Small orange berry with a husk.A conversation piece at markets, well liked by children. This old-fashioned tomato family member bears 1/2– 3/4" sweet golden berries inside papery husks, resembling small, straw-colored Japanese lanterns. The flavor is quite sweet and a bit wild. Plants are profusely branching, prolific, and drop ripe fruits. Fruits can be eaten raw, dried like raisins, frozen, canned, or made into preserves, cooked pies, and desserts. USDA Certified Organic. Avg. 40,000 seeds/oz. Packet: 40 seeds.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Physalis pruinosa
CULTURE: Same as tomatoes, but once established, more tolerant to stress from drought, heat, cold, and low nutrients. Well adapted to growing in most regions in the U.S. Typically germinates within 7–10 days, but may take up to 14 days.
TRANSPLANTING: Sow in 50-cell trays
6–7 weeks before transplanting. Can also sow tightly in flats and pot-up (see Tomato culture). Keep moist until emergence. Transplant outdoors after danger of frost, about 1–2 weeks later than your earliest tomatoes. Plant 18–24" apart.
CROP MAINTENANCE: Black plastic mulch and row covers will accelerate growth in cooler regions. Short, yet sprawling plants can grow wild but do benefit from some support, similar to determinate tomatoes. Can thrive in containers, but additional mulching underneath and a trellis that elevates the plants but still allows plants to remain open will increase harvest efficiency.
DISEASE & PESTS: See Tomatoes.
HARVEST: Pick weekly (with husks attached) into containers or 10-lb flats. Harvest when fruit turns golden in color, husk is partially dry, and fruits fall or easily detach from plant. Collect blemish-free fruit from plants or from the ground.
STORAGE: Sensitive to cold injury and ethylene gas (affects fruit color). Store dry and in husks at room temperature for 1–2 weeks, or at 41–50°F and 80–90% RH for 3–4 weeks. Husks will naturally dry within 2 weeks, but high humidity is recommended for best freshness.
DAYS TO MATURITY: From transplant.
SEED SPECS: SEEDS/OZ.: 40,000.
PACKET: 40 seeds. 30–90′ depending on germination, thinning, and final spacing.
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