooseberry bush is strewn with ripe berries
The variety got its name in honor of the hero of Belarusian folk art, a noble robber and defender of all the oppressed by the name of Masheka.
The Mashek gooseberry bush is thick and spreading - it looks very impressive, especially during the fruiting period. The plant is medium-sized. Light green thick shoots grow obliquely. Branches are not pubescent, with yellowish-brown thorns. The leaf blades have a dark green hue, they are leathery and wrinkled, and have a slight sheen. The denticles at the edges are obtuse and short. The ovaries are not pubescent, not colored.
Masheka berries are colored orange-red
The variety has a high yield. Masheka will give its owners delicious and aromatic berries if you provide the bush with the necessary care and choose the right place for planting.
To plant Masheka, select a level and bright place, protected from the winds. Groundwater should not lie closer than 1.5 m to the surface.
It is recommended to plant the gooseberry Masheka on a level and bright place.
The soil on the site for planting gooseberries should be slightly acidic, fertile and loose. If the soil is sandy or clayey, then it is recommended to plant the crop only after its preliminary improvement. A year before planting, 15 kg of organic fertilizers per 1 m should be applied to sandy soil2 (it can be humus, manure or compost), and add sand to clay, in addition to organic matter. Also, experienced gardeners are advised to add 50 g of potassium sulfate and 40 g of double superphosphate per 1 m2.
Despite the fact that the culture tolerates the acidity of the substrate quite well, if its pH is below 5.5, then liming is necessary. The best fertilizer for this purpose is dolomite flour (application rate - 1.5 kg per 1 m2).
Experienced gardeners advise planting gooseberries in the fall, about a month before the start of frost. With such a planting time, the plant has time to take root well and perfectly endure the winter cold. It is also permissible to plant Masheka seedlings in early spring before bud break, but in this case, the young gooseberry must be abundantly moistened.
On the selected site you need:
Gooseberry seedlings should be placed at a distance of 1-1.5 m from each other
When planting, the seedling should be buried in the soil 5 cm more than it grew before.
In the first years of life, seedlings develop slowly. At first, the roots grow stronger, and only in the second half of summer the shoots begin to grow, and Masheka will give the first berries in the 3rd year. Full fruiting of gooseberries occurs when 15–20 strong and healthy branches are formed on it (in the 5th year of life).
To get a rich harvest of sweet and sour Mashek gooseberries, you should make a lot of efforts. If you strictly adhere to the agrotechnical schedule, you can achieve a high yield of the bush for 18–20 years. The techniques that will allow you to achieve such a result are quite simple and accessible to every gardener. This is timely watering, top dressing and formative pruning of the bush.
The gooseberry Masheka is declared by its creators as a drought-resistant plant, but abundant moisture is required in spring and early summer. Sprinkler irrigation and drip irrigation are best suited for this purpose (if several plants are planted in a row on the site). Another great way to moisturize the soil around the bush is by watering it in the grooves. For this:
In dry summers, more frequent and abundant watering is required (3-5 buckets for each bush).
It is recommended to stop moisturizing before the berries ripen. Excess moisture during this period will prevent the collection of sugar content in the fruits, as a result of which the berries will turn out to be watery and sour.
Watering the grooves with plenty of water is a great way to provide the gooseberry roots with the moisture they need.
Another abundant watering should be carried out in the fall (20–40 liters under one gooseberry bush). The plant responds well to pre-winter moisture. The so-called moisture-charging watering will help the plant to easily endure the winter cold.
Timely application of both mineral and organic fertilizers will maintain stable high yields and contribute to resistance to diseases that the variety is susceptible to.
With an insufficient amount of nutrients, the leaves relatively early, even in the summer, acquire an unusual color (a colored rim along the edge of the leaf or purple or violet spots between the veins of the leaf blades). If you find such symptoms on the plant, urgently feed Masheka, since the foliage of a healthy bush has a dark green color.
Pruning helps to form a full bush, get large berries and maintain a stable yield. A feature of Masheka is that the variety forms a huge number of basal shoots, due to which the bush becomes thickened and the quality and quantity of berries decreases. In addition, their growth is delayed until late autumn and the ends of the growths ripen poorly. Fruit buds are laid on last year's shoots, while the main berry harvest is concentrated on shoots of 1-2 order of branching and 1-2-year-old fruit branches, where up to 3 large berries can form from one bud, while on older branches it grows only along one small fruit.
Correct pruning helps to form a full-fledged bush and get large berries
In order for Masheka's fruits to be sweeter and larger, competent formative and sanitary pruning should be carried out. The basic rules of procedure are as follows:
Too thickened bushes are recommended to be cut off gradually, with partial rejuvenation of the branches that do not have basal shoots.
Pruning is recommended in the fall.
When forming an adult plant (over 10 years old), there are some peculiarities. By pruning such a bush:
Rejuvenating pruning of mature bushes is carried out every 2-3 years.
Masheka is a winter-hardy variety, but in regions with severe cold weather it needs to be additionally covered. To help the gooseberry overwinter well, agrarians recommend carrying out water recharge irrigation in late autumn. In winters with little snow, it is necessary to cover the bushes with snow and trample it around the gooseberry. A great way to preserve a snow shelter is to dust it with dirt or sawdust.
The authors of the Masheka variety declare that gooseberries are resistant to many ailments. However, under unfavorable conditions, it is affected by such common diseases as anthracnose, septoria and powdery mildew.
Mashek's gooseberry has thorny thorns, so you need to harvest with gloves to protect yourself from cuts and wounds. Upon reaching maturity, the berries turn orange-red. They do not crumble from the bush, so all the fruits can be harvested in one go.
The berries adhere firmly to the shoots, retain their shape and pleasant taste even under unfavorable conditions, for example, in rainy weather.
If you need to transport gooseberries, it is recommended to pick the berries slightly unripe (about a week before full ripeness). They are placed in baskets or plastic containers without a lid. In this form, the fruits can be stored for 2-3 days.
In the refrigerator, gooseberries can stay fresh for about 2 weeks. To do this, they are freed from sepals and leaves, washed and laid out in perforated plastic bags, i.e. packaging with holes for ventilation.
Masheka gooseberries are good not only fresh, but also in the form of jam or jam
For longer storage, berries can be frozen or processed. Gooseberries make excellent preparations with a pleasant sour taste: jams, compotes, preserves.
The Belarusian gooseberry variety Masheka has undoubted advantages. It has sweet berries and a very beautiful fruit color. Masheka is winter-hardy and suitable for cultivation in the Central region. The culture will bear fruit for about 20 years, while the gooseberry needs minimal care, it is enough to carry out regular watering before the berries are set and after the leaves fall.
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