Tomatoville® Gardening Forums

Tomatoville® Gardening Forums (
-   Tomatillos (
-   -   Ground Cherries, anyone? (

Tracydr March 9, 2012 06:50 PM

Mine never came up. Seed was fine last year so I don't know what happened.
The purple tomatillos look great!

tgplp March 9, 2012 11:16 PM

I'm sorry to hear that, Tracydr. :( Do you want me to send you more seeds? Mine germinated great. Or is it too late to start them?


jennifer28 March 9, 2012 11:23 PM

My ground cherries are germinating. It took about 3 and a half weeks. I used a heat mat and a cover and that helped.

SEAMSFASTER March 9, 2012 11:57 PM

I've got seeds as well. It's not too late for Aunt Molly's, might be pushing it a bit for Inca Berry unless you can give them plenty of warmth, light and good nutrition.

Here are pics of my two best looking plants.



I am getting some recovery from the fungus gnats. Lesson for next year: Under no conditions and not for any reason bring plants into the house to overwinter. Likewise, garden soil is poison indoors. That's how I need to think anyway. At least I've managed to avoid aphids indoors this year (so far...) - those are even worse!

tgplp March 16, 2012 04:53 PM

Nice plants. What type of soil is the ground cherry in in that first picture?

I'll post pictures of my plants soon.


livinonfaith March 16, 2012 09:28 PM

Mine were planted two weeks ago and are just getting their first true leaves.

From your pictures, they look like they will be very pretty plants. Is that true?

I really enjoyed my first tomatillo plants last year, as much for the looks of them as the fruits. These remind me of those a bit.

Hoping these will be just as enjoyable. Can't wait to taste them! You guys have really gotten me excited about these.

stonysoilseeds March 16, 2012 09:52 PM

i am going to try ground cherries aain this year i tried them 3 years ago but they never germinated but i like how delicious they are so i hope i have kuck this year

SEAMSFASTER March 16, 2012 11:41 PM

I think they are both attractive plants, especially the Inca Berry. But my judgment is admittedly biased!

The Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry plant in the 6" pot is planted in Sunshine Natural & Organic Professional Growing Mix to which I added Sustane 4-6-4, bone meal and Azomite. I put a 1" layer of clean "Play Sand" on the top surface to discourage fungus gnats, so it's only the sand that shows in the picture.

On 2-20-2012 I planted my third and largest planting of Aunt Molly's - 288 seeds. Here's what they looked like three days ago at 22 days along - note the variation in size resulting from extended germination time:


Today, 25 days from seed sowing, I finished transplanting these up to 3.5" pots, using the blend mentioned. I got a surprising 88% germination and 14 trays full.


Guess I better start honing my marketing skills - and where am I going to put my tomato plants?!

tgplp March 20, 2012 12:20 AM

Wow! Those seedlings look great! And you are growing so many. :D

Here are my two best seedlings:


3/4 of my ground cherry seedlings have teensy tiny buds on them. Should I prune off the flower buds until the ground cherry plants get bigger? What do you think? Pros and cons?


SEAMSFASTER March 20, 2012 03:26 AM

Those seedlings are coming along great - I like the pots too!

Just my opinion - ignore the buds and blossoms. They are not likely to set fruit without some extra effort on your part. The risk of damaging the plant while pruning likely outweighs the very slight increased plant growth you might get from pruning.

If they do set fruit, maybe then prune them off. I'm thinking flower production is a minor drain of plant resources, while fruit production would be much more significant.

Elizabeth March 20, 2012 06:52 AM

I have 6 Aunt Molly seedlings, but sadly my Golden Berry Pineapple seeds may be dead, there are no signs of life at all. I still have some left, I think it's time to see if I can wake up a new batch. At 14 years I know it's iffy, but I have to at least try :) Even here in southern CA if I don't get them going soon it will be too late for this year. At least I'll have Aunt Molly's - I'm looking forward to trying them, they sure sound yummy!

tgplp March 20, 2012 06:49 PM

[QUOTE=SEAMSFASTER;262545]Those seedlings are coming along great - I like the pots too!

