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soil
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we grow them as a groundcover here in our forest garden( acutally they grow themselves) i find them to taste a lot like trix cereal from when i was a kid. at least the kind i have. once you plant them you pretty much will have them growing for good as some consider them a weed. i love how they shade the soil, deer don't eat them, gophers don't eat them, drought hardy, and they taste good.
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DoubleDogFarm
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Last year I was overwhelmed by tomatillos, a ground cherry cousin.

Mexican strain is the variety I grow.
https://www.territorialseed.com/product/1165/tomatillo_and_ground_cherry_seed

Grow them pretty much like tomatoes. I didn't give them any support last year, they became a sprawling mess. When ripe they pretty much fall to the ground. Ground cherries. :D

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Farmers%20Market%20Produce/DSC02806.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Vegetable%20Garden%20plants/DSC02569.jpg[/img]

Eric

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lorax
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Like everyone above says, they'll behave like weeds once you get 'em sprouted, and the care is pretty much the same as tomatoes. They're vulnerable to the same diseases as well, although they seem more resistant to mildews than tomatoes are.

The only exception is that ground cherries appreciate a bit of shade. They're native to Andean Zone 3 (USDA Zone 11), so they'll definitely tolerate your heat.

I like them instead of cherry tomatoes on my salads - very tasty!

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soil
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yea tomatillos are also great! I love them for making green salsa.
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jal_ut
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There is a variety that grows wild here. It has a perennial rhizome root. Once you have it, you can't get rid of it. If that stuff you have is like that, I would not plant it. Notice everyone has said it takes over? Toss!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

DoubleDogFarm
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I'm not too worried about the roots of the Mexican Strain tomatillo, but all the fruit I left behind. Will the seed sprout?? Heavy mulching may render this.


Eric

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jal_ut
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I'm not too worried about the roots of the Mexican Strain tomatillo, but all the fruit I left behind. Will the seed sprout??
I have grown tomatillos several times. Yes, the seed will sprout. I have never had one that had rhizome roots though, thankfully.

Physalis subglabrata is the latin name of the one that grows here wild. Some call it the ground Cherry. I have never dared to eat the fruit since it is in the nightshade family.

[url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physalis_subglabrata]Check this link out.[/url]
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garden5
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Jal's article also said that they can be used for hallucinogenic purposes :shock:. OK, I'm definitely not going to try the Chinese lantern berries that are growing in my flower bed.

Here are two links on growing ground cherries:

[url=https://pgjennielove.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/lessons-learned-ground-cherries/]Lessons Learned: Ground Cherries[/url]

[url=https://www.suite101.com/content/ground-cherries-a103470]How to Grow and Use Ground Cherries[/url]

I would like to try tomatillos sometime and maybe make some salsa. Are they perennial?
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lorax
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Not for you in Ohio, they're not. Your winters will keep them annual. However, for me they're at least biennial, and if you count the fact that they'll keep coming back from their rootstock, I guess you could call them perennials.

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lorax
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Trippin' chickens don't appear outwardly any different from their normal behaviours. They do hypnotize more easily, though. :D

FruitAddict
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My experience with Ground Cherries here in Wintery Oshkosh Wisconsin is this. I got seed (a berry) from my great grandmother and put it in the garden in the fall and it sprouted several plants in the spring and they grow to be no more than 1.5 - 2 foot tall and each plant can have between 10 and 40 berries on it. The berries form inside a husk - you wait until the husk turns from green to yellow and dried and the husks start to fall off the plant and that is when the berry is ripe. The Berry should be a mustard yellow color for best flavor - if you get a frost (any frost will kill the plant) before they turn you can pick them and put them in a bucket (without a lid) and store in a cool dark place and they will ripen for you - you can store them this way (in the husks) for several months. They are good eaten raw - to me I describe the flavor as a cross between Muskmelon and Kiwi with the texture of a grape tomato. My grandmother used to make the best pie out of them - a custard pie loaded with Ground Cherries is the best and a Ground Cherry Poppyseed bread similar to a Banana Bread type bread - I tend to eat them raw or make jam/jelly out of them. To propogate I just leave several of the berries in the garden over the winter and till in --- they sprout up all over the place the next spring - I just leave the ones that are in a good spot and pull the rest...
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garden5
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Lorax, That's what I meant, would they come back from the roots after the winter? I know my Chinese lanterns do, but tomatillos and Chinese lanterns are two different things, after all.
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lorax
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They're not that different really - both are Physalis species. I'd give the ground cherries a bit of mulch, and as several people have stated, leave a few berries on the ground over winter, and they will reliably return to fruit again! :()

DoubleDogFarm
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Here are my tomatillo early in the season.

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Vegetable%20Garden%20plants/DSC02222.jpg[/img]

Eric

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soil
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neither my ground cherries or the tomatillos i grow ill come back from the roots, strictly annuals.
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cynthia_h
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My tomatillos last year were a complete flop. But last year was the coldest summer in 40 years in northern California, so nothing that needed warm weather survived: tomatoes, zucchini, tomatillos... Bah. :x

Cynthia H.
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