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

HiPoha August 8, 2012 04:45 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Hooray. My ground cherry plants are starting to bear fruit. We call them Poha here, hence my sign. I planted about a hundred seeds in May and only these survived to this stage. Poha grows well on the islands with higher elevations, and they are rarely seen on my island, Oahu.
Thoughts, Aug.25 : These ground cherries don't seem to be worth the time and space they take in the garden. They ripen in two to three months after pollination. I was hoping to be swimming in them and thought I'd have enough to make jams and pies.

SEAMSFASTER August 9, 2012 01:46 AM

My healthiest Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry plant is a VOLUNTEER!:oops:

It measures to just over 8 feet across and it has nearly taken over a small flower bed, with no growth letup in sight. The main stem is nearly 1 inch in diameter.

[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/GroundCherryAuntMollys8-05-2012A.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/GroundCherryAuntMollys8-05-2012B.jpg[/IMG]

Fruit production from the 130 intentially planted ground cherry plants is finally starting to pick up again. They've really been struggling in the heat (another record high today, 103°), but now perhaps their root systems are large enough to support the high rate of transpiration.

loeb August 14, 2012 05:15 PM

It's HUGE. How old is it? Mine Aunt Mollies are much much smaller..

2nd Foundation August 19, 2012 09:41 AM

Oh brother....that's just one plant, Seamsfaster? Looks like ground cherries need alot of room....
Anyone in the Southeast grow them?....and how big were they?
Great thread and pictures by the way!
Caroline

SEAMSFASTER August 20, 2012 03:57 AM

The flower bed has been amended with LOTS of good organic matter over the past couple of years. I'm guessing this big one emerged as a volunteer around mid-April. I'm thinking these would do well in cages and grown like tomatoes. Certainly they could be trained to grow up instead of out?

The ground cherry plants that I planted intentionally in the garden are about 1/3 this size, but still busting out of the space I allotted. From the 100 or so surviving plants, I'm getting about 2 quarts a day now. Customers are loving them! Too bad they are so tiny. Working on that too...

Inca berries are another story. The plants are getting rather large, but still are not producing much at all. I noticed that last year too - almost no production until well into September.

I also have some Yantar ground cherries ([I]Pysalis pubescens[/I]) (courtesy of Andrey_BY - thanks again!) which are just starting to produce. They appear and taste very similar to Aunt Molly's.

Medbury Gardens September 2, 2012 03:12 AM

One of my Physalis peruviana that ive wintered over,i will start introduce to the outdoors in about a months time,i'm even thinking it may need a larger pot before too long going by how big its getting.

[IMG]http://i416.photobucket.com/albums/pp247/Medburygardens/006-2-2.jpg[/IMG]

SEAMSFASTER September 14, 2012 04:41 AM

Here's a pic of some Yantar ground cherries. The flavor is very similar to Aunt Molley's, perhaps a bit "cleaner" - hardly a hint of that peculiar tomatillo-ish background flavor. At least as sweet as Aunt Molly's too.

The fruits are a bit smaller and paler yellow, but these minor differences could be attributed to confining these to 1-gallon pots.

Overall, Yantar and Aunt Molley's are difficult to distinguish. Next year I'll have a chance to grow them side-by-side to get more experience about how they differ.

I've kept the two Yantar plants well separated from all other Physalis species, hoping to reduce the risk of cross-pollination.

My Inca Berry plants are still not producing much. Perhaps they need to be grown under plastic in this area.

[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/GroundCherryYantarDT2012B.jpg[/IMG]

SEAMSFASTER December 17, 2012 04:17 AM

On May 17, 2012 someone gave me a few dehydrated "goldenberries" to try:
[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/GroundCherryIncaBerrydriedgoldenberry5-17-2012rev.jpg[/IMG]

Predictably, I immediately reconstituted one of the fruits, fermented the seeds, then planted them all on May 22. Only three seeds germinated.

Two of those plants froze before putting on fruit. I put the third plant in my backyard high tunnel, where it got a little extra protection from frost.

