Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry (Organic Heirloom 70 Days)
Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry is an 1837 Polish Heirloom. Smooth, marble-sized fruits are indigenous to the high altitudes of South America, eventually finding their way to Europe in the 18th century. Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry has a sweet, tangy, citrus flavor ending with a hint of vanilla- plus after an employee taste test. Julie claimed that it tasted like a pina colada. Abundant harvests of golden fruit are enclosed in papery husks turning green to yellow/brown, dropping to the ground when ripe, and continuing to sweeten while waiting to be harvested. Sweet or savory uses: add these to salads, jams, smoothies, preserves, pies, and even dry like raisins. When stored with the husk on Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry can last a month. Grows to 2 feet high by 4 feet wide.
Germination: 10-25 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 75-85ºF. Cooler soil temperatures increase germination time.
Seed Sowing Depth: ¼” deep
Starting Indoors: 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Sow in flats/cells/pots. Provide 75-85ºF soil temperatures. Fertilize the seedlings every 7-10 days with a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer (diluted to ¼ of the suggested measurement). Transplant seedlings 24-48” apart after the last frost.
Sowing Outdoors: Not recommended, especially in northern areas
How much does a packet plant: 20-25 foot single row
Harvest: The fruits must be fully ripe to eat. Fruits are golden in color, covered in a papery husk and will fall to the ground when they are ripe. They have a long shelf life, a month or more after harvest when the husks are left on.
Tips: Aunt Molly's Ground Cherry should be planted in fertile soil, and amended with compost if needed. It helps to use row cover early in the season, giving the plants extra warmth, especially in the north. Side dress when flowers begin to form. Place some type of cloth under the plants for an easier harvest.