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Cape Gooseberry
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Cape Gooseberry Seeds, average packet contents :  50 seeds

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This is the tall Cape Gooseberry, also know as Physalis peruviana, or the 'Golden Berry'. It is a tall shrub type plant growing up to a height of 180cm and produces masses of small round berry fruit, yellow-orange in colour with a very sweet flavour.

Very popular and easy to grow, but best grown in the greenhouse or polytunnel in the UK.

Cape Gooseberry Sowing Guidelines
Approx Seeds per Packet: :  50
When to Sow Seeds: March, April, May
Germination Temperature: 15C +
Cover Seed: Lightly
Time to Germinate: 7 - 10 Days
Frost Hardy: No
Spacing Between Plants: 50cm

 

 How to Successfully Grow Cape Gooseberries

The Cape Gooseberry (Physalis Peruviana) is also known as the ‘Golden Berry’ due to its distinctive colouring when fully ripe. Its name, however, is derived from it first being cultivated in Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. The flowers and subsequent fruits of this delightful shrub-like plant develop and grow within papery lantern shaped husks called a calyces. They look very ornamental and resemble tiny Chinese lanterns. The fruit itself, tastes sweet with a hint of cranberry and a sour after-taste. They are often used in fruit salads, jam making, savoury and sweet dishes and are popular as a garnish. The husks are not edible but are best left on until the fruits are required, as they help to keep the berries fresher for longer.    

Seed sowing

Cape Gooseberries are relatively easy to grow but the seeds can take anything up to 10 days to germinate so you will need to be patient. Sow the seeds from March to May under cover with a minimum ambient temperature of 15C-18C (59-65F). Seeds can be sown in pots or trays of damp seed compost and lightly covered to a depth of 0.5cm. Cover the pots or trays with polythene to retain moisture. When the seedlings have developed 4 true leaves transplant to 9cm pots of potting compost.  

Growing under cover

The plants are not frost hardy so for best results, grow them in a greenhouse or a polytunnel. They can be potted on into large containers when around 15cm-20cm high or planted into growbags. Allow 50cm between plants. They will need some support as they can reach heights of up to 180cm. Keep plants well-watered.

Growing outdoors

Cape gooseberries will grow outdoors during the warmer, summer months but will need a sheltered position. Ensure they are well hardened off and only move the plants outside once all danger of frost has passed. Beds should be prepared well in advance, incorporating plenty of organic matter. Alternatively, plants can be grown outdoors in containers. Cane or netting support will be needed and you will need to ensure the plants are kept well-watered during dry spells.

General aftercare

The main task is keeping the plants well-watered during the growing season but then reduce the amount of water once the fruits have formed, as too much water at this stage will cause the fruits to split. Cape gooseberries are best treated like tomatoes so when the first fruits appear, a feed of a potash based fertiliser or a similar tomato feed will help the fruits to develop. Nipping out the growing tips of side branches when they reach 30cm will encourage more fruiting branches to form.

Harvesting & storage

Pick the fruits when they have changed from green to yellow or orange, leaving the husk intact. They can be eaten straight from the plant or kept in a fridge for up to 7 days. To freeze Cape gooseberries, remove the husks and wash the fruit then place them into airtight bags or containers. They should keep in a freezer for up to 6 months.

Pest & diseases

Cape gooseberries are generally pest and disease free.

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Customer Reviews
Cape Gooseberry
Average Rating (2 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Rating:  
Yearly
Saturday, 2 February 2013  |  Mc

I have grown these every year with good success. Lovely!


Rating:  
GOT TO TRY THIS
Saturday, 6 October 2012  |  Peter

These seeds are easy to propogate.
I grew the plants with my tomatoes at the allotment, protecting them early on with a little bit of fleece.
They are HEAVY with fruit and in early october with everything dying off they are still going strong. Pickrd some fruits early and they are ripening nicely in egg boxes on a sunny windowsill.
Will I grow them next year? Absolutely certain of it!

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