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Cape gooseberry

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Cape gooseberry

Post  chocolatepop on 5/7/2010, 1:18 pm

Anyone grow em before? Any tips or suggestions?

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Re: Cape gooseberry

Post  LaFee on 5/7/2010, 4:09 pm

You might do a search on "physalis" -- that's what they're called in Europe, so there might be more information under that name, too.

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Re: Cape gooseberry

Post  Megan on 5/7/2010, 6:17 pm

I found this when searching for information on tomatillos, which are related. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/mexican_husk_tomato.html

My biggest concern is how big they get, plus (per this article anyway) you need at least two for pollination. I don't think I have enough space for them. I'd love to hear about your adventures, though!

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Re: Cape gooseberry

Post  LaFee on 5/8/2010, 4:15 am

I looked up 'physalis' for you on a French website, as the plants are sold lots of places here.

(*VERY roughly* translated from www.truffaut.com)

The scientific name is Physalis Edulis, and commonly called coqueret de Perou (Peru cherry) [note: they can say it's called coqueret de Perou all they want, but when I see them at the market or in the grocery, they're labeled Physalis!]

Also called "amour en cage" (caged love ) and "Japanese lantern", it's a vivacious plant that can reach a height of 0,80 metres (that's about 2 feet). The fruits are shaped like a large orange cherry, wrapped in a transparent membrane. A lush plant ideal for filling spaces.

They can be grown in a pot at least 30cm in diameter (we'll call it 12"). Pick fruits when they're very ripe.

Plant outside - ideal for planting in vegetable gardens. Suitable in all soils, in a very sunny place. Moderate water requirements.

The established plants are frequently planted outside (zone 7) in September and October.

Seeds can be sown in a heated, protected place in March and April.

Edible fruits

Harvest fruit in September and October. Add fertilizer in the spring, and cut the dry stalks after fruiting.

Transplant seedlings in May or June, 40cm apart (about 18")

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Re: Cape gooseberry

Post  Mirjam on 5/8/2010, 4:51 am

Hi,
I never grew those (I don't think they will do well in our climate) but I have the non-edible variety in my garden, the ones with the bright orange "chinese lanterns". Once you've planted those, it's hard to keep them in place or ever get rid of them, so be warned

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Re: Cape gooseberry

Post  LaFee on 5/8/2010, 5:06 am

Mirjam, you're the same zone as I am...so they might grow. In a pot, you could even keep them under control (maybe)...

They're sold here in tiny little baskets -- no bigger than a pint berry basket...and they EXPENSIVE -- about US$5 for one of those tiny little baskets, even when they're in season.

I've never seen them used more than one or two at a time -- they're used as a garnish, with the outer membrane intact, opened in a bloom. They're very, very pretty as a garnish.

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Re: Cape gooseberry

Post  Mirjam on 5/8/2010, 6:04 am

I love how they look as a decoration on buffets, but I didn't particularly like the taste of the fruits. I think when you grow the larger variety (which probably needs high temperatures ), you could actually DO something with them. fruits as big as 6 cm are more tomato-like, te ones we get here aren't bigger than small cherry tomatoes.
But I wasn't gonna grow them anyway, I try to stick to plants that don't need to much special care in our climate, so bell peppers are as exotic as it gets in my yard
Although I have planted a Siberian gooseberry (minikiwi), which is quite exotic, but winterhardy up to (or down to) -30 degrees celsius.... I hope it will do well, I have no idea when to expect it to produce anything though, as I only planted it this spring...

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Cape Gooseberry

Post  BertieFox on 5/10/2010, 4:26 am

I've grown both types, the 'peruviana' ones which is the ordinary one, and the ground cherries (pruinosa) which are smaller and tastier.
They start very slowly from seed but by the end of the season make large sprawling plants. If you can overwinter the peruviana and keep the roots frost free, they will start into growth again earlier and make larger plants with earlier crops.
Last year I grew them in the polytunnel and ended up with four or so huge plants which have self-seeded all over the greenhouse soil.
Although some friends thought they were delicious, I find them very insipid and strong tasting, and you wouldn't want to eat more than one or two off the plant. Perhaps as a jam or cooked dessert they are better. I notice how they are only used in restaurants as a decoration in desserts and salads.
Try them, but I think most people will find that there are far better fruits to grow with more taste and more uses, especially if you are short of space.

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If You know a frost is comming?

Post  deeeeej on 10/25/2011, 6:40 pm

I live in the Ozark foot-hills. This is zone 7. I have about 40 plants that are all volunteers and full of fruit. The frost will be here in a day or two and the fruit is not ripe yet. Can I cut off the entire plant at ground level, pile them in the shed and let them continue to ripen? OR - If the frost gets them will it ruin the fruit and the leaves or just the leaves?

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Re: Cape gooseberry

Post  boffer on 10/25/2011, 7:11 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum.

This thread has been inactive for 1½ years. None of the posters have been active for quite some time.

Hopefully, someone else will be able to answer your question. I'm not familiar with the topic, sorry.

____________________________

Last frost date (50%): April 15     First frost date (50%): Oct 15    
Zone: Irrelevant

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Re: Cape gooseberry

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 10/26/2011, 1:56 pm

I have no personal experience....but a couple of internet sites say you can pick them before fully ripe and they will go on ripening indoors??? I've also ready to be careful because unripe fruits can be toxic to some people. Hopefully someone will chime in with personal experience....

http://www.scribd.com/doc/70014140/1/Cape-gooseberries
http://books.google.com/books?id=63lgm8NVhFIC&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq=pick+cape+gooseberries+before+ripe&source=bl&ots=uQ14QWTwoB&sig=sgOHCMZqYklBXjXRqwbwbOASnv0&hl=en&ei=5keoTprfCIX_sQK5yO3XDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

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Re: Cape gooseberry

Post  Unmutual on 10/27/2011, 6:16 am

@BertieFox wrote:If you can overwinter the peruviana and keep the roots frost free, they will start into growth again earlier and make larger plants with earlier crops.

That sounds like a challenge to me, I love perennials! I just hope I can transplant them to a permanent bed without killing them. Guess there's only one way to find out.

I have 4 Physalis peruviana growing up a trellis(they don't naturally do this, they have to be trained) and the fruit should ripen before my first frost since that's not for another month or so. I planted them using the fall tomato planting date for my area, and it seems to be working out. I would assume that a spring planting date coinciding with your tomato planting date would also work out.

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My experience with cape gooseberries

Post  SelenaMKI on 11/8/2011, 5:16 am

I have tried growing cape gooseberries from seeds I obtained at Thompson and Morgan (online) in containers without a lot of success. My failing was trying to grow several in one container. I think the spacing is more like one per either one or two square feet.

That said, this year I had several plants spring up around my yard (maybe from birds eating and distributing the seeds?) and discovered that they do much better directly in the ground with very little attention from me. The plants are quite large... I'll try to take a picture and post it here at a later date.

They are wonderfully delicious when ripe. I wanted to grow them because they are expensive and I have only been able to find them at Whole Foods.

cape gooseberry


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Re: Cape gooseberry

Post  Mamachibi on 11/8/2011, 8:07 am

I'm very excited about the possibility of growing cape gooseberry in or out of my SFG. My goal is to provide a measurable percentage of my family's food by our own hands, and while we have LOADS of veggies, fruits are much harder to come by since we don't have the land required for fruit trees. Thanks all, for the research so far!

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Re: Cape gooseberry

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