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Ground cherry spacing?

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trolleydriver
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Post  CarolinaGirl 2/27/2014, 8:23 pm

I opted to get some ground cherry seeds from Baker seed company when I put my order in January. I assumed maybe 1 square per plant but now I've read they can get 1-3ft tall and sprawl.... I started 6 based on reviews from people who said they had germination issues (two seeds per small starting peat thing) and 5 sprouted (in some both seeds sprouted). I just up-potted them into real soil/compost so we'll see how they do as along with germination issues (no issues here apparently) but also with transplant survival. Anyway now I'm scared to put them in the garden bed due to space lol. Any thoughts? Anyone grown them before? I could get them buckets and put them along the fencline if I need to so they have some space...
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Post  sanderson 2/27/2014, 11:51 pm

If you have room for buckets, give them room to spread. Maybe a a bucket width gap between buckets. I only got one tomatillo in 2013, but the 2 plants were so green with pretty yellow flowers. It was the bee scarcity than lead to only one fruit. I've got 6 seedlings and I probably will try to plant 2 pairs.

For those of you with decent sized lots, count your blessings. Very Happy
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Post  Scorpio Rising 3/26/2016, 9:15 am

I am starting my tomatoes and ground cherries this weekend, as for the ground cherries in containers, how big a diameter do you think per plant? Or just in the ground OK? They are closely related to a common weed around here...might be OK in the dirt? I am running short on SF, and want to save it for the more persnickety plants that might need more attention.

Thoughts? thinking
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Post  CapeCoddess 3/26/2016, 11:03 am

It's hard to say...

I planted 5 in an old school SFG and they spread out and grew low to the ground. It was perfect.  My gf grew 2 seedlings I gave her, from the same starts, in about the same spacing but hers were so ginormous that they took over the whole space, and up about 4 ft!

If they grow like weeds in your area, I suggest that you plant 1 like a determinate tomato, maybe 3 x 3.  Or use a 5 gal bucket sized pot.

CC
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Post  Scorpio Rising 3/26/2016, 8:51 pm

I had an epiphany today....I have one more falling apart window box.  Thinking I will split it in half height wise, leaving me (2) 10 foot by 18 inch  boxes...about 6 inches of MM in them....

Will screw it together on the one end, and stick it on my South side.  Lots of room for melons, cukes, melons, Melons, ...sunflowers, cold frame.

I am excited about melons.  jocolor never grew them.  Love to eat 'em.


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 3/26/2016, 8:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Left out stuff)
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Post  ralitaco 3/26/2016, 11:06 pm

CarolinaGirl (Best in the World...sorry, couldn't resist...My wife and daughters say that all the time)
What is a Ground Cherry? I thought it was a variety of cherry, but it looks like a tomatillo, but the description says it's a berry!

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Post  ralitaco 3/26/2016, 11:06 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:I had an epiphany today....I have one more falling apart window box.  Thinking I will split it in half height wise, leaving me (2) 10 foot by 18 inch  boxes...about 6 inches of MM in them....

Will screw it together on the one end, and stick it on my South side.  Lots of room for melons, cukes, melons, Melons, ...sunflowers, cold frame.

I am excited about melons.  jocolor never grew them.  Love to eat 'em.
You should start a thread on the DIY so we can see what you are making.

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Post  trolleydriver 5/27/2016, 11:52 am

We purchased one (yes just one) ground cherry transplant today. I don't like the fruit very much but Mrs TD loves them. We have grown them in past years in our regular soil garden and they do spread.

I planted 10 squares of strawberries in one 4x4 SFG box for Mrs TD.  I'm wondering if I can plant the ground cherry in that same box. The two front corner squares are open and the two middle squares in that row have strawberries. All the squares in the next two rows have strawberries.  The four squares along the back are still open. I expect one square is not anywhere near enough for the ground cherry. If I put it in one of the back squares do you think I can train it along those back squares or does it need space all around to spread out?
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 5/27/2016, 12:37 pm

My ground cherries weren't trainable... I couldn't even keep them out of the paths. They don't grow up like tomatoes, and the branches on mine didn't like to be bent upwards - prone to cracking. The extras I never got around to transplanting still produced small fruits while in their tiny pots, so a 5-gallon bucket with lots of room around it might be better idea than letting them shade your strawberries.
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Post  CapeCoddess 5/27/2016, 12:40 pm

trolleydriver wrote:We purchased one (yes just one) ground cherry transplant today. I don't like the fruit very much but Mrs TD loves them. We have grown them in past years in our regular soil garden and they do spread.

