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ground cherry tomatillo seeds for planting
Ground Cherry Tomatillo Seeds For Planting (Physalis pruinosa)Ground Cherry Tomatillo Seeds For Planting (Physalis pruinosa)Ground Cherry Tomatillo Seeds For Planting (Physalis pruinosa)Ground Cherry Tomatillo Seeds For Planting (Physalis pruinosa)Ground Cherry Tomatillo Seeds For Planting (Physalis pruinosa)Ground Cherry Tomatillo Seeds For Planting (Physalis pruinosa)Ground Cherry Tomatillo Seeds For Planting (Physalis pruinosa)Ground Cherry Tomatillo Seeds For Planting (Physalis pruinosa)

Ground Cherry Tomatillo Seeds For Planting (Physalis pruinosa)

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Do you want to grow something unusual in your veggie garden this year? Want to expand your offerings at the next farmer's market? Plant some fresh, non-GMO ground cherry seeds from Seed Needs! Ground cherries (Physalis pruinosa) aren't what you scavenge when your fruit trees get nailed by wind—they're a tasty tomatillo variety with a tangy taste that's a blend between tomato and pineapple with a bit of mango thrown in.


Why are these little guys are called ground cherries? When they're ready to harvest, the fruits fall to the ground. They also live up to their name with their low-growing, sprawling growth habit. As with cherry tomatoes, several ground cherry fruits hang from long, vine-like stems, each covered in a paper-thin husk resembling a Chinese lantern. (In fact, tomatillos and ground cherries are close cousins of this cool ornamental plant!)The summer-bearing fruits themselves are a glowing gold color, about 1" in diameter, and the leaves have a soft, fuzzy texture.


Like cherries from a cherry tree, they're great for preserves, sweet sauces, and baked desserts, but like tomatoes, they're excellent in salsas and salads.

Ground cherries are also known as husk cherries, Cape gooseberries, and golden berries. 

A little background on ground cherries

These tropical fruits are thought to be native to Brazil (some say Peru), and they're sometimes found growing wild elsewhere in South and Central America. According to the Permaculture Institute, ground cherries became popular in South Africa in the 1800s, escaped and naturalized in Australia not long after, and first appeared in North American gardens in the early 20th century. (Funny how they made such a roundabout journey, isn't it?)

Pests and diseases

Ground cherries suffer from the same bacterial and fungal maladies as tomatillos and tomatoes, and may come under fire by cutworms, aphids, borers, mites, flea beetles, and whiteflies. Still, they're somewhat more resilient than their cousins. 


When you're planning next year's crop, don't plant them in the same spot as the season before, or anywhere tomatoes or tomatillos grew. Crop rotation helps break the cycle of diseases and pests. 

Sowing, Germination, and Growth

Ground cherries don't handle frost well at all, so take care not to plant or transplant them too early. We recommend starting them indoors if you have the space unless you have a long growing season. If you're in a zone with short seasons, you'll love the rapid maturity rate—about 25% faster than standard tomatillos!


Ground cherries, like tomatoes, are in the nightshade family, and they have similar growing needs. Under the right conditions, they're easy to grow from seed, even by the novice gardener. These annuals grow best in USDA zones 4-8. Consider growing them on low mounds, and experiment with tying them to small trellises if you're short on space. 


Provide them with good air circulation, so their husks will properly dry. 

  • Seed preparation: There is no need to stratify (expose to cold) or scarify (weaken the shell) ground cherry seeds.
  • Sowing and transplanting outside: 2-4 weeks after last frost
  • Sowing indoors: 4-6 weeks before transplanting
  • Seed depth: 1/4"
  • Days to germination: 7 to 14 days
  • Plant height: 2' to 3' tall
  • Plant width: 2' to 3' wide
  • Growth habit: Mounding, sprawling
  • Recommended spacing: 2' minimum
  • Days to maturity: 70 to 80 days
  • Sunlight requirements: Full sun
  • Soil requirements: Loamy, well-drained soil
  • pH: 6.0 to 6.5
  • Watering requirements: Consistently moist at the root level, but not wet. Deep watering twice a week is ideal, more if you're growing them in containers or very hot weather.

Pests and diseases

Ground cherries suffer from the same bacterial and fungal maladies as tomatillos and tomatoes, and may come under fire by cutworms, aphids, borers, mites, flea beetles, and whiteflies. Still, they're somewhat more resilient than their cousins. 


When you're planning next year's crop, don't plant them in the same spot as the season before, or anywhere tomatoes or tomatillos grew. Crop rotation helps break the cycle of diseases and pests. 

