Tomatillos & Ground Cherries
Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry Conventional & Organic
65-70 days. This sweet and fruity ground cherry originated in Poland. When ripe it turns a golden orange color and drops to the ground. It makes a tasty jam, perfect for gift giving. An unusual and rewarding addition to fruit salads and smoothies. Will store up to 3 months in the husk.
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|Seed Depth||Seed Spacing||Soil Temp for Germ.||Days to Germ.||Thin Plants To||See Below|
Physalis spp.: These tasty summer treats are even more mineral-dense than tomatoes, packed with unique phytochemicals and flavonoids.
CULTURE: Both tomatillos and ground cherries are easy to grow. Start indoors as you would tomatoes. Growing tips are the same. Direct sowing outdoors is not recommended.
DISEASES AND INSECTS: Natural genetic plant resistance is the best form of disease control. For diseases like early and late blight, a strict 3 year rotation and a sanitation program that includes destroying all the vines at the end of the year are your best defenses. Contact your local county extension agent for more information.
HARVEST: Fruit is ripe when the light brown papery husk has folded back to reveal the plump berry. Ripe fruit will soon fall to the ground.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 75%. Usual seed life: 3 years. Tomatillo: approximately 60-65 seeds per 1/8 gram, about 500 seeds per gram. Ground cherry: approximately 150 seeds per 1/8 gram, about 1200 seeds per gram.
CULTURE: Sow seeds indoors into sterile seedling mix 6-8 weeks before your last spring frost. Plant, water lightly, and cover with plastic or a Propagation Dome to keep the seeds from drying out. When the first set of true leaves has emerged, up-pot into 3-4 inch pots and place in an area with full light and cooler temperatures (60-70°F). This will help prevent legginess. Water carefully, allowing the soil to dry on the surface between watering, but don't let the plants wilt. Fertilize with fish emulsion every 10-14 days. Seven to ten days before you want to transplant outside, set the plants in a sheltered area outdoors to harden off. Bring in or cover at night to protect from frost. After the danger of frost has passed, transplant into well worked garden soil. Blend 1/4 cup of our complete fertilizer into the soil around each plant. If you have acid soils or have been bothered by blossom end rot, a handful of bone meal should also be added. Space determinate varieties 18-24 inches apart and indeterminate varieties 20-30 inches apart. Allow 3-4 feet between rows. If your plants have become leggy, plant them deeper; the stems will actually sprout roots. Water very lightly at first, allowing the stems to adapt. To promote early growth and better yields use season extending products such as Wallo' Waters, Kozy Coats, Victorian Bell Cloches, or Red Plastic Mulch.
INSECTS/PESTS: Use Pyrethrin or crop row covers to discourage flea beetles early in the season, when they can be most destructive. Tomato hornworms can be controlled with Bacillus thuringienses (a bacteria also known as BT) sold as Thuricide (ZIN483 or ZIN485).
DISEASES: Natural genetic plant resistance is the best form of disease control. For diseases like early and late blight, a strict 3 year rotation and a sanitation program that includes destroying all the vines at the end of the year are your best defenses. Contact your local county extension agent for more information.
KEY TO TOMATO DISEASE RESISTANCE AND TOLERANCE ASC...Alternaria Stem Canker
F1...Fusarium Wilt, Race 1
F2...Fusarium Wilt, Race 2
LB...Late Blight, Types US8 and US11
St...Stemphylium - Gray Leaf Spot
TMV...Tobacco Mosaic Virus
ToMV...Tomato Mosaic Virus, Strains 0, 1, and 2
V...Verticillium Wilt, Race 1