Strawberry Ground Cherry

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Strawberry Ground Cherry is a heavy producer sweet yellow tropical-flavored berries. These uniquely sweet and tart berries taste like a mixture of strawberries, pineapples, and green grapes. Fruits grow inside a papery husk and look like small, orange tomatillos. Ground cherries get their name from the way fruits fall off the plant when they're ripe.

Also Known As: Dwarf Cape Gooseberry, Physalis, Strawberry Tomato, Pineapple Ground Cherry, Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry, Groundcherry, Poha Berry

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Plant Name:
Ground Cherry, Strawberry
Latin Name:
Physalis pruinosa
Days to Germinate: 7-14
Days to Harvest: 70
Germination Rate: 90%
Test Date: 11/21
Growth Habit: Indeterminate
USDA Zones: 5-12
Lifespan: Annual
Country of Origin: United States
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Shade
GMO: No
Pollination:
Heirloom, Open-Pollinated
Fungicide-Treated Seeds*: No
Seeds Packed For**: 2022

*Fungicide-treated seeds protect the seedlings from diseases until they are up and growing. Do not eat treated seeds.
**Seeds are freshly packed for the growing season of the year listed. Seeds are still viable beyond pack date. Store in a cool and dry location such as the refrigerator or basement to best preserve germination rates.


Planting Instructions:

 

Soil Preparation:


Several weeks before planting, prepare dig or plow the soil 8-10 inches deep and rake up several times to break up large clods. Work the soil when it is dry enough to not stick to garden tools. You may optionally spread 2-3 inches of organic material, such as manure, compost, peat moss, or rotted hay and mix into the top 4-6 inches of soil. The best growing conditions are 80-90F with 60-70F nights, low humidity, and sparse rainfall. 
 

Planting:

Try not to plant seeds until the soil warms in the spring and all danger of frost is past.  Plant 3-4 seeds in 1/2 inch deep holes on raised beds about 6 inches tall.  Space holes 2 feet apart within rows spaced 5 feet apart. When the plants reach 4-5 inches tall, thin them to 1 plant every 2 feet. Water the plants after planting. 

 
Planting Depth: 1/2 inch
Within-Row Spacing:
2 feet
Between-Row Spacing:
5 feet

 

Care During the Season:

Watering: Water the plants only enough to keep from wilting. Water less if there is excessive humidity in the air.

Weeding and Pruning: Keep plants as weed-free as possible. When tilling or hoeing, be careful not to cut too deeply into the soil near the plants as cutting the feeder rooters may slow the plant's growth. Pull by hand any weeds that are close to the plants.

Fertilizing: You may optionally add 2 pounds of a complete fertilizer per 100 square feet of garden area. Spread the fertilizer evenly over the garden and work into the top 3-4 inches of soil. If planting single ground cherry plants, when fruits grow to 1 inch in diameter, you may optionally place about 1 level tablespoon of fertilizer around each plant about 6 inches from the stem, then mix fertilizer well with the soil.  Fertilize the plants every 3-4 weeks with 1-2 level tablespoons of fertilizer. Water the plant after adding fertilizer.
 
Insecticides: Insecticides may be used to protect plants. Bt-based insecticides and sulfur are organic options that can be used for prevention. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps in controlling many diseases. Before using a pesticide, please read the label and always follow cautions, warnings and directions.

Diseases: Watch ground cherry plants closely, especially in mild weather. Use fungicides to control for black spot. Use nematicides to control for root-knot nematodes and Bt to control for tobacco budworm. Quarantine the plant if tobacco mosaic virus is present. Please always follow label directions.
 

Harvesting:

Ground cherry plants begin bearing fruit 65-85 days after seeding and continue for 1-2 months or until the first frost. For best quality, pick fruits just as the husk, or calyx, bursts. If harvesting large quantities, you may leave cartons full of the picked fruits in the fields to allow the husks to dry. After the 2-week drying period, the carts can be stacked as stored at 55-60F and 85% humidity for up to 3 weeks.

 

Nutrition Facts:

 

Calories 74
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1 g 2%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 0 mg 0%
Potassium 0 mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 16 g 5%
Dietary fiber 0 g 0%
Sugar 0 g
Protein 2.7 g 5%
Vitamin A 20% Vitamin C 26%
Calcium 1% Iron 8%
Thiamin 10% Riboflavin
3%
Niacin
20% Phosphorous 6%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.