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Cape Gooseberry, also known as goldenberry or Peruvian groundcherry, is a small, round fruit that belongs to the nightshade family. It has a tart and slightly sweet taste with a texture similar to that of a tomato.
Botanical Name: Physalis peruviana
Plant Type: Perennial plant that is grown as an annual
Plant Size: Grows up to 2 to 3 feet tall and wide
Soil Type: Grows well in well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5-6.8.
Climate: Prefers warm, sunny locations with mild temperatures, but can tolerate light frosts
Planting Season: Sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date in spring, or directly sow seeds outdoors after the danger of frost has passed
Spacing: Plant seedlings or transplants 24-36 inches apart
Watering: Needs regular watering, especially during hot and dry periods
Fertilizer: Apply a balanced fertilizer before planting, then again during the growing season
Harvesting: Fruits ripen about 70-80 days after planting and can be harvested when they turn yellow-orange and the husk starts to dry and turn brown
Common Uses: Often eaten fresh, added to salads, or used in jams and sauces. They can also be dried and used in teas.
Pests and Diseases: Can be susceptible to aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies, as well as fungal diseases like powdery mildew and leaf spot.