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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  Emily49 6/9/2020, 6:24 pm

I started reading more about ground cherries and the Tomatilla plant I bought.  (Thank you for the citizen scientist project website) I read that some varieties do not produce fruit on their own, so I called my nursery because there wasn't any information on the tag.  My plant ID app said it was a Large Leaf Tomatilla, but I don't totally trust that AI yet.  The nursery is still waiting for information from its source, but have put aside another plant for me just in case.  
In the meantime, my current plant is doing ok even with the small holes in the leaves (where the spots were)  I sprayed some NEEM on it and it's not getting worse. It has a lot of flowers on it.
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Post  pkelly251 6/17/2020, 12:58 am

Last year was my first attempt at growing tomatillos. I planted one plant and it grew wonderfully with that look like a ton of flowers. The problem was that it didn’t produce a single tomatillo. I then read that tomatillos need at least two plants for cross pollination. So, this year I’ve planted three tomatillo plants and I will see what happens.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/17/2020, 5:52 pm

Do you consider tomatillos the same thing as ground cherries?  I don’t; tomatillos are not sweet, I use them in salsa and havven’t grown them although they do have a husk, etc.
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Post  OhioGardener 6/17/2020, 5:58 pm

Tomatillos are not self-pollinating, and require a 2nd plant to provide pollination. Ground Cherries, though, are self-pollinating and a single plant can produce more fruit than most people can use.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/17/2020, 7:40 pm

OhioGardener wrote:Tomatillos are not self-pollinating, and require a 2nd plant to provide pollination. Ground Cherries, though, are self-pollinating and a single plant can produce more fruit than most people can use.
Thanks, OG!  I am not a huge tomatillo fan but I am a HUGE ground cherry fan!  They are delish!  Plan to make some jam this year!
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Post  Emily49 6/18/2020, 7:48 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:Do you consider tomatillos the same thing as ground cherries?  I don’t; tomatillos are not sweet, I use them in salsa and havven’t grown them although they do have a husk, etc.
My nature ID app says that a tomatillo is in the ground cherry genus.  There is the species of ground cherry that is probably the sweet one.  
ingdom:Plantae
Clade:Tracheophytes
Clade:Angiosperms
Clade:Eudicots
Clade:Asterids
Order:Solanales
Family:Solanaceae
Genus:Physalis
Species:P. philadelphica
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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/18/2020, 9:42 pm

Emily, they are definitely in the same family...are you growing tomatillos or ground cherries?
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Post  Emily49 6/19/2020, 8:16 am

I'm growing Tomatillo.  I asked for Ground Cherry at the nursery and they said that's all they had.  They hadn't ever started tomatillo before. I think I was teaching them! (the little that I know)
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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/19/2020, 3:34 pm

Emily49 wrote:I'm growing Tomatillo.  I asked for Ground Cherry at the nursery and they said that's all they had.  They hadn't ever started tomatillo before. I think I was teaching them! (the little that I know)
I think you have to order seeds for ground cherries!  I bet you are teaching them!   Ground Cherries 3170584802
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Post  markqz 6/21/2020, 12:10 pm

I had forgotten about ground cherries. Now I want to plant some!

I've never grown ground cherries, but I was able to harvest some wild ones as a kid. The one's I found were small and grew low to the ground.

Tomatillos want to grow tall. They tend to grow tall and then tip over. At least all mine have. This year I'm growing 3 plants in a SFG. They have flowers, but no fruits so far. I didn't know that they needed pollinating friends.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/21/2020, 3:31 pm

markqz wrote:I had forgotten about ground cherries. Now I want to plant some!

I've never grown ground cherries, but I was able to harvest some wild ones as a kid. The one's I found were small and grew low to the ground.

Tomatillos want to grow tall. They tend to grow tall and then tip over. At least all mine have. This year I'm growing 3 plants in a SFG. They have flowers, but no fruits so far. I didn't know that they needed pollinating friends.
They do grow low, in a husk.  I like to have them on a table or in a tall pot because of that.  Love their tart-sweet strange flavor!
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Post  Emily49 6/21/2020, 7:21 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:
Emily49 wrote:I'm growing Tomatillo.  I asked for Ground Cherry at the nursery and they said that's all they had.  They hadn't ever started tomatillo before. I think I was teaching them! (the little that I know)
I think you have to order seeds for ground cherries!  I bet you are teaching them!   Ground Cherries 3170584802
oooh, seeds.  I guess that can go on next year's list!
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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/28/2020, 6:53 pm

Mine finally got planted out today! They are tiny!  Crazy!  Germination issue.  I have always grown Aunt Molly’s  it this year am growing Pineapple.  Will see!  I grow them in containers, they are low growing, and my back just can’t do the harvest.  Fingers crossed!
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Post  Emily49 7/2/2020, 8:49 pm

So many questions...
one of my tomatillo has these things on it, are they slugs?
The other one has grown 3x and branched all our. Do you think I can tie the branches closer together to each other?Ground Cherries Abb37510
[url=https://servimg.com/view/20209803/8]Ground Cherries 79295310
]
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/2/2020, 10:52 pm

Yes, you can cinch up the leaves to whatever you want.  You can also prune some out...the plant should be fine...no idea what those are.  Do they have shells?  Are they doing damage?
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Post  Emily49 7/3/2020, 9:09 pm

they don't seem to have shells.  they seem to leave a lot of "residue"  I don't see much leaf damage, and they are only on one of the tomatilla plants.
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Post  Emily49 7/4/2020, 8:23 am

https://btiscience.org/physalis-pest-alert/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=physalis-pest-alert

