Ground cherry seed saving

fritz_monroe(7a)March 12, 2010

This year one of my interests is saving seed. Last year I grew some ground cherries and really liked them. So this year I will be growing them again, but would like to save some seed.

I know that none of my neighbors are growing them, but I'm concerned about cross contamination from other plants. Since they are cousins of tomatoes and tomatillos, can they cross with these cousins? Do I need to ensure that they are far enough from my tomatoes so they don't cross?

Thanks in advance.

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whgille(FL 9b)

Fritz- I have grown different kinds of ground cherries, being one that I have now the best.

Being the seeds so small, I save the whole fruit and when ready to plant I squeeze the seeds into the planting medium. And I have not experienced crossing with tomatoes that I also grow at the same time.

My favorite

My least favorite


    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 7:43PM
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Not all "cousins" can/will cross pollinate. For example, cucumbers,
squash, water melons, etc are cousins but they will not cross pollinate. Maybe tomatillo may cross pollinate with ground cherry (maybe) but not with tomatoes.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 8:29PM
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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

whgille -
Can you give us the names of your favortie and least favorite?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 6:10AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Bart--My favorite is a variety that I got from South America, it has no name. When ripe and orange color is good just like that or in a salad.

The one I did not care for the taste was Cossack Pineapple, it was good in a pie.:)


    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 8:51AM
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I would love to try some ground cherry if anybody has a few extra seeds they can spare! I can share some tomatofest heirloom tomato seeds from a bunch of varieties as a trade.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 12:02PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I am growing these for the first time this year. I love the pictures. When is the best time to pick them? I have read somewhere that when they fall to the ground? I don't want to be picking them up off the ground.

I am growing Goldie from Johnny's Seeds.



    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 3:20PM
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Thanks for the input. I don't grow tomatillos, so I'm not going to worry about crosses.

Silva, I hope that I like the Cossack pineapple better than you did. The pie, happen to have a recipe? Is it just based on a cherry pie?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 3:27PM
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Jay, that's how you pick them. They aren't ripe until they fall from the plant. From what I've read, they contain solanine when they are green. This is the same compound that makes green potatoes poisonous.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 8:14PM
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My dog loves the cossack pineapples. :)
One day I was sitting on the ground picking, peeling, and eating them and she came up and I gave her some. Now when there are ripe ones on the ground she goes foraging around but likes it best when I sit there and peel them for her. I don't mind. :)
I'd also love a recipe for the pie. I bet they'd be good made into a jam/jelly too.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 11:34PM
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mvisland(MA - 7A)

That pie looks wonderful.....

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 9:56PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Everybody

I was away for the weekend, that is the reason that I did not answer.

Tracy- contact me through my email.

Jay- I bought a variety when I was living in Mass at the local store and it was really good, you have to let them mature before you eat them, otherwise they don't taste good. I usually open the husks and check the color, is orange when ripe. After picking them you can keep them with the husk on, they will keep for some time. And of course when fully ripe they fall, that is another way to know they are ripe. I hope that you are very successful with your variety, keep us updated on the flavor.

Fritz- here is one of the recipes that I make, you can google for ground cherry recipes and few come up. I also made jam and it was good. If you only grown one kind of ground cherry, you should try more to see which one is your favorite.

Catepelose- I have dogs too and they love tomatoes, at least they have not discover the ground cherries, be careful and only give them when fully ripe.
Ground cherries make a wonderful jam too, just use your favorite recipe and substitute for ground cherries.

Mvisland- Thank you, ground cherries are good in a green salad too.


Here is a link that might be useful: ground cherry pie

    Bookmark   March 15, 2010 at 3:50PM
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My favorite type Is "Aunt Mollies Favorite" an heirloom type from Poland. I have them for breakfast when I go out every morning, when they're in season. I collect them from under the vines and pinch the husk and pop them into my mouth.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 1:09AM
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