Ground cherry is a non-stop producer right through until the frost hits and it's not uncommon to see up to 300 berries on a single plant. Start ground cherry indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost for your area, or purchase transplants - they're becoming a common sight at many garden centres. Plant in the garden once the risk of frost is over and the soil has warmed. They like an addition of compost when being planted and enjoy full sun. Regular water in a well- drained site is essential.
Ground cherries can be eaten right out of the garden, or used to make jams, jellies, pies or crumbles - anything you create with fruit can be done with these berries.
Ready for harvest in about 70 days from transplants, they do benefit from the support of small tomato cages; the plants can spread and the cages keep them better contained.
Small yellow flowers turn to green husks that become a golden yellow when ready to harvest. Keep an eye on them come harvest time - when they are ready, they may start falling off the plant....hence the name, Ground Cherry.
When should I cut my rhubarb?
Grow healthy raspberries!
Best time to trim blackberry bushes
Understanding how this berry grows helps you ensure the right type of pruning occurs at the right time. Blackberry plants are perennial; they will continue to grow and produce fruit for years, but the fruit-producing canes that sprout from the crown are biennial, lasting just two years. Primocane are the first-year canes where the new fruit buds develop and then go dormant in the winter, and the floricane are the second year of cane growth, producing the fruit before dying off. Cut the tips of primocanes early in the season once they reach 36 inches high. Trimming promotes heavy bud development along the cane and additional side-cane growth, which in turn will provide a high fruit yield the following year. Fast-growing primocanes may require a second snipping during the growth season. Prune floricanes to the ground when the fruit production is finished, removing any weak or damaged primocanes at the same time. Prune any canes that suffered winter damage, leaving up to eight healthy canes per plant. Prune back any side or lateral canes to 12 inches, ensuring the removal of any winter damage. Prune away weak, slow-growing canes less than 1/2 inch in diameter. Prune primocane-bearing cultivars -- which produce fruit on the canes grown in the current season -- to the ground in late winter or early spring. Primocane-bearing plants require no further pruning throughout the season. Prune the stems of new plantings to force fresh canes to start growing. Pruning new plants also removes any disease that may be lingering along the stem. As needed throughout the year, remove any damaged or diseased canes to reduce potential pest problems, increase air circulation throughout the plant and eliminate the spread of disease. Keeping the plants free of debris also allows for good light distribution, which helps to provide plump, healthy berries.