Companion plants for ground cherries

Some companion plants repel common ground cherry pests, and others may improve their flavor. Try planting your ground cherries near parsley, basil, carrots, and jalapeno peppers. Unlike many plants, they do well next to alliums—particularly onions. 

Harvesting & storage

The fruits might not be completely ripe when they fall to the ground. Some gardeners like to bring them indoors to finish ripening with their husks on. It's important to never eat unripened ground cherries as they can make you sick. 


You can store ground cherries—again, with their husks on—in a brown paper bag in your fridge for several weeks, or freeze them by removing the husks, setting them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and placing them in a freezer until they're solid (about 3-4 hours.) Then, seal them in a plastic bag and return them to your freezer. It's best to eat frozen ground cherries within six months, but you can push your luck by storing them for about a year. 

For many Northern gardeners, tomatillos are best established indoors, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost. Start in peat pots, sowing each seed at a depth of 1/4” under topsoil. The use of small stakes is not needed for this variety, as its growth is determinate. When the weather is warm & all danger of frost has passed, transplant or direct sow your tomatillo plants outdoors.

Tomatillos will thrive in an area of full sunlight with temperatures of at least 65F or higher. They prefer a rich soil, that is filled with organic matter. Make sure that the sowing medium is also well drained, as this is very important for a healthy root structure. Adding a light compost to areas containing hard, compact soil, can improve your drainage. Water daily with a light moisture setting to avoid drowning the seed.

Tomatillo seeds typically germinate in roughly 7 to 14 days after sowing. The plants themselves grow to a mature height of up to 2 or 3 feet tall and can spread 2 feet wide. Ground Cherry plants will need a small amount of area to grow and can be spaced about 24 inches apart from one another, in rows spaced 24 inches apart. The small fruits will measure about a half inch to an inch in diameter and can be harvested in 70 to 80 days after transplanting.

Ground Cherry Tomatillo fruits will be ready for harvesting in roughly 70 to 80 days. The fruits will develop a papery husk, and the fruits will willingly drop to the ground when they are ready to be consumed. Ground Cherry fruits can be stored in the fridge, in ziplock bags for a good two weeks, and can also be frozen as well.

Front Side

Seed packets by Seed Needs are beautifully illustrated and provide a colorful depiction of the variety inside. We provide the common name, as well as the scientific name, seed quantity and a few specs about the variety to be grown.


Back Side

Each packet contains full growing instructions on the reverse side. Specifications on sowing the seed, growing conditions such as sunlight and moisture preferences and germination and growth information can be found as well. We also provide a QR to scan for easy reordering.

  • Always Non-GMO / Untreated.
  • Stored in a temperature controlled facility that's free of moisture.
  • Always packaged for the current and the following growing seasons.
  • True to the varieties advertised.
  • 99% pure seed with no added fillers.

  • Always Non-GMO / Untreated.
  • Stored in a temperature controlled facility that's free of moisture.
  • Always packaged for the current and the following growing seasons.
  • True to the varieties advertised.
  • 99% pure seed with no added fillers.

Always fresh and intended for the current and following growing seasons. Seeds are packaged in water resistant / tear resistant packaging.

Heirlooms are varieties that have been purposely bred, selected and passed down from generation to generation. They are wholesome picks that will breed true to the parent seed every time.

Seed Needs never knowingly purchases treated seeds products. We also do not treat any of our seed products with substances such as neonicotinoid or thyram.

Seed Needs promises to never knowingly purchase or supply genetically modified seed products. We take the Safe Seed Pledge!



A SEED COMPANY ON A MISSION FOR CHANGE

Seed Needs has been providing gardeners with quality seed products since 2010 and has shipped millions of packets to happy customers all over the US. We offer flowers, herbs, vegetables, vines, wildflower blends, seed packet collections and seed packet favors.


With the success of our brand, we have kept our promise to continually donate to different organizations and personally sponsor children all over the globe each and every month. We grew our sponsorships from just 1 child to over 100 children worldwide in only a few years. We would like to sincerely thank all who support us because it wouldn't be possible without you!


Check out our charitable contributions!

St. Jude Children's Hospital | ASPCA | Our Kids

A SEED COMPANY ON A
MISSION FOR CHANGE

Seed Needs has been providing gardeners with quality seed products since 2010 and has shipped millions of packets to happy customers all over the US. We offer flowers, herbs, vegetables, vines, wildflower blends, seed packet collections and seed packet favors.


With the success of our brand, we have kept our promise to continually donate to different organizations and personally sponsor children all over the globe each and every month. We grew our sponsorships from just 1 child to over 100 children worldwide in only a few years. We would like to sincerely thank all who support us because it wouldn't be possible without you!


Check out our charitable contributions!

St. Jude Children's Hospital | ASPCA | Our Kids

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