Ground cherries or Cape Gooseberries are the close relative of tomato and tomatillo, which are the natives from South of Europe but for more than a century has been grown in North America. Planting ground cherries are easy and quite similar to the planting process of tomatoes in care and nutrients. Here are the steps on how to plant ground cherry.
You will need:
- Ground Cherry Seeds
- Planting Pots
- First, search for the ground cherries seeds which are mainly available at online suppliers because the cherries are not as popular as they were once.
- Purchase your ground cherries seeds on early spring or in the late winter so that you will have the time to plant the ground cherries indoor and then when the weather is warm, you can set the plant outside of your house.
- Before the frost-date for your place happens, plant the ground cherries seeds in pots filled with composts for 60 days.
- Cover the seeds with the soil shallowly and then press down firmly. Water the seeds thoroughly and place them in a humid location. Until they start to sprout, there is no need for sunlight for the plants. To prevent the young seedlings from drying out, keep the tops of the pots by misting some water on them.
- You should place the growing seedlings near a sunny window and keep them watered. Turn the tray of pots daily to make the seedlings grow straight if the seedlings seem to stretch towards the sunlight.
- Once the frost is gone, plant the ground cherries outside your house by taking the seedlings outside in a semi-shaded area for a few hours before returning them the indoors. This step will make the plants get used with the outside environment.
- Add the length of time and amount of sun per daily for a week gradually until the seedlings become used with the outside condition. Use well-dug soil that has been mixed with animal manures or compost as the medium to plant the seedlings. Plant them in a sunny location and give at least 8 hours of sunlight per day.
- Water the ground cherries thoroughly before drying out. If you use compost and animal manure, there is no need to use any other fertilizer during the growing phrase. The ground cherries will reach 2 feet high and spread out and make the soil naturally moist.
- To harvest your ground cherries, check whether the papery husk can be pulled back from the cherry and it has already turned yellow-orange. In some area, you need to allow some of them ripe and fall to the ground and the new ground cherry plants will grow in the next year. You can eat ground cherries fresh in salads and salsa, or cook them for pies or any other desserts.