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-   -   Ground Cherries, anyone? (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=21239)

SEAMSFASTER February 15, 2012 03:52 AM

If you do a Google search for "golden berries" you'll hit on all kinds of websites trying to sell you dried Inca berries/cape gooseberries. I did not get enough fruits to try drying them last year, but people have told me they are very tasty - like candy.

The flavor of the fresh fruits is very intense and quite different from Aunt Molly's.

With a 176-day growing season, I think I'm about at the lower limit for being able to get much production out of Inca berries. Those with a significantly shorter growing season will likely get nothing without some supplemental heat, greenhouse or high tunnel.

I planted my first round on January 6th this year. Some of those seeds are still germinating. Here are the latest pics of some of the larger seedlings.

Inca Berry seedlings -

[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/IncaBerryseedlings2-14-2012A.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/IncaBerryseedlings2-14-2012B.jpg[/IMG]

Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry seedlings -

[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/GroundCherryAuntMollysseedlings2-14-2012A.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/GroundCherryAuntMollysseedlings2-14-2012B.jpg[/IMG]

tgplp February 15, 2012 07:27 PM

Nice plants, Dale! My seedlings look almost identical to tomato seedlings only much smaller, and less furry.

Can't wait to see how everyone's groundcherries/ cape gooseberries turn out this year. Feel free to post more pictures as they grow along! I'll post some more pictures of my seedlings once they get their true leaves... depending on how fast these little guys grow, it might be a while. :roll: So far they haven't done anything except germinate. :lol:

Taryn

rockhound February 16, 2012 03:22 PM

Thanks for the reminder guys. I need to get mine in the pot. With the reduction of my garden to a few containers, there has been some "wailing and gnashing of teeth" over tomato and pepper selection. I just do not have the room OR the energy level to grow everything I want! But one ground cherry in a bucket can't hurt.

tgplp February 16, 2012 07:12 PM

[QUOTE=rockhound;255657]Thanks for the reminder guys. I need to get mine in the pot. With the reduction of my garden to a few containers, there has been some "wailing and gnashing of teeth" over tomato and pepper selection. I just do not have the room OR the energy level to grow everything I want! But one ground cherry in a bucket can't hurt.[/QUOTE]

I know what you mean! I have a tiny garden and I always grow waaaay to many plants. I figure that the ground cherry plant I had last year was tiny, (wow I grew it in a tiny half gallon pot, if I remember right, because I had no room) and I think I still got ripe ground cherries from it. So if worst comes to worst, I'll just have really small ground cherry plants in really small containers. :D

Taryn

tgplp February 23, 2012 06:26 PM

Here are the little fellas! I'll pot them up on Monday, after I get home from Idaho.

[IMG]http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy24/tomato2010/24cc9ef6.jpg[/IMG]

Taryn :D

loeb February 24, 2012 07:11 AM

I had Aunt Molly Ground Cherry last season. Good to know that there are other varietes... I would love to try that Inca Berry. With Aunt Molly I discovered something - take a glass jar, fill it with ground cherry fruits [I have cut them in half, but maybe it's not necessary], cover them with good vodka, and put the lid on [NO sugar, just fruits]. After minimum 3 weeks drain it off [you can still use a fruit for a preserve], and you have beautifull sweet golden liquor, with taste and aroma different that fruit, something like a caramel.. I have heard that Aunt Molly had something in common with Poland, well.. I guess she was not breeding that fruit to eating fresh only;)

jennifer28 February 24, 2012 07:51 AM

Loeb- LOVE this idea. thank you. I prefer ketel one, and this is such a terrific way to make something different.

SEAMSFASTER February 28, 2012 02:06 PM

Three Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry plants all bloomed on the same day, 49 days from seed. It's unlikely these blossoms will get fertilized, but that's fine, as I would rather the energy be invested in plant growth rather than fruit production at this early stage.