I planted 10 squares of strawberries in one 4x4 SFG box for Mrs TD.  I'm wondering if I can plant the ground cherry in that same box. The two front corner squares are open and the two middle squares in that row have strawberries. All the squares in the next two rows have strawberries.  The four squares along the back are still open. I expect one square is not anywhere near enough for the ground cherry. If I put it in one of the back squares do you think I can train it along those back squares or does it need space all around to spread out?
It's so hard to know how they will behave unless you've grown them in MM already.  Try it and let us know.

I love that idea of putting one in the strawberry bed.  By the time my inground strawberries are done the GC will start to spread out over some of them.  I think I'll try one like that this year just for fun. 

CC
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Post  llama momma 5/27/2016, 2:51 pm

Here in Ohio my ground cherries were put in a corner square and I trained the main stem to bend towards the outside of the box. Once it gets going I could trim however I wanted. These plants love Mel's mix and re seed prolifically to where you don't have to plant seeds at all. You'll always have them.
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Post  trolleydriver 5/27/2016, 8:34 pm

Thanks Beatles, CC, LM. Mrs TD found a place outside the SFG but the final location is still TBD. I noticed that there are some very small volunteers in the area where we had the ground cherry last year which also was outside the SFG. I can't tell if the volunteers are ground cherry or something else (a weed?).
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Post  bigdogrock 5/27/2016, 9:03 pm

What is a Ground Cherry?
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Post  trolleydriver 5/27/2016, 9:33 pm

bigdogrock wrote:What is a Ground Cherry?

http://www.canadiangardening.com/how-to/gardening-resources/growing-ground-cherries/a/35189

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Ildxz4cRE
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Post  Scorpio Rising 5/27/2016, 9:45 pm

I have 3 from CC! And they are in between my 2 pattypan squash plants.....thanks CC! I can't wait!
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Post  bigdogrock 5/27/2016, 9:48 pm

Thanks TD, I have never seen or heard of them before tonight. Interesting too. Rock
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Post  CapeCoddess 5/28/2016, 6:42 pm

Up potted my ground cherries today and am now the proud mama of 12 of them!  
Shocked
Geesh, one of these days I need to stop saving extras and just clip them.
Rolling Eyes
Rock, if you make it to the cape this summer stop by and I'll give you half a dozen.

CC


Last edited by CapeCoddess on 5/28/2016, 7:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  bigdogrock 5/28/2016, 6:57 pm

Thank you very much, I have been to MA about 15 times since 1993 Embarassed . If I make it your way I will be sure to let you know and stop by and pick some up.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 5/30/2016, 10:52 pm

My boxes are about 18" , not 12". I have 3 in what looks to me like 5 ft. Of MM. Patty pans on either end. We will see
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Post  Ginger Blue 6/2/2016, 3:55 pm

I also am planting ground cherries for the first time, this year. I started several seeds (Aunt Molly's variety) indoors a few weeks ago.  Germination was decent (85%), but the plants were leggy, with poorly developed roots, and none of the babies survived transplant to larger containers.  Since that massive failure, I've started a few more seeds in peat pots outdoors and am pleased with the results, so far (excellent germination rate (100%), more robust looking seedlings).  I will transplant these to our garden plot in the next few weeks, as well as experiment with direct sown seeds.

I've allocated footage for several ground cherry plants with 2-3 foot spread, and plan (hope?) to contain sprawl by using tomato cages.

Good luck!  Smile
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Post  CapeCoddess 6/2/2016, 5:29 pm

Hi Ginger! In my area it's still too cold out for ground cherries. They do not do well in the cold. Kind of like peppers.
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Post  Ginger Blue 6/2/2016, 6:10 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Hi Ginger! In my area it's still too cold out for ground cherries. They do not do well in the cold. Kind of like peppers.
CC

Hi CC!  Thanks for the input.

The short growing season in NE is killing me. I'm a recent transplant from southern Arizona (moved here in July of last year).  From my perspective, the growing season is already half gone. Shocked pale  I'm trying to be patient, but I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt!!!

This will take some getting used to... Rolling Eyes

I'll pop over to the NE regional forum in a bit.
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