A unique crop that is gaining popularity with smaller growers, the Ground Cherry is often found sold at your local farmer’s market and not typically seen at most grocery stores. Also called the Cape Gooseberry or Husk Cherry, this sweet and tart fruit originates in Brazil and is a member of the Nightshade (or Solanaceae) plant family. Each ground cherry is covered by a papery husk that should be kept on until ready to be consumed.
Ground cherries contain a healthy dose of beta-carotene, as well as vitmains A and C. Their high pectic content helps the body to absorb calcium from other foods and their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make this fruit a great addition to the diet. To avoid the toxins present in the fruit, ground cherries should only be consumed once they are fully ripe.
Growing ground cherries in GardenSoxx® | Plant Family: Solanaceae
Nutritional Information For Ground Cherries
Nutritional Facts - per 100/g
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Fat||0.7 g||-|
|Dietary Fiber||3 g||-|
How to Grow Ground Cherries in Your GardenSoxx®
Seeds can be started indoors before the last frost, but can also be sown directly outdoors once the weather has warmed. Ground cherries are known to self-seed and you may very well find them popping up in your garden year after year, even if you have only planted them once. Ensure the soil is well-draining as they prefer to not sit with wet roots. It is best not to plant Nightshade plant varieties in the same soil multiple years in a row.
Ground Cherries Seed to Harvest Time: Approximately 75 Days
How to Harvest Ground Cherries
When ground cherries are ripe, they will typically fall off the plant on their own or with a light shaking of the plant’s branches. The outer husks will have lost their green hue and will feel dry and papery. The fruit itself will have a bright yellow/orange color. They can be stored for quite some time after harvest, provided the husk is kept on.