[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/GroundCherryAuntMollys2-25-2012A.jpg[/IMG]

Tracydr February 28, 2012 02:29 PM

I had one plant last year but no fruit. Don't know if it was the heat or only one plant. I've heard you need two or mor. I'm thinking of direct sowing some seeds in a wild part of my yard, with partial shade, since they sprawl and reseed so much. Trying to decide on them or purple tomatillos.

tgplp February 28, 2012 08:50 PM

Here are my little fellas now, they have nice little true leaves.
[IMG]http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy24/tomato2010/5ae50588.jpg[/IMG]

Do you think this is a good size to pot up into seperate containers? Also, when transplanting ground cherries, do you bury the stem like with tomatoes?

Edit: Oh wait, found the answer. Ground Cherries also grow roots along their stem, like tomatoes, so yes you do plant them deeply in the pot. Here is a good link about growing them: [URL]http://organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/ground-cherries[/URL]


Wow, Dale! Is that flowering ground cherry one of the same seedlings that you posted pictures of before?

Taryn :D

SEAMSFASTER February 29, 2012 05:53 AM

Taryn - those seedlings look just big enough to start transplanting. They seem to transplant fairly well, but take a little longer to recover than do tomatoes. You could wait up to a week or so, but not much longer to tranplant.

And yes, this is one of the seedlings shown in an earlier post. I've transplanted a few of the larger ones up to 6" round "gallon" pots. The Inca berry plants are looking even healthier, but of course they are many weeks away from blossoming.

I'm having an issue with fungus gnats. The number of fliers doesn't seem very large, but several of the Aunt Molly's ground cherries are suffering. I've ordered some B.t. soil drench. We'll see how that works in con★★★★★★★★ with the fly strips.

peppero February 29, 2012 08:18 AM

gtound cherries
 
mine did not do well last year so i hope that the seeds i started yesterday will result in more than last year. jon:wait:

tgplp March 5, 2012 11:25 PM

[QUOTE=SEAMSFASTER;258483]Taryn - those seedlings look just big enough to start transplanting. They seem to transplant fairly well, but take a little longer to recover than do tomatoes. You could wait up to a week or so, but not much longer to tranplant.

And yes, this is one of the seedlings shown in an earlier post. I've transplanted a few of the larger ones up to 6" round "gallon" pots. The Inca berry plants are looking even healthier, but of course they are many weeks away from blossoming.

I'm having an issue with fungus gnats. The number of fliers doesn't seem very large, but several of the Aunt Molly's ground cherries are suffering. I've ordered some B.t. soil drench. We'll see how that works in con★★★★★★★★ with the fly strips.[/QUOTE]

Thanks! I potted them up a few days ago, and they didn't grow for a couple days, but now they are starting to grow again. I beleive I kept four plants. I hope that is enough ground cherries for two people (the other two people in my family don't like ground cherries). Do you think four plants will be enough for two people? I'm not sure how often I would the ground cherries, though. I guess, what I mean is, how much will four plants yield?

Also, how are the fungas gnats? Are they going away yet? I always seem to have them in my houseplants, and it is so frustrating! :evil:

I'll post pictures once they have considerable growth from the last photo I posted.

Taryn :D

SEAMSFASTER March 6, 2012 04:02 AM

Four plants for two people should be plenty for snacking. By mid summer, mine were producing roughly a dozen per plant per day. What's nice is that - unless you have serious bug problems - the ground cherries can sit on the ground for several days and still be very tasty. So you could collect a few dozen over a 2 week period and have enough for a pint or two of preserves. I'm hoping to get enough to try that this year as well!

I treated everything a couple of days ago with Gnatrol WDG, an OMRI listed product. The only way I'll be able to tell if it had an effect is to see root-damaged plants start to recover and adult populations diminishing. It requires several treatments, so I'm going to have to learn some discipline!

tgplp March 9, 2012 06:21 PM

Alright, here are my ground cherry seedlings!

[IMG]http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy24/tomato2010/81a704d3.jpg[/IMG]


[IMG]http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy24/tomato2010/da027b28.jpg[/IMG]

Not very big yet, but certainly growing. :D

How are everyone's ground cherries doing?

Taryn


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