Just my opinion - ignore the buds and blossoms. They are not likely to set fruit without some extra effort on your part. The risk of damaging the plant while pruning likely outweighs the very slight increased plant growth you might get from pruning.

If they do set fruit, maybe then prune them off. I'm thinking flower production is a minor drain of plant resources, while fruit production would be much more significant.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the help! The pots are made out of biodegradable coconut coir. It's neat that they put the furry stuff on coconuts to use somehow! :)

Elizabeth- sorry to hear about the golden berry pineapple seeds. :( I'm excited for the Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry, too! Should be good. :D Post pictures of your plants?


Elizabeth March 20, 2012 09:28 PM

2 Attachment(s)
My ground cherries are still in their dense planting cell since all of my light space is taken up by just potted up baby tomatoes. :) I'm giving the toms a chance to get acclimated to their new pots for a few days, and letting the wind die down a bit before I let them hang out outside under a tree. Once I get them outside I can pot up the tomatillos, ground cherries and herbs. The lanky ones in the first photo hiding their label are El Rey tomatillos.

I got started a good 3-4 weeks later than I intended this year so they are not as far along as I wanted to be at this point....sigh. Although, maybe it's kinda good I am behind. If I had planted on time I would have possibly already planted some out in the garden and we had dreadful wind and a freak hail storm a couple of days ago - they probably would have all been toast.

Tracydr April 1, 2012 01:58 PM

[QUOTE=tgplp;260454]I'm sorry to hear that, Tracydr. :( Do you want me to send you more seeds? Mine germinated great. Or is it too late to start them?


Thanks. Looks like I got two ground cherries going. I also found some more seed and have a couple more babies going.
Can tomatillos pollinate ground cherries? I planted them in the same bed, just in case I loose a ground cherry, in hopes the tomatillos could pollinate the ground cherry.

tgplp April 11, 2012 01:02 AM

Hey guys! How are everyones ground cherries growin'? Pics anyone?

Guess what?! One of my four plants set a ground cherry! It's so cute! It looks like a little green latern. What should I do with it? I don't know if I have the heart to clip it off... but if you guys think that would be the best thing, maybe I can muster the strength to do so.

I'll post pics of the cute little guy tomorrow.

Taryn :D

Iva April 11, 2012 05:32 AM

No need to pinch the fruit off. I always grow my plants in small containers and they always fruit well for me and do great! Just be careful that the plant doesn't get twice as wide as the pot. When it gets that big, transplant it to a bigger pot...

jennifer28 April 11, 2012 06:59 AM

This year we had a bunch of jiffy pellets donated to our school garden club. I don't usually use jiffy pellets. But I can't waste anything. So we are using them all. I have to say that I did an experiment with the ground cherries where I started some in the jiffy pellets and some I put in a 4" pot with sterile seed starting mix. I had much better growth and germination rate with the seeds I started in the pots. To me, the difference was so significant that I will not even bother trying to use jiffy pellets with ground cherry seed anymore. Thought I would pass this along.

livinonfaith April 11, 2012 09:21 AM

Okay, mine are finally starting to take off and look like the ones you guys have been showing off. I'm headed out right now to take them out of the greenhouse for their first couple of hours of real sun!

(Plus about twenty five containers of other plants! I'm going to be late for work if I don't speed up!:panic:)

Medbury Gardens April 12, 2012 12:15 AM

[QUOTE=tgplp;267676]Hey guys! How are everyones ground cherries growin'? Pics anyone?

Taryn :D[/QUOTE]

End of the season is close so not long before it will have to be pulled,was a very cool summer so it didn't do as well as i would have liked,still managed to pick a hand most days.


livinonfaith April 12, 2012 09:44 PM

Oh my Goodness! How big is that thing? And what variety?

If it is an Aunt Molly's, I'm going to have to rethink where I'm going to put them. I thought they were only supposed to be a couple of feet tall.

