Physalis ‘New Hanover’ (Ground Cherry) [15 Seeds]

$3.95

Germination Information: I have read that ground cherries are easy to grow from seeds started indoors in mid-spring, sown 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep in a warm, bright place, in warm and bright conditions. That said, I tried that approach last spring and didn’t see any seedlings after several weeks, so I moved the pot outdoors in May and finally saw seedlings a few weeks later. So, you could try the warm approach first and see if it works for you; if not, then put the pot outdoors and wait. Or, sow in a pot in late fall to late spring and set it outdoors to germinate whenever conditions are right. Once you get the plants started, they are likely to self sow.

Note that this information will not appear on the seed packet you receive.

Please read the description as well before ordering.

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Description

I’m a big fan of “grazing” when I’m out in the garden, so I’m always on the lookout for fruits, flowers, and foliage that are nice to nibble on with no cooking required. I’ve tried growing different varieties of ground cherries at various times over the years but was repeatedly disappointed, because I thought they all had an odd aftertaste. In 2021, I decided to try one last time, with a local heirloom variety called ‘New Hanover’, and found a winner. Yay!

The low, spreading plants are less than 1 foot tall but well branched, each covering a space nearly 3 feet across. The small, yellow flowers are barely visible, each developing into a lantern-shaped, green husk that surrounds a marble-sized fruit. They’re ready to eat when the husk turns tan and the fruit inside is evenly yellow. They’re generally on the ground at that point (hence the name), but the husk keeps the fruit clean. They’re a treat for fresh eating, and you can also use them as pie filling, in other baked goods, or in salsa or chutney, among other things. (There are lots of recipes available online, if you’re interested. You’re liable to have plenty of fruits to use!) Full sun. Annual.

Harvested in September and October 2021. At least 15 seeds.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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