Physalis Blog Post
This week we completed our first field planting of groundcherry and goldenberry! In total, we put 90 plants in the ground, consisting of 3 types of groundcherry (Pineapple, ZL05, and Goldie), and 3 types of goldenberry (Goldenberry, India, and South Africa). As you may recall, this process actually started in the greenhouse, sowing the goldenberry in the beginning of March, and sowing the groundcherry in the beginning of April. We found that after transplanting to bigger pots in the greenhouse the plant’s growth really started to take off, so we were eager to get them outside!
A week before our anticipated planting date we transported the plants in their pots to our East Ithaca field site to begin the hardening-off process. We wanted to give the plants time to adjust to the cooler night time temperatures while still in their pots. Additionally, we also needed to account for the increased sun exposure the plants would face once outside. To accomplish this we used a shade cloth (pictured below) to cover the plants their first few days outside. The shade cloth filters the sunlight, allowing us to gradually expose the plants to full sun. Towards the end of the hardening-off period we removed it completely, allowing the plants full sun exposure before planting.
After the hardening-off period it was time to plant! Members of the Van Eck crew came out to help plant and we were done in just a couple of hours. The plants were planted with bamboo stakes to provide initial support, and we plan to add additional trellising in the near future. We are excited to see how the plants grow in these coming months and will report back with updates!