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Just what is under this gooseberry bush ?


By driad


We went away two weeks ago , and my one and only , much vaunted , gooseberry was in full promise of yet another year of a remarkable crop . It usually yields about 5lbs of fruit .
I pruned it this year , I never have before I don’t think .
Anyway , upon return , I didn’t examine it too closely , but yesterday I looked , and there are about 12 fruit left , and hardly any leaves . Horror ! (Picture one ).
Today , Ted (grandson) was here and I said look , all the gooseberries have gone . He looked and said there are little caterpillars on it , aren’t there ? ( Oh for young eyes !)
We were spraying the unbelievable infestation of greenfly on the lupins with garlic at the time . ( They have got a strangle hold , I fear , three beautiful clumps of lupins in near devastation .)
Just look and advise on Picture two , please .

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Oh Julia what a shame ,its Gooseberry Sawfly I'm afraid its to late to stop it now the only way you can treat it is at the first signs of trouble at the beginning of May with a spray apparently the Sawfly can have up to 4 broods a year which often means a second spraying in the season but I'm guessing like us your not keen on using sprays I'm off outside to look at mine ! I actually saw something very similar on our birch trees one year I'm not sure if they were the same !

24 May, 2015


It looks dreadful now and you've obviously lost this year's crop but the bush will recover. Strange how it happens some years and not others. You can sometimes catch it early if you are lucky enough to see a brood just hatched - they appear on single leaves and spread out later so if you remove the leaves with them on that sorts it.

24 May, 2015


You can use a nematode biological control on the caterpillar which is available in the UK. I will PM the name of it to you.

24 May, 2015


Thanks for the empathy , all .
I'm feeling quite put out that I didn't notice it before .
I had heard of saw fly , but never had an "attack " before .
Should I treat it now , Stera , and kill them all off ?
My ceononthas ( can't spell it) looks like it has been invaded by something too , I'll put a pic on tomorrow .
The blossom is lovely , but the leaves look all mangled .

24 May, 2015


This happened to me. I got some combined Sawfly and other pests spray from Wilkinsons. Should have given 4
doses 6 weeks apart. Then again the next spring.
I gave up and dug them up.
When will we learn ?

25 May, 2015


Thanks Snoop and Diane , I will try the nematodes that Loosestrife recommends and see what happens .

25 May, 2015


The problem with sprays at this time of year is that the fruit has set. I've had a bad aphid attack this year but won't spray for that reason. Please let us know how you get on with the nematodes. Snoop the sawfly is specific to gooseberries so it won't spread to other things.

25 May, 2015

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