Gorund Cherry ???'s

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by jackie c, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    I've never grown them before, and don't know a heck of alot aobut them. How do you save seed from ground cherries, I will be growing Aunt Molly's type. How many fruit do they bear on each plant? Can they ber overwintered inside a house?
     
  2. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    they grow wild here. don't know anyting about aunt molly's. there are diffrent flavors and colors. what grows here reseeds itself, and tastes kind of like pineapple. you can save the fruit when it dries and replant the next year. just pick off the little paper lanterns. inside is the fruit.
     

  3. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I have yet to taste my first ground cherry, however as a farmer I've killed thousands or ? of them. They grew wild where I used to live as did purslane. I never tried it either.

    In a good year I remember the ground cherry plant would get to be 18" or so in diameter and probably have at least 20 fruits on it. Probably more like 30-40.

    Of course we tried to keep the ground worked, but a few would make it to 9" or so in diameter. They would probably have from 6 to 10 fruits but each one would be larger, more near the size of a standard marble.
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Save seed same as a tomato. Yes, can be overwintered like a tomato. Yield is variable, when I grew them with the tomatoes I had about same yield as or better than the cherry tomatoes in CO. Actually the tomatillo was the only one that really ripened well and came up voluntarily the next year at 6,000 ft in the CO rockies.
     
  5. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    I would almost state that you don't have to save ground cherry seed. Once you have them, all you need do is forget to harvest a single "cherry" and you will have them forever! In fact, I almost believe that their seeds will also last almost forever in the soil to germinate when the conditions are right. Those which I have date from either 1965 or 1966. Never a shortage of seedlings as they are one of my major "weeds".

    If relying on volunteers to keep the variety going, they are one of the last to appear. Air and ground temperatures must be quite warm for them to germinate. In fact, I never leave a designated place for them to grow. Usually, they appear about the time that early radishes are done. Then they can take over that area. If a nice-looking seedling happens to appear in the radish area, so much the better as then I don't have to transplant it. Otherwise, I've found that they are better managed if grown in 3-gallon pots. They are not so dependent on water as other potted plants and won't die if the soil dries out dries out for a few days.

    However, if you must save seeds, it is easy. You will only need one fruit to produce enough seedlings to supply a small nursery. The seeds are very tiny and there are MANY of them. Simply cut a fruit open and squeeze the contents onto the center of a paper towel. With a flat table knife, spread the lot as thin as possible and allow it to dry for a week or so. Then fold the towel to where you can work it between your hands to loosen the seeds. Dump the contents into an envelope and store in a dry place.

    Martin
     
  6. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info people. I guess I should put them in their own bed and some pots to prevent their weed tendencies from invading my main beds. If I overwinter a few plants, how long can I expect one plant to live...years? Will it produce more fruit as it ages?
     
  7. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    The native ones in my area ripened their fruit long about September and October. I always remember them being ripe about the time we were cutting our feed crop of sorghum. I may be wrong, but I think they are probably an annual. Tthe plants lose their leaves and turn brown. The paper husked fruit can then be seen more readily.
     
  8. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    yes, what he said. don't think of it as a shrub or perrenial. it is considerd a weed, and acts like one. reseeds, and mother plant dies.

    me, i think there is no such thing as a weed, just flowers with bad press.
    :haha:
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    It is a perennial, but you might want to choose the plant with the largest, best flavor and take cuttings if you want to over winter it inside.
     
  10. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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  11. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    I got my seeds from Pacquebot originally. I've found they do self-seed readily. And I've also found that once the fruit begins to ripen, the plant dies. And I'm in the subtropics, where cold isn't a problem! I think therefore that it must be an annual, and a fairly short-lived one at that. We call them Cape Gooseberries in my part of the world.

    I discovered something quite by accident about them. Had some visitors one day inspecting my little garden, and some bright spark looked at the gooseberry plant and decided it was a weed and hoiked it out. Only later did I discover that there was fruit starting on it, so I quickly whacked it back into the dirt, not really expecting it to survive after several hours on fry-an-egg concrete! But that plant was the healthiest I've had so far, and it produced about twice as many fruits as the plants which were left alone! In future, I plan on pulling out all my plants, and then replanting them. Mind you, I only have 2-4 plants at a time due to space restrictions - it isn't really enough to be useful, so I regard them as 'garden nibbles'.
     
  12. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Ground cherries are far from being perennial up here! They are the absolute first to fold up camp when the first frost hits. Perhaps the roots may survive to grow again if the soil never froze but I'm not so certain about that. None survived our first frost last fall whereas tomatoes and peppers soldiered on for another month as if nothing happened.

    Growth on those plants is rapid once they get going. And like Culpeper stated, very forgiving and easy to start or transplant. If you do have to transplant one, it will wilt almost at once and you will think that you've surely killed it. It may remain so even with a lot of water. Next morning, all is forgiven and the plant will look healthy again.

    Martin
     
  13. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I never even tasted RAW groundcherries until I was adult (they're good). Mom always made ground cherry preserves with them. Still my favorite preserves, but havent had any since moving to AR. That annual mid summer drought just isnt friendly to such things and I dont have large reserves of water to keep things alive through it.
     
  14. Sylvia

    Sylvia Well-Known Member

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  15. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    All the info I have says perennial. But they are very tender perennials! LOL But tomatoes are perennials that most people treat as annuals too.
     
  16. mommagoose_99

    mommagoose_99 Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    I grew ground cherrys here in NY . They did not winter over in the garden. They were a great sales item at the local farmers markets. A real novalty as they are not a common weed here. Got a dollar a pint for them . I grew about a dozen plants and had several pints a week to take to market. You harvest them when the paper husk begins to dry and then they are the sweetest.