Sometimes called a Cape Gooseberry, but carries an apt name. When ripe, Ground Cherries will fall to the ground, enclosed in a dried papery husk. They’re in the Nightshade family, so resemble a tomato or tomatillo, but are much smaller, sweeter, and fruitier. They grow well in containers and just keep fruiting and fruiting and fruiting.
The Pennsylvania Dutch love to use them in pies. I like to use them for a new take on salsa verde.
- Date: Start Indoors: March 15-April 15, Transplant: May 1-June 1
- Planting Depth: ⅛- ¼ in.
- Germination Rate: 90%
Whether in containers or in a planting bed, give Ground Cherries a lot of lateral space. The plants bush out and up, potentially leaning over. No need to stake, but just be sure to leave enough space. They may hang over the edge of your containers, which is fine.
- For Raised Beds: Space plants 12- 18 in. apart, leaving 24 in. between rows.
- For Containers: Plant in a deep container measuring at least 2 gallons.