Many people know physalis as an ornamental plant, it is grown both in gardens and at home in pots. However, there is a physalis vegetable, which is eaten. Its fruits are very similar to tomatoes, growing in an unusual, similar in shape to a lantern, whole wrapper.
Physalis vegetable: description
Growing vegetable physalis at home as a vegetable does not yet have such great popularity as planting for decorative purposes. Therefore, you should figure out how to grow physalis in your dacha, properly care for it and harvest it in time.
Edible physalis in Russia began to grow at home in the 19th century. This practice has moved from European countries, where the plant got from its natural habitat - Central and South America.
Physalis, depending on the variety, can reach a height of 1 meter. This is a perennial plant belonging to the nightshade family. The closest brothers are potatoes and tomatoes.
On one bush, about 200 fruits can ripen in a season, which first grow in an orange or red cup-case that looks like a flashlight or a closed bell.
Note! It is this case that protects the fetus from all adverse environmental influences, diseases and pests.
Large fruits of the plant have a mass of about 50 grams, there are vegetable varieties whose fruits reach a mass of 80 grams. Unlike tomatoes, physalis fruits have a different color palette. Ripe fruits can be green, yellow, orange, red and purple.
What physalis tastes
You can’t immediately say what kind of vegetable the taste of physalis looks like, because the varieties are different. The fruits of some taste like several berries and fruits: strawberries, grapefruit and some grapes. Some species have a pineapple flavor.
Several vegetable species are more reminiscent of an unripe tomato, some varieties are similar to gooseberries. Sometimes the taste is burning or bitter, but when preparing preparations from physalis for the winter, all the bitterness and sourness disappear.
The color of the fruit is different
Varieties of Vegetable Physalis
One of the most famous Mexican varieties is Tomatillo. Has violet-yellow fruits.
Note! It is noteworthy that in its homeland, the plant has long been an inedible weed, and they tried to get rid of it.
The most popular varieties:
- Korolek is a vegetable variety that is most often used to prepare vegetable caviar for the winter.
- The vegetable physalis confectioner has slightly flattened large yellow fruits. It is used fresh.
- Soil Gribovsky is a cold-resistant variety with light green sweet and slightly sour berries.
- Moscow early ripens early. Fruits are large yellow.
- Plum Jam has a full purple color. You can distinguish it from another purple Tomatillo variety by the pulp inside: unlike the purple pulp of Tomatillo, Plum Jam has a green core.
- Physalis Gourmand. The early variety Gourmand has useful properties that cleanse the body. The bush reaches a height of about 70 centimeters. It has large bright orange fruits weighing from 60 to 80 grams. Used for making pickles, jams for the winter. It is common to eat fresh.
Berry physalis: varieties
Unlike vegetable, physalis berry varieties do not have a sticky substance on the surface of the fruit peel. The group of berry varieties includes strawberry and Peruvian varieties. Famous representatives are:
- The wizard is one of the largest varieties. Very productive and characterized by long shelf life of berries.
- Dessert variety was bred in Russia. Small fruits are yellow-orange.
- Columbus is a variety with small orange fruits, their taste is similar to strawberries.
- Raisin is a young, but very popular variety. The small yellow berries of the plant taste like pineapple.
Physalis in the open ground
Physalis: planting and care in the open ground
To obtain a high-quality and rich harvest, it is necessary to make a proper planting and provide careful care to the bushes throughout the season.
Physalis in open ground can be planted in several ways: by seeds, through rhizomes and seedlings. At home in the garden, the method of planting using seeds is mainly used, seedlings are rarely grown. You need to plant seeds in the spring after warm days and warming the earth.
Preparing seeds for planting
To plant seeds in open ground, you first need to prepare a special saline solution, in which you need to soak them for a short time.
Hollow and spoiled seeds unsuitable for planting will emerge, and high-quality seeds will remain at the bottom. After saline, the seeds must be rinsed in clean water with a sieve.
Important! For seed disinfection, special preparations are used - fungicides. You can use a folk remedy - a solution of potassium permanganate.
Site selection and preparation for sowing
It is not recommended to plant physalis in areas where nightshade cultures were previously grown. The landing site should be in an open sunny area, where there is good air ventilation.
The soil must be fertile and loose. When preparing the land for sowing, it is necessary to make fertilizers in the form of compost or humus, peat and sod land and some river sand.
The distance between the rows on the beds should be at least 50-70 centimeters from each other (depending on the variety). Each seed is planted to a depth of not more than 2 centimeters. Gently sprinkle with earth, lightly tamp with a palm. At the end, irrigation is carried out with soft, settled water.
Harvest depends on proper care
Care for planting vegetable physalis
To learn how to properly grow an unusual vegetable, you need to remember the rules for the care of other nightshade, such as tomato.
