- Which variety to choose
- Growing healthy seedlings
- Seed preparation and planting
- Transfer to a permanent place
- Outdoor care rules
- Harvesting and storage
Growing a beautiful physalis plant with healthy and tasty fruits is no more difficult than the tomato we are used to. A few tips on how to choose the right variety, grow healthy seedlings, find a place in the garden and take care of the plant will help you get an excellent harvest..
Which variety to choose
When choosing a physalis variety, you should be guided by the form in which you will eat ripe fruits – fresh or use the fruits for jam and jams.
If you prefer processed berries, vegetable physalis is for you. It has a higher yield and larger fruit sizes compared to berry varieties. It is not for nothing that it is called a Mexican tomato, because sometimes the mass of fruits reaches 150 g, although this is under ideal growing conditions. And on average, their weight reaches 30–80 g and almost 200 pieces can be tied on a bush. Delicious preserves, candied fruits, jams are made from this physalis, they are also used in pickled form, they make caviar.
Physalis raisin is very sweet, especially suitable for pineapple lovers, it resembles its taste a little. Therefore, it is often eaten fresh. Thanks to its high percentage of sugar, you can make delicious preserves and jams from it. But this variety is also suitable for long-term storage. So it can lie for about 3-4 months.
Peruvian Physalis has very intense fruity notes. Despite the lower sugar content compared to raisins, it is also suitable for making jams or eating fresh fruits..
Growing healthy seedlings
Physalis can be grown using the seedling method or sowing seeds directly into the ground. If you need to get an earlier and more abundant harvest, you should still choose the first growing method..
Planting seedlings should be started taking into account that on average, it takes about 30–45 days from seedlings to transplanting into open ground. Physalis can be planted even before tomatoes. But berry varieties are accustomed to warmer weather conditions, so plan their planting in the second half of May.
Seed preparation and planting
Physalis seeds are small enough. Before sowing, they can be soaked in saline in order to remove floating (unusable) ones. Then we dry the remaining seeds, having previously washed them. If you have doubts about the quality of the seeds, it is worth soaking them in a weak solution of potassium permanganate. Prepared in advance and heated soil mixture must be moistened, and then sow the seeds without placing them tightly on the surface. Top up with a layer of soil (up to 1 cm) and be sure to cover with glass or wrap with polyethylene. For quick seed germination, you need to choose a bright and warm place on the windowsill. If condensation collects on the glass or bag, it must be shaken off and the soil aired. And after germination, you can completely remove.
After the appearance of 2 or 4 true leaves, young shoots must be dived. They can be transplanted into a pot or special cassettes. Their volume should be at least 200–250 ml, since an adult plant can reach 1 m in height and it needs to form a good root system. Watering the seedlings is necessary as the soil dries out. Try not to overmoisten it, because the plant can get sick with a black leg. It is also necessary to loosen the soil so that oxygen flows to the roots. Seedlings can be hardened two weeks before transplanting. To do this, you can take it out onto the street or balcony. A week before planting, if the air temperature drops at least 13-14 ° C at night, the seedlings can be left outside.
Fertilizing physalis seedlings is necessary during the period of active growth. This should be done after picking or if you notice that the growth of seedlings has slowed down. For this, fertilizer for vegetables or the usual nitroammophoska is suitable. During this period, you should not overuse feeding so that the plant does not stretch out ahead of schedule. After all, it will affect your harvest.
You can fertilize physalis bushes outdoors every 2-3 weeks, depending on your soil. In this case, it is necessary to apply organic and mineral fertilizers. The most important periods for feeding fall on the period of flowering physalis and when fruits appear en masse. After all, it is at this time that the plant needs the most complete nutrition..
Transfer to a permanent place
You can start transplanting seedlings if the period of night frosts has already passed. Also, the seedlings must be seasoned and well tolerated in direct sunlight. This plant is not particularly whimsical in choosing the composition of the soil, but it does not like acidic soils. Physalis will develop well in a sunny area, but if you have a little territory, partial shade will do. Also note that Physalis slows down growth or starts to hurt if it grows in a place where water accumulates..
Physalis must be transplanted into prepared, fluffy soil. Before planting, the soil can be fertilized and watered. Ready seedlings are planted in the evening or on a cloudy day. Please note that the physalis bush is quite branched and since it does not need pinching, it should have enough space for good development. Therefore, seedlings are planted at the rate of 1 square meter 3-4 vegetable sprouts or no more than 6 berry physalis. To minimize root damage, seedlings are watered abundantly before planting. The plant is planted in the ground in cotyledon leaves, then watered and sprinkled with dry soil on top.
Outdoor care rules
In a permanent place, physalis must be watered once a week and stop watering in mid-August. If the summer is rainy, it is necessary to constantly loosen the soil so that the plant does not suffocate. Physalis bush is very branchy, especially in vegetable, therefore support is required. You can pinch the top to get a good harvest. If one or more bushes become ill or are affected by pests, they must be removed.
Harvesting and storage
The ripeness of the fruit is determined by the color change of the external flashlight and the appearance of a pleasant smell. Mostly ripe physalis fruits fall to the ground. Mass collection begins before frost and in dry weather. If you had to harvest during the rainy season, physalis must be dried or processed. Also, with a very large harvest, not all set fruits have time to ripen before frost. In this case, you can pull out the entire bush and leave it until the fruits are fully ripe. Note that if you do not remove all the fruits from the soil, by the next year you will have new physalis bushes and will yield a harvest, but at a later date..
You need to store ripe physalis fruits in a dark, cool and ventilated place. They also make delicious jams, preserves, marmalade, dried physalis, caviar and even wine..