Husk tomatoes, tomatillos, ground cherries?

castorpAugust 20, 2014

Has any one grown tomatillos? What about "Giant Ground Cherry" Physalis peruviana? Can you tell me about your experience? Are they easier than tomatoes? What variety did you grow?

I grew regular the "regular" ground cherry "Cossack Pineapple" Physalis pruinosa and loved the flavor. They were easy, almost no-care plants. But the second time I grew them a tiny worm bored into the husks and devoured nearly every last fruit. I suppose any Physalis would be vulnerable. But I'm willing to risk it and try new varieties.

The idea of tomatillos really appeals to me not only because I could use them green for salsas, etc, but because I want to harvest them ripe and enjoy them as I would a large ground cherry.

The "Giant Groundcherry" P. peruviana is supposedly longer lived. I wonder if this would be true in Florida?

I will probably post about this over on vegetables or maybe the tomatoes forum, but I would like to hear Florida experiences first.

Thanks!

Bill

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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Bill

I am very familiar with a lot of ground cherry varieties and I can tell the difference in the taste, some are better than others, some are easier too.
My aunt had a patch and they grew like weeds, no care and sometimes I would snack on them, not too often because she had the best fruits in her garden and so did I.:)
If you liked the Pineapple variety, you will like the others even more, there is one that grows very tall and I think is the Hawaiian one, others are bush and Derek from Tampa had a variety that was so hardy! and spread like ground cover, I did not get a name but it had different leaves also.
I sample few other varieties when at Monticello at the Harvest festival, one of the better ones was Aunt Molly.

The small yellow are different varieties of ground cherries

About the tomatillos, I grew Heirloom Purple and Toma Verde Green, very productive! and grew tall just like a tomato, they are somewhat easier but at the end of the season they get diseased with our humidity and also cannot take the freeze, I would start them in spring or if you are starting them now put them in a container, you will need support for them and move them when we get a freeze.

December tomatillos in a salsa

Silvia

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 5:57PM
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castorp

Thanks so much for the information, Silvia! I'm going to research the Hawaiian one, and the tomatillos too. I would love to find a good ground cherry that would survive as a perennial here--or some variety that would grow like weeds like the ones your aunt had!
These fruits are a new world to me.
Best,
Bill

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 6:23PM
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