Excellent for jams, pies or as a garnish. Ripens when husk is dry and yellow and falls on its own from the plant from mid-August to the first frost. Collect them on the ground and remove the membrane covering it when consuming it to keep it fresh.
Ground cherries produce small yellowish-orange fruits in a papery husk, similar in appearance to a small tomato. These mildly sweet fruits grow on a tomato-like plant that thrives in the annual vegetable bed during the summer season.
Ground cherries are easy to grow if planted in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil. These plants use up a lot of the nutrients in the soil which means, before planting, work a good amount of compost or a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 into your soil to help them grow their best.
Plant them 18 – 24 inches apart. The plants grow wide rather than very tall so they don’t require an extensive root system to support them like tomatoes do. The plants tend to sprawl so you may want to use small tomato cages to support them and keep them upright. You can also stake the individual plants.
A thick layer of mulch (2 – 3 inches) will help keep the soil moist between watering as well as prevent weeds from germinating and growing to compete with your plants for sunlight, nutrients and moisture.