Your Complete Guide to Growing Ground Cherries
From the best place to plant them to harvesting tips, gardeners share their advice for growing and caring for the plants.
If you aren’t already growing ground cherries in your home garden, then now’s the time to start. “Ground cherries are in the nightshade family that also includes eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes,” says Christopher Landercasper, director of farming operations for Sonoma’s Best Hospitality Group. “The most commonly consumed plant people think about when they are talking about ground cherries is the tomatillo.” While tomatillos differ from ground cherries, according to the University of Minnesota, they stem from the same genus, making them a not too distant cousin of the fruit.
Commonly used to make preserves, jams, sauces, and pies, garden expert Melinda Meyers says the sweet, somewhat tart flavored fruit is a great plant for beginning gardeners to grow. “It is easy to grow, and each individual fruit can contain up to a hundred seeds,” she explains. “So, if you leave a few behind, they’ll likely pop up in next year’s garden, too.”
We asked Landercasper, Meyers, and Daniel Cunningham, a horticulturist at Texas A&M AgriLife Research, what you need to know about the plant…