All gardeners are thinking about whether to plant herbal physalis, since tomatoes require this procedure. However, this culture does not require pinching. It is possible only in the autumn period to make the formation of the top of the plant by pinching so that the forces of the plant do not go to growth, but to ripen the fruits.
The culture is not demanding for watering, the main thing is to water the bush when the top layer of the soil dries. In no case should not allow the drying of the earth and stagnation of moisture in it. Irrigation water should not be cold and hard, rain or river water is well suited.
Important! After each watering, it is necessary to carry out loosening of the soil.
Fertilizers for physalis vegetable
Bushes need to be fed every 2 weeks. It is recommended to alternate mineral and organic top dressing.
You can make organic fertilizer yourself. His recipe is simple: dissolve 200 grams of mullein in a bucket of ordinary water.
Mineral fertilizers can be purchased in specialized stores as a complex preparation for nightshade crops.
The ripe fruit itself falls to the ground and, under good climatic conditions, can lie in this position for more than a week without completely deteriorating.
Harvesting should be done when the first fruits begin to fall. After the first collection, it is recommended to repeat the procedure every week. It is necessary to ripen and remove all the fruits before the onset of frost, since the fruits that managed to freeze will deteriorate and will not be stored for long.
Important! It is better to pick berries in dry and clear weather; they will be stored longer in such conditions.
Physalis: growing and care in the Urals
Agricultural technology differs little from growing in other regions, since the plant is quite resistant to frost and disease.
The main difference is the cultivation of crops using seedlings, by analogy with tomatoes. Seeds are sown in pots in early April. Before planting in the soil, seedlings must be fed with fertilizers and regularly watered.
Before planting in the garden, within a week, a box with seedlings is taken outside for several hours, so that the seedlings get used to the street climate.
Planting and caring for physalis in a greenhouse
In a greenhouse made of polycarbonate, glass or polyethylene, physalis is planted with seedlings grown in advance at home.
When 5-7 leaves grow on each seedling, seedlings can be planted in the greenhouse.
Wells for seedlings should be no deeper than 8 centimeters, each of them must be watered before planting seedlings. The soil mixed with humus and river sand should always be loose.
Feeding is carried out once every 2 weeks, alternating mineral and organic fertilizers.
Important! The main condition when growing in a greenhouse is regular ventilation.
How to shape physalis in a greenhouse
The plant will tell you how to form physalis in the greenhouse. As soon as extra non-fruiting shoots appear, they are removed.
To increase productivity, in the second half of summer, they pinch the upper parts of the shoots.
Physalis is very resistant to various diseases and pests. Can get sick only with improper care and adverse climatic and environmental conditions. The main diseases of the physalis, causing great harm to the health of the bush until its destruction, are: mosaic, black leg and strick.
Physalis diseases in the greenhouse
When growing a crop in a greenhouse, it can get a fungal disease called the black leg.
The reason for its appearance is too humid air and lack of ventilation.
To understand whether the bush got a black leg, you need to look at the base of the main shoot right at the roots. With the disease, dark spots and blackening appear there.
The emerging disease, most often, affects the leaf plates of the culture. They may turn yellow and then begin to fall off. Sometimes incomprehensible spots and pimples appear on their surface.
Like tomatoes, physalis can get late blight and fusariosis. With late blight, the leaf plates are painted in places in dark brown blurry spots, then they dry up and die instantly. The disease is dangerous because during watering and rain the viruses that cause the disease can penetrate the base of the stems and the roots of the culture and develop there.
Another fungal disease, fusarium, also appears on the leaves of the bush. Damaging the roots, the infection penetrates the stems and reaches the leaf plates, which begin to turn yellow, brown, curl and dry.
Important! If other nightshade cultures grow in the neighborhood with physalis, then the probability of getting sick increases at times. Before planting, you need to find out which plants are solanaceous and which neighborhood is unacceptable for physalis.
Yellow pimples on the leaves
The appearance of yellow pimples on the leaves of the physalis indicates the appearance of the mosaic disease. Light, sometimes almost white, spots begin to appear on the leaves and fruits. They can be of different shapes and sizes.
The surface of the leaf plates begins to become covered with spotted spots, which deforms the leaves and changes their contour. The growth of the culture slows down, the leaves begin to fade and turn yellow, the fruits cannot ripen.
Recommendations and tips for protecting physalis from diseases and pests
Timely treatment can save shrubs and crops. To combat diseases, you can purchase special fungicide preparations in stores or prepare them using the folk method.
But it is best to take care of the health of the culture in advance by regularly taking preventive measures:
- before planting seeds, it is necessary to disinfect them with fungicides;