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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/20/2014, 10:53 am

Does anyone grow ground cherries? I seem to remember there were two or three people who did so last year but I don't remember who they were. Is this what they look like when they sprout? These took so long to sprout I don't know if they are weeds or the cherries...Ground Cherries Img_2056
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Post  camprn on 4/20/2014, 11:03 am

You have a few different plants growing in the cells. Wait until the true leaves start emerging and make a determination then.images

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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/20/2014, 11:29 am

Thanks, camp. Those images were very helpful! It looks like I have quite a few. I found a great article that says they take a long time to germinate so that made me feel better.

http://organicgardening.about.com/od/fruits/a/How-To-Grow-Organic-Ground-Cherries-In-Your-Garden.htm

Looks like they are easy peasy to grow and would need four square feet. I'll put them in my old school SFG.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/25/2015, 1:11 pm

Geez, it took 16 days on the heating pad for the ground cherry seeds to finally sprout.  
Ground Cherries 950477
How excessive.  

Honestly, I was beginning to think the seeds were bad. Next year they will have to be planted in a different order because it pushed the planting of other seeds that need the heating pad back a bit.

Well...at least they are worth it.

CC
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Post  Lavender Debs on 4/25/2015, 1:55 pm

Next year.... ditch the heating pad, let the peppers have it! Try winter sowing your ground cherries.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/25/2015, 3:29 pm

That's a good idea, Debs. I'll try to remember the end of this year to do that. I guess they'll be ok in their mini greenhouse even if they're completely covered with snow, right?
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/13/2016, 10:51 am

My ground cherries last year took FOREVER to sprout, and I had low germination.
After researching, I think my problem was some 65oF or below evenings.  The house is kept at frugal temperatures, and I bet the seeds got a ‘cold’ night or two.  For ground cherries, that means inhibited germination, even if the days are suitably warm.  You had a heating mat, so I don’t think your problem was the same as mine. Are you growing them again this year, using winter sowing?
 
Here’s what worked for me this year:  I presoaked the seeds for 4 hours, pressed them onto the surface of prewarmed potting mix, and put the pots in a clear bag on my heating system (light string on a shelf, no thermostat; the meat thermometer said 85oF.)  The first germination: 5 days! I took them out of the bag at 7 days when most of them had sprouted. Seedlings two weeks from sowing:

Ground Cherries Grchry10



Last year I planted my ground cherries checkerboard style, 8 plants in a 4’x4’ space – they did leak over into the other half of the 4x8 bed they were in.  They also hung over/flopped into the 2ft aisles (where they were prone to getting trod on), but didn’t quite make it over to the next bed over.  I got enough fruit for 2 small batches of jam, 3 jars of dehydrated ground cherries (delicious!) and plenty to eat fresh and cook with -- and enough to deal with losses to the Rhagoletis striatella maggots (see the photo of an infested fruit, and an adult fly.)  It’s April and I have some from the fall that are still ok to eat.  Not as good as when they were fresh, and some have dried up (in a bad way), but it’s been months!  They’ve been stored in an open container, husks on, at about 60-65oF. (The maggots don't go from fruit to fruit, but you may end up with 'melted' fruit and pupae in the bottom of the container if you miss removing infected fruits.)
 Ground Cherries Maggot10Ground Cherries Img_2610
I’ll be growing them again this year.  In the ‘blank’ squares of the checkboard, i.e. between the ground cherry squares, I’ll be trying to grow early carrots and spinach, and then nothing after I harvest those because the squares will be too shaded.  I’ll be growing greens on two sides of the section (the other two sides are aisles), followed by purslane (the low growing ‘weed’) as the ground cherries grow outwards.  The onions should be out by the time the ground cherries grow yet another foot over, and then I’ll try some late lettuce which will either tolerate or appreciate the shade. 
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/13/2016, 12:07 pm

I didn't planted any ground cherries this year.  But if I can get them to sprout in 5 days then I'm in!  It must have been the pre-soak since my MM is at room temp already and the seeded cells go inside a closed clampack on the heating pad.

I'll try it now and let you know. Thanks a bunch for the tip!!!

Oh, I let a lot of the fruit fall & left it there out in the old school SFG where they were planted last year so they may reseed.  It's an experiment.

CC
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/13/2016, 10:44 pm

My ground cherry seeds germinated in less than a week on the heating pad along with the tomatoes (thanks, CC for the seeds!). 3/4 made it!
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/13/2016, 11:09 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:I didn't planted any ground cherries this year.  But if I can get them to sprout in 5 days then I'm in!  It must have been the pre-soak since my MM is at room temp already and the seeded cells go inside a closed clampack on the heating pad.

I'll try it now and let you know. Thanks a bunch for the tip!!!

Oh, I let a lot of the fruit fall & left it there out in the old school SFG where they were planted last year so they may reseed.  It's an experiment.

CC
Pre-soak might be it; I didn't do that last year. I don't know if your heating pad is under the lights... my seeds had light on them. I'm certain they don't NEED light to germinate, but I wonder if that it speeds them up, too?