It is quite amazing, though!

Iva April 13, 2012 01:22 AM

That looks like Physalis peruviana (Inca Berry) that grows taller. Ground Cherry (Physalis pruinosa) always stays low, almost sprawling...

Medbury Gardens April 13, 2012 01:58 AM

yes its does look like its Physalis peruvian.
How i grow them is just before the frosts start in autumn i'll look for a couple of self sown seedlings in the garden and pot them up then put in my tunnelhouse for the winter,late winter early spring i'll re pot them into large pots and once the heavy frosts have past they go outside to be hardened off,that time of year (October) lighter frosts can still happen so if one is due the pot can be lifted back inside for the night.By this stage the two plants are about meters tall and are tied to bamboo stakes,finale planting out takes place in November

SEAMSFASTER May 1, 2012 01:40 AM

First ripe fruits from Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry today! I gave all three of them to customers.



The healthiest Inca Berry plant is also starting to put on flower buds:


I've got dozens of healthy seedlings but can't seem to squeeze in the time to get them transplanted. I'm hoping to get lots of production off of these, perhaps enough for drying and preserves.

lakelady May 3, 2012 09:23 PM

wow Dale, those ground cherries look great! Alas, I ran out of time this year and got so busy with the tomato seedlings I forgot to plant the ground cherries. Too bad, I really wanted to try them!

tgplp May 29, 2012 01:58 PM

Wow! Looks great! I put my ground cherries outside, and they were damaged by cold for the past few weeks. (I don't have any space for them inside!) I was so suprised yesterday to find a ripe ground cherry that fell off of the wilted plants! I gave it to my mom and she said it was delicious. Can't wait for more. I'd post pictures, but the plants are pretty ugly right now. :oops:


livinonfaith June 11, 2012 12:11 AM

I had a question for the ground cherry fans out there. Do these continue to set fruit through the summer, like an indeterminate tomato? Or do they set fruit and then stop flowering, like a determinate?

My four have set quite a few, but they have stopped producing flowers. I'm hoping that they will pick back up. A few have fallen off in the last few days and now I'm hooked!

It's even going to be hard waiting for them to really get sweet. But I think it would be worth it to wait a week or two to get that super sweet pineappley flavor. Some were perfect as soon as they fell off, but a couple that I've tried probably would have tasted a little better if I had waited.

Hoping these are indeterminate! I want more!

Iva June 11, 2012 02:26 AM

Yep, they keep producing until frost hits them :)
Sometimes they just need a little push to start flowering again. Try fertilizing them with liquid feed very low on nitrogen and high in P and K...

livinonfaith June 11, 2012 12:54 PM

Yaaaay, Iva! That's what I wanted to hear!:yes:

SEAMSFASTER June 12, 2012 12:12 AM

I picked a pint today - a few of them in prime condition - were they ever tasty! (I have a serious sweet tooth and these help keep me away from the less nutritious candy). A customer also described them as having a pineapple-like flavor.

I also noticed few flowers today. We had record high temps last week. They might be like tomatoes that way - intense heat inhibits fruit set. Last summer was relatively cool and the four plants I had produced until frost. This year, 130+ Aunt Molly's plants!

Waiting for those first Inca berries to ripen...

By the way, someone let me try some dried "golden berries" a few weeks ago (VERY tasty, by the way). Predictably, I pocketed one, reconstituted with water, fermented for 3 days, then did a germination test. So far, 4 of 20 have emerged and they are looking just as expected - like Inca berry seedlings.

SEAMSFASTER July 1, 2012 01:22 AM

First ripe Inca Berries yesterday, 175 days from seed. Plants are about 4' tall but not doing real well. I'm guessing it's because of the intense heat - 95° plus most days for the past 3 weeks.

The plants have dropped several immature fruits over the past couple of weeks. These are the first fruits mature enough to eat. They are not yet premium size, flavor or color, however.



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:46 PM.

★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2022 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★