I happened to get this email and clicked on pests. There they are! 3 lined beetle larvae. I never saw adults or eggs and I’ve had time to pay a lot of attention to my garden. Sneaky stinkers.
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Post  Dan in Ct 7/4/2020, 9:08 am

Emily49, are you taking part in the Physalis Improvement Project? They just had a one hour webinar this week, Tuesday at noon. They did mention the 3 Lined Potato beetle that you seldom see on a potato plant but more commonly on tomatillos. Don't ask me how but garden pests always pick the weakest plant and begin devouring it, when consumed, they move onto the next least healthiest plant. I am wonder how soon I get a pair of glasses that enables me to see plants in the same light as the insects do along with night vision to hunt them down beginning at midnight because nothing good happens after midnight. It will always be the gardener's shadow that is one of the best things to happen to a garden on a daily basis and it does the gardener and the garden good to have his shadow seen there.
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Post  OhioGardener 7/4/2020, 9:29 am

Dan in Ct wrote: Don't ask me how but garden pests always pick the weakest plant and begin devouring it, when consumed, they move onto the next least healthiest plant.

I read a blog once by a guy called Smiling Gardener that talked at length about this subject. It is an interesting read.  I have found over the years that the healthier the soil, the healthier to plants, the less pests there are to deal with. The Tomato Hornworm and the Cabbage Worm seem to be exceptions to the rule, though.

Quotes from the blog:


"Today I’m going to talk about plant sickness and specifically I’m going to be looking at a book that was written by a French guy named Francis Chaboussou – it’s called Healthy Crops and it’s really amazing.


What he did is he went and looked at a lot of different research about why plants get sick and why they get attacked by insects and I want to talk about that here.


So let’s say you have a plant. You have a plant and it’s getting attacked by insects and I’ve talked a lot before about how only sick plants get attacked by insects. A healthy plant doesn’t get attacked because it’s not food for insects – an insect cannot digest it."

Full blog: Plant Sickness – Why Do Pests Eat The Sick Plants?

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Post  Dan in Ct 7/4/2020, 9:52 am

OhioGardener, I believe given the choice pests will eat, the easiest plants to eat. I have heard healthy plants have a higher turgidity and thus making them harder to eat but what I haven't seen or heard is a long line of insects sitting on a fence waiting for plants to get sick. If all there is, is your plants, I don't think a swarm of locusts are going to do a fly over. Sometimes I believe your best efforts are not rewarded. That being said, if your plants are healthier than your neighbors, your neighbor's get eaten. Much like bear hunting, you don't have to be the fastest, just a little bit faster then the slowest member of your hunting party, Nature almost always rewards effort.
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Post  OhioGardener 7/4/2020, 10:04 am

Dan in Ct wrote: That being said, if your plants are healthier than your neighbors, your neighbor's get eaten.

Exactly what happens 'round here! My nearest neighbor has constant problems with pests eating everything in sight. He heavily relies on chemical pesticides to control the insects, and fungicides to control the tomato blight, etc., but it is a never ending battle. We've had many a discussion about why my plants look so healthy, and insect free, and I always tell him "It's in the compost". (Learned that from Jimmy Cee....) He doesn't believe in compost, just fertilizer.

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Post  Emily49 7/4/2020, 3:41 pm

I'm not doing that project, but I am reading their information.  It's just all very strange, the first plant I put in got lots of holes in the leaves.  When I learned it needed a friend and put the second one in a few weeks later, it looked much better, but now it's the one with the bugs.  I started using Neem and DE on it.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 8/18/2020, 1:45 pm

Great thread!  

I just wanna say I have been munching on my first few Pineapple Ground Cherries (which are huge by the way—picture to follow) and they taste exactly like a pineapple! So sweet!!!!  Keeper!  

https://www.superseeds.com/products/pineapple-tomatillo-75-days#shopify-product-reviews

Love them!  I made the mistake and put 5 in a planter...too much plant.  I thought they were more like my Aunt Molly’s.  Nope.
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Post  OhioGardener 8/18/2020, 1:57 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:https://www.superseeds.com/products/pineapple-tomatillo-75-days#shopify-product-reviews

Love them!  I made the mistake and put 5 in a planter...too much plant.  I thought they were more like my Aunt Molly’s.  Nope.

lol! 

Guess that is why they say, "The large spreading plants are 3 feet across and covered with hundreds of fruit" in the description.  bounce 

Much like the DW laughing a me having to get the stepladder to pick the Sungold tomatoes, which are now 8' tall!

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Post  Scorpio Rising 8/19/2020, 8:47 am

OhioGardener wrote:
Scorpio Rising wrote:https://www.superseeds.com/products/pineapple-tomatillo-75-days#shopify-product-reviews

Love them!  I made the mistake and put 5 in a planter...too much plant.  I thought they were more like my Aunt Molly’s.  Nope.

lol! 

Guess that is why they say, "The large spreading plants are 3 feet across and covered with hundreds of fruit" in the description.  bounce 

Much like the DW laughing a me having to get the stepladder to pick the Sungold tomatoes, which are now 8' tall!
LOL!  Sometimes I get so excited with good germination I do this.... Rolling Eyes
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