I did the exact opposite -- I religiously gathered all the fallen fruit last year so that I wouldn't have misplaced ground cherry seedlings in the raised bed this year, since I knew I was going to want them somewhere different this year.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 8/19/2016, 4:24 pm

So glad Ginger Blue posted a ground cherry thread as it reminded me that I needed to update this one:

Presoaked seeds sprouted in a few days in the warmed MM I think it was 4 but not sure. Way faster than other times! I'll be doing that again.

I didn't get any volunteers from last years dropped and abandoned fruit but that could be because the beds were heavily composted and seaweeded.

That's all I got...now we feast.
Ground Cherries 4022887542
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Post  CapeCoddess on 12/26/2016, 1:47 pm

Ground Cherries are aka Golden Berries, Cape Gooseberries and other names:

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/26/2016, 6:00 pm

One of my favorite new SFG finds!!
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Post  Ginger Blue on 12/26/2016, 8:27 pm

Great video, CC, thanks for posting it!

I recently purchased fresh Golden Berries (Physalis peruviana, a.k.a Cape Gooseberries) at a local supermarket. They were very tart and citrusy, not as sweet as the Aunt Molly ground cherries (Physalis pruinosa), I grew earlier in the year.



Because they were grown for commercial purposes, it may be that the Golden Berries were harvested early and not allowed to fully ripen on the bushes.  Curious to see how homegrown ones compare to those from the market, I saved seeds from several of the best looking berries to grow next year.  If they do well, I'll save even more of the seeds and make them available for swap.



Along those lines, I'm collecting as many varieties of ground cherries as I can find, to mix 'n' match in recipes.  I have plenty of "Aunt Molly's," but still need several of  the Physalis pubescens varieties ("Cossack Pineapple," "Goldie," "Yantar," and "Golden Strawberry," in particular).  If anyone has seeds they'd like to share or trade, please send a PM. bounce What a Face
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/27/2016, 8:50 pm

Mine are aunt Molly's.
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Post  countrynaturals on 1/29/2017, 7:06 pm

I planted my ground cherry seeds today inside. I'll put them on the heating pad tonight. I can't wait to see how they do. bounce They will be the first new residents of my "Rescue Garden" along with my greenhouse tomato plants. C'mon Spring! sunny
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Post  llama momma on 1/30/2017, 7:47 am

I've grown Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries for the past few years.  Here's my experience. They are delicate to start from seed indoors so I simply over seed into a cup or dish. Haven't used a seedling mat.  Mist the seeds rather than water from a cup.  The seeds are tiny so the roots are extremely delicate. Misting will minimize root damage.  Up pot when needed and eventually put outside.  Once these plants are in the ground they are amazingly vigorous, not only taking over its own square but flow into each square next to it.  I put transplants in a corner square and train it to lean out of the box a bit. You can scissor off all the side shoots that still misbehave, this plant can handle whatever you do to it.  Then you will have ground cherries every year unless you are meticulous about cleaning up all the fruit.  I have ground cherries return each year inside the box and outside of the box.  Blows me away how these teeny tiny seeds winter over in cold central Ohio soil.  There are recipes online for ground cherry pie, haven't tried it though.  I enjoy eating these fresh and storing extra in the freezer to put in smoothies all winter long.
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 1/30/2017, 8:32 am

This year will be my third growing ground cherries. Love em! Planting lots of them. I do want to try that pie. The muffins I tried didn't work out, too soggy. I dehydrate mine; crispy is ok, but dry raisin level keeps more flavor. (Plump raisin level of dryness isn't dry enough to keep properly.)

The mist is an interesting point! I got a spray bottle to water with my second year but had used something else (indoor narrow spout watering can?) my first year. I still think the seed soaking helps, and I will use bottom heat again because my particular grow room is otherwise too cold (<65*F(18*C)), but misting is another difference that could have contributed to my much better results the second year.
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Post  llama momma on 1/30/2017, 9:32 am

Ground Cherries 3170584802
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Post  countrynaturals on 1/30/2017, 12:05 pm

thanks llama momma for the great info. I came here after I had already planted my seeds, so I couldn't soak them, but I now have them on the heating pad and I will mist instead of pouring water on them. I have the perfect place for them when they're ready to leave the nursery, where they can wander and reproduce 'til their hearts' content. geek
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Post  llama momma on 1/30/2017, 12:54 pm

You're welcome countrynaturals !
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/1/2017, 6:03 pm

I'm thinking I'd like to try the Aunt Molly's and Pineapple.... Just gotta order the seeds. After looking through some of the information on here, I think I'll put them in the deck planters....
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Post  countrynaturals on 2/1/2017, 7:04 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:I'm thinking I'd like to try the Aunt Molly's and Pineapple....  Just gotta order the seeds.  After looking through some of the information on here, I think I'll put them in the deck planters....
Kewl! Mine are Aunt Molly's. Ground Cherries 3170584802
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/1/2017, 7:10 pm

Pinetree has 'em!
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Post  countrynaturals on 2/4/2017, 11:05 am

@countrynaturals wrote:thanks llama momma for the great info. I came here after I had already planted my seeds, so I couldn't soak them, but I now have them on the heating pad and I will mist instead of pouring water on them. I have the perfect place for them when they're ready to leave the nursery, where they can wander and reproduce 'til their hearts' content. geek
YEE-HAH! They're up already! I see what you mean about how fragile they are to start out with. This is a single Jiffy Pellet -- I guess about 1.5" across, so you can see how dainty they are.
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