1. A. Ivanov, Saratov Region

    What is yoshta and is it worth growing it?

    • OOO "Sad"

      This is a hybrid of blackcurrant and gooseberry. Breeders have long dreamed of crossing these cultures in order to combine their best qualities in one plant (high vitamin content, black currant tenacity and resistance to bud mites, large-fruited and dessert gooseberry flavor).
      However, the first "currant-gooseberries" scientists disappointed. The winter hardiness of the hybrids was lower than in the original forms, the size of the fruits reached only the size of large-fruited varieties of currants, the taste is mediocre, the content of vitamin C does not reach the worst levels of blackcurrants, although it slightly exceeds gooseberries. True, the plants were without thorns and resistant to bud mites, but were affected by powdery mildew.
      An unambiguous conclusion was made: if this new culture is introduced into production, then a long way of its selection improvement is ahead. So far, no one has taken this path. We need a longer growing season than our northern summer. Due to biological characteristics, these are powerful, strongly growing bushes, with thick shoots that do not have time to finish growth before the onset of frost and freeze each year to some extent (sometimes by snow level!). They require a rarer planting than ordinary varieties of currants and gooseberries.

      Unscrupulous sellers who sell yoshta offer to buy several seedlings, citing the fact that the plant needs a pollinator. This is not true. Yoshta is self-fertile, but the yield is very moderate. Berries weighing about 2 g, dark brown, without a currant aroma, usually 2-4 pieces per brush, ripen at the same time.
      In a word, modern varieties of blackcurrant and gooseberry in Central Russia are more reliable and useful. And whether to plant yoshta is up to you. Unless for the sake of experiment.
      L. KALUGINA, agronomist


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