This year, I decided to experiment with cape gooseberries (their sweet cousin) Physalis Peruviana. My father has grown these on the border of North Wales with success so I thought I would try the same. Also as my gardening is all container gardening I don't grow many fruit so that was another motivation for sowing some cape gooseberry seed.
My sowings were too successful and I had loads of seedlings. So I gave some to the Wimbledon Food Group community gardens. They haven't had so much success with theirs so I thought I would write a blog on the cape gooseberry's preferred conditions.
Situation: They like a sunny position which is reasonably sheltered from the wind.
Soil: They have a preference for well draining soil sandy or loam soil. When putting them in a container put gravel or crocks in the soil.
Water: They are relations of the tomato and the potato in the solanaceae family so like to be kept well watered, but don't like to go to bed with their feet wet. Care needs to be taken to ensure their roots do not stand in water.
Fertilizer: Do not need fertilizer and will grow more foliage than fruit if they get fed.
To summise: lots of water but don't feed!
They can take a while to get going, and placing them in a sunny spot should help kick start them.