Over the weekend, the high tunnel froze out (circuit breaker overload), but I got one ripe fruit:
[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/GroundCherryIncaBerrydriedgoldenberry0008DT2012B.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/GroundCherryIncaBerrydriedgoldenberry0008DT2012F.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h368/SEAMSFASTER/Ground%20Cherry%20Tomatillo/GroundCherryIncaBerrydriedgoldenberry0008DT2012G.jpg[/IMG]

Is this identical to the Inca Berry I grew during the 2012 growing season? It's hard to say. The plants looked identical in all respects - growth habit, flowers, leaves. But the fruits on this later plant were a bit smaller (could easily be due to cooler weather) and the flavor was even better: less tart, more fruity flavor.

Unless I grow them under identical conditions, I won't be able to say for sure if they are the same variety, though it's pretty obvious they are the same species.

This comes to 207 days from seed to first ripe fruit. This is clearly a fruit that would do better in zone 8 or higher. Or I think it could be grown successfully under plastic or in a greenhouse in my area (zone 6b).

With my main Inca Berry crop of 66 plants, when the frost hit in October, they were wiped out with many hundreds of fruits growing well. Only a handful had ripened enough for eating.

ChrisK December 18, 2012 04:20 PM

Good jam/jelly or other recipes out there? Just eat fresh? I may consider squeezing in a couple of plants somewhere next spring.

Rideau Rambler December 18, 2012 06:47 PM

Absolutely there are delish jam and pie recipes out there for GC's, just google search and you will find a few. You have to squeeze in a couple of these plants somewhere, anywhere!! Do start them indoors when you start your tomatoes, so you will have a longer ripe fruit season. Even a gentle frost can damage this plant, mine were just starting to produce when the frost wiped them out, sadly not enough for jam or pie this year.

ChrisK December 18, 2012 07:30 PM

Yah, Google knows everything, but are there some recipes that folks here really like? I found a chutney recipe that looks interesting.

Will definitely squeeze in an Aunt Molly or two next season! :yes:

jennifer28 December 18, 2012 07:35 PM

groundcherry tarts
 
[QUOTE=ChrisK;316028]Yah, Google knows everything, but are there some recipes that folks here really like? I found a chutney recipe that looks interesting.

Will definitely squeeze in an Aunt Molly or two next season! :yes:[/QUOTE]

Chris

I grew groundcherries this year and I made some really good tarts with them. I'll find the recipe and post it in the recipe section.

Also, I don't know about other people's experiences but I only grew 2 of these in my personal garden as a experiment (I grew like 20 in the school garden for the kids) but once they get going they are EXTREMELY PRODUCTIVE, so you dont even need a lot of plants to get a decent amt of fruit.

Ken B June 13, 2014 12:01 PM

We've got some Cape Gooseberry plants we're trying out this year. They're getting out late and they're only 6" tall, so we'll see how they do. They've got flea beetles going after them, it'll be interesting to see if they get eaten as bad as eggplants do when they're young, or if they'll be more like ground cherries and just outgrow the flea beetles.

(Well, will probably put row cover on these to help them out, and since we won't be able to keep a close eye on them while they're under row cover, will dust them with pyrethrins before putting the row cover on... so, no, won't get to really evaluate them for flea beetles this year, we don't have enough seedlings to do a covered vs. uncovered experiment.)

Starla June 17, 2014 10:34 AM

There are several varieties of ground cherries, but my favorite is Cossack Pineapple. It's the sweetest. And does really taste like pineapples. My grandmother had ground cherries and made jam with them. They are wonderful and prolific. They do reseed easily, also.

Ken B June 17, 2014 02:47 PM

I love ground cherries! I'm with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, we carry a couple kinds (Cossack Pineapple and Goldie). A few years ago we did a small trial patch where we compared those two with three other ones -- one was Yantar, I forget the name of the other two -- and was disappointed to find there wasn't much obvious difference between all of them. Seems like there should be some more "different" kinds out there somewhere; since they're related to tomatillos, I'd like to think that somewhere out there there's a purple ground cherry variety, seems like that should be a natural color variation.

drew51 June 17, 2014 05:22 PM

I'm growing Aunt Molly's. I got a free package from Knapp's Fresh Vegies, so I decided to try it. Glad i did! Cool plant! I grew two. I put one in a raised bed another in a pot. The one on a 15 gallon root pouch is growing really well, and the fruit is not that small, it is a little small, fruit varies in size.
[URL="http://s128.photobucket.com/user/whitenoise_photo/media/backyard20140617021.jpg.html"][IMG]http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p181/whitenoise_photo/backyard20140617021.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[URL="http://s128.photobucket.com/user/whitenoise_photo/media/backyard20140617022.jpg.html"][IMG]http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p181/whitenoise_photo/backyard20140617022.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

I'm also growing Tzimbalo, interesting plant too.
[URL="http://s128.photobucket.com/user/whitenoise_photo/media/backyard20140617024.jpg.html"][IMG]http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p181/whitenoise_photo/backyard20140617024.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Starla June 17, 2014 05:31 PM

[QUOTE=Ken B;418108]I love ground cherries! I'm with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, we carry a couple kinds (Cossack Pineapple and Goldie). A few years ago we did a small trial patch where we compared those two with three other ones -- one was Yantar, I forget the name of the other two -- and was disappointed to find there wasn't much obvious difference between all of them. Seems like there should be some more "different" kinds out there somewhere; since they're related to tomatillos, I'd like to think that somewhere out there there's a purple ground cherry variety, seems like that should be a natural color variation.[/QUOTE]
I get seeds from Southern Exposure. That's where the Cossack Pineapple came from. We were at a tomato tasting in Decorah for Seed Savers Exchange, and they had several kinds of ground cherries. That one was by far the best in flavor. Really sweet. Of course the tomato varieties were unreal. My husband was in heaven. They had a homemade salsa competition too. That was wonderful! The whole day was incredible. Highly recommend it if you ever come this way.

Starla June 17, 2014 07:40 PM

[QUOTE=drew51;418151]I'm growing Aunt Molly's. I got a free package from Knapp's Fresh Vegies, so I decided to try it. Glad i did! Cool plant! I grew two. I put one in a raised bed another in a pot. The one on a 15 gallon root pouch is growing really well, and the fruit is not that small, it is a little small, fruit varies in size.
[URL="http://s128.photobucket.com/user/whitenoise_photo/media/backyard20140617021.jpg.html"][IMG]http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p181/whitenoise_photo/backyard20140617021.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


[URL="http://s128.photobucket.com/user/whitenoise_photo/media/backyard20140617022.jpg.html"][IMG]http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p181/whitenoise_photo/backyard20140617022.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

I'm also growing Tzimbalo, interesting plant too.
[URL="http://s128.photobucket.com/user/whitenoise_photo/media/backyard20140617024.jpg.html"][IMG]http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p181/whitenoise_photo/backyard20140617024.jpg[/IMG][/URL][/QUOTE]
Way cool. I do love ground cherries.

Ken B June 18, 2014 01:34 PM

[QUOTE=Starla;418153]I get seeds from Southern Exposure. That's where the Cossack Pineapple came from. We were at a tomato tasting in Decorah for Seed Savers Exchange, and they had several kinds of ground cherries. That one was by far the best in flavor. Really sweet. Of course the tomato varieties were unreal. My husband was in heaven. They had a homemade salsa competition too. That was wonderful! The whole day was incredible. Highly recommend it if you ever come this way.[/QUOTE]

Starla -- I made it to the SSE Campout a few years ago, had a great time! Haven't made it out for a tomato tasting event there, would love to, but that's usually around the time we're busy putting on our own tomato tasting events...

NarnianGarden June 18, 2014 01:59 PM

I'm growing both Physalis pruinosa (from Baker seeds) and something I suppose is Physalis peruviana, from seed of a dried Inca berry. The Pruinosa one is already bearing fruit (yum!) but Peruviana doesn't even have any flowers - only huge leaves that look different from the Pruinosa variety.
Really curious to compare the taste of a fresh Inca berry with that of the Pruinosa.

Starla June 18, 2014 11:03 PM

[QUOTE=Ken B;418285]Starla -- I made it to the SSE Campout a few years ago, had a great time! Haven't made it out for a tomato tasting event there, would love to, but that's usually around the time we're busy putting on our own tomato tasting events...[/QUOTE]
I'd love to do a tour of the different seed saving farms like SSE. Now that would be fun. But as you pointed out it would interfere with the garden. I should plan for next year to grow all the different ground cherries I can find. I hear they're beyond prolific when they get going and reseed readily. May need to dig up the front yard.......

habitat_gardener June 20, 2014 02:52 AM

My Aunt Molly's is still close to the ground, but I noticed a dried husk on the ground today and tried my first ground cherry!! My tomatoes are still at least a couple weeks away, so it was a treat.

