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want fruit in same summer? grow ground cherries

 
Posts: 649
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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grow ground cherry . not a true cherry but a sweet relative of tomatoes. they taste alot like pineapple and make great pies and jams. kids love picking/ eating them. also very good for you. have been found to help fight cancer also. 5 of these plants produce enough for a family of 5 . if your in a cold climate like mine ,start them indoors now and by july you will be eating them till' frost kills them. where ever they fall they will reseed so you wont have to plant them again. theres tons of them in my food forest.  bugs dont bother them either. get seeds at rareseeds.com. good luck!
 
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Steve, thanks for sharing.  

Which variety do you have?  I see rare seeds has three different ones:

https://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/ground-cherries

For anyone interested in more information here is a thread about the different Physalis varieties:

https://permies.com/t/148870/Physalis-breeding
 
pollinator
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I just ordered the "New Hanover" variety to try.  Looking forward to trying these, I've never eaten a ground cherry.  I'm hoping they don't taste like tomatoes.
 
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i grew ground cherries/husk tomatoes for years until i moved to a place with a pest that tends to destroy the crop before it’s ripe. (little caterpillerish guys, either moth/butterfly or beetle larvae) might try some more in pots on a table this year, but ought to get them planted indoors soon if that’s the case. for best and sweetest flavor, with the least acidity (and sometimes therefore tomatoeyness), wait until they fall off the plant of their own accord, bring them inside and wait another day or two before eating. they make good crispy little raisins, too, if you’ve got a dehydrator.
 
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Take a look at schwartzenberren and spikenhard as well.
 
pollinator
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Location: Southern Oregon
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My favorite are Cape Gooseberry. They are perennial whereas most others are annuals. I'm trying two others this year, Aunt Molly's and maybe the Hannover one, I'll have to check.

Honestly Cape Gooseberries are one of my favorite fruits, so sweet, slightly pineapple like, but not so acidic. Amazing for fresh eating. They do not like growing in a container and the fruit falls off the plant when it's ripe. It's easiest to put a sheet around the plant as they ripen but check daily because rodents love them.
I highly recommend them.
 
Robert Ray
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I only have the Cape Gooseberry so far, am trying Hanover this year.
 
pollinator
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I just wish the native groundcherries from the eastern US were easier to get your hands on. Any wild groundcherries are virtually impossible to find in Ohio. I think the Virginia Groundcherry is supposed to be the one with the best quality fruit. Some species, I think, are virtually inedible.
 
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Robert Ray wrote:Take a look at schwartzenberren and spikenhard as well.



Very intriguing!
Spikenhard
  looks amazing!
So many uses!

Looking into Schwartzenberren, they seem to be precursors to the wonderberry, but edible during more stages of ripeness.
I found wonderberries to be actively disgusting, but I would try a different  variety like this if I can find it.
 
pollinator
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Oops. Seem to be getting duplicate posts lately.
 
Michelle Heath
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I actually purchased ground cherry seeds this year.  Thanks for the reminder to get them started now.

I also purchased garden Huckleberry solanum melanocerasum seeds from Baker Creek as well.  Any one grown those before?.
 
Trace Oswald
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Robert Ray wrote:Take a look at schwartzenberren and spikenhard as well.



Baker Creek Seeds says this about schwartzenberren:  "Growing Tips: Start indoors in fine, moist soil, 6-8 weeks before setting out after frost. Harvest berries only when fully ripe, very black and soft. Warning: May Be Poisonous to Eat."

Not sure why you would harvest them if they are poisonous...
 
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Location: Zone 6 in the Pacific Northwest
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I've grown Aunt Molly's and I find them waaaay too sweet and tomatoe-y and I love all kinds of tomatoes. My tomato loving kids loved them. My tomato hating kids were trying desperately to get the taste off their tongues.

On the other hand, the whole family loves Golden Berries. So tart when they are fresh and like an all natural sour patch kid raisin when they are dried. I don't know the botanical name. They look very similar to ground cherries but the stems and growth are different. I haven't been able to grow them in my garden long enough to get fruit- they weren't getting flowers until fall and then it got too cold. Hopefully I started them soon enough this year but they are going in pots so I can bring them inside and overwinter them.
 
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Location: Southwest VT, zone 5a - ~10°-30°
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Schwartzenbeeren and garden huckleberry are both relatives of the wild black nightshades. In my region, Solanum ptycanthum is the species that grows. They taste a little like sweet tomatoes-- we let the largest of them in the garden go to seed every year. Ground cherries tend to show up in rich pasture soil, and I saw a population by the side of a path, where the disturbance keeps aggressive perennials like goldenrod down.

I have always thought of spikenard as a slow-growing forest plant, but maybe I am wrong. I love their fragrance, and plan to sow some this year.
 
pollinator
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They grew in my grandmother's yard in northwest Iowa. Her's were extremely tart on their own--like rhubarb level of tart--but made great jam. I guess she never picked them all and that's why they came on on their own each year, reseeding themselves. Maybe they were those golden berries Jenny Wright mentioned, though they grew in husks like tomatillos and their little yellow flowers were like tomato flowers.
 
steve bossie
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Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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Anne Miller wrote:Steve, thanks for sharing.  

Which variety do you have?  I see rare seeds has three different ones:

https://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/ground-cherries

For anyone interested in more information here is a thread about the different Physalis varieties:

https://permies.com/t/148870/Physalis-breeding

im growing aunt molly, niagra and hanover. also started cape gooseberries. the ground cherries are now ripening but cape gooseberries are just flowering. all are in pots so i may keep a few cape gooseberries alive in my grow room this winter so i get a earlier crop of them next summer. my 2 yr old niece loves those things. she raids my plants whenever she visits. i grew the blackberry ones too. they are ok but a pain to pick. i have plants of them coming up every where i grew them last year as well as a dozen aunt mollys. crows been getting into my blueberries but leave the groundcherries alone. they are one of the most bulletproof things i grow. saw a vid on youtube where a couple ladies were growing 20 of them on a raised bed through weed cloth and left little dips on either side of the bushes so as they fell off they would roll into these dips for ease of picking. thinking of doing that next spring. easier on the ol' back. made some preserves with them last summer. was very good. doing a pie this summer.
 
This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. Now it's a tiny ad:

The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers:
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