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□¡□Grow Ground Cherries□¡□

Ground cherries are very easy to grow in home vegetable gardens.

This warm season vegetable bears fruit about the size of a cherry tomato.
The plants are "individually wrapped" with a green, yellow, or reddish color papery husk.
This is one of the reasons that children find the fruits so interesting
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How to Plant
• For adequate yield, plant 1-2 plants per household member.
• Start seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting in the garden.
• In warm climates, plant in spring 4-6 weeks after the last danger of frost has passed.
• Planting soil temperature should be65 to 85 °F.
• The plants prefer cooler growing temperatures of 50-75 °F.
In soil preparation, test vegetable garden site for sufficient levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Also check for proper acid-alkaline balance. Maintaining a 6.0 to 6.8 pH level is ideal for this plant. This vegetables gardening taskcan be accomplished by supplementing the bed with organic compost.
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Planting and Growing Seeds
• Sow the seeds 1/8 inch deep, spacing the plantings 2 inches apart, in rows spaced 2 feet from the other.
• Thin successful plants to 10 inches apart.
• The vegetable plants are susceptible to common tomato pests and diseases.
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Care
Keep soil moist and free of weeds. Deep-water mature plants every 5-10days, contingent on the weather condition or when soil becomes dry to the touch. The plants will mature in about 120 days.
Harvest when husks turn a tan color, open, and fruit begins dropping from the plant. Vegetable gardeners soon discover that leaving behind some ripened cherries on the ground produces a new crop the following season.
• Companion plants are tomatoes and beans.
• Ground cherries do not make good garden bed mates with melons, squash, or pumpkins due to competition over which vegetable has the most ground rights!
• Husk tomatoes can be stored in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator for several weeks. Store canned tomatillos as salsa, jam, or preserves for up to one year.
Specific types of include Aunt Molly's, Cossack Pineapple, Golden Tomatillo, Goldie, Indian Strain, Purple DeMilpa, Toma Verde, Tomate Verde, Yellow Husk, and Verde Puebla Tomatillo.
As a final note, although it is important to avoid subjecting the plants to freezing temperatures, the fruit tends to be sweeter after experiencing a slight frost!
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