Isn't this variety supposed to be a small shrub? I've been expecting it to grow upward, but so far it's just a groundcover.

Starla June 20, 2014 07:40 AM

[QUOTE=habitat_gardener;418590]My Aunt Molly's is still close to the ground, but I noticed a dried husk on the ground today and tried my first ground cherry!! My tomatoes are still at least a couple weeks away, so it was a treat.

Isn't this variety supposed to be a small shrub? I've been expecting it to grow upward, but so far it's just a groundcover.[/QUOTE]
I have not grown ground cherries, yet, but remember my grandmother's were low to the ground. They seemed to spread out in every direction. I was pretty young, but they did not grow like a tomato plant from what I remember. Ground cherries are on my list for next year. Just need to find some room!

drew51 June 20, 2014 07:44 AM

Mine is getting taller, but the main growth direction is parallel to the ground. It's getting extremely wide!

Starla June 20, 2014 08:28 AM

[QUOTE=drew51;418604]Mine is getting taller, but the main growth direction is parallel to the ground. It's getting extremely wide![/QUOTE]
I read in a few places that you can train them to go up a trellis, but looking at the plant, I'm thinking not. You have them, what's your opinion? I'd like to know so when next year rolls around I can plant in the proper area. Don't mind taking the time to tie them up, but if it's futile, why?

Ken B June 20, 2014 08:39 AM

They're hard to trellis, easier to leave them on the ground. (Tomatillos it makes sense to trellis -- they can get anywhere from 5-10' tall in hot climates!)

pershing June 20, 2014 08:42 AM

Ground Cherries, anyone?
 
I have an aunt molly and a ground (maybe husk) cherry. Both are super close to the ground. I heard you have to wait for them to drop before eating. This is making it hard. Can they be picked and let a few days to ripen like tomatoes?

Starla June 20, 2014 08:48 AM

[QUOTE=pershing;418619]I have an aunt molly and a ground (maybe husk) cherry. Both are super close to the ground. I heard you have to wait for them to drop before eating. This is making it hard. Can they be picked and let a few days to ripen like tomatoes?[/QUOTE]
No. I got my hands slapped for trying to do that! They must ripen on the plant and drop, from what I was taught. Not like a tomato. If someone knows differently, I'd love to hear. I just remember what Grandma taught me and what I've read.

drew51 June 20, 2014 09:05 AM

[FONT=Arial][SIZE=2][QUOTE=Starla;418622]No. I got my hands slapped for trying to do that! They must ripen on the plant and drop, from what I was taught. Not like a tomato. If someone knows differently, I'd love to hear. I just remember what Grandma taught me and what I've read.[/QUOTE][/SIZE][/FONT]


[SIZE=2][FONT=Arial]I think it best to do this. They are poisonous green. A member of the nightshade family, more toxins than tomatoes. Once ripe are safe. I doubt it would kill you, maybe we can have some volunteers to see how sick you get? :) I heard they keep on the counter if left intact. The very first berries are dropping for me. the main crop will be some time, but I did get a taste of Aunt Molly's. Much like a very sweet tomato, darn good! I see chocolate coatings on them in the near future![/FONT][/SIZE]

Starla June 20, 2014 09:14 AM

[QUOTE=drew51;418624][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2][/SIZE][/FONT]


[SIZE=2][FONT=Arial]I think it best to do this. They are poisonous green. A member of the nightshade family, more toxins than tomatoes. Once ripe are safe. I doubt it would kill you, maybe we can have some volunteers to see how sick you get? :) I heard they keep on the counter if left intact. The very first berries are dropping for me. the main crop will be some time, but I did get a taste of Aunt Molly's. Much like a very sweet tomato, darn good! I see chocolate coatings on them in the near future![/FONT][/SIZE][/QUOTE]
That's what I was told, too. Poisonous if you eat enough green ones. And they were good keepers....But we never knew how long they kept on the counter. They never lasted long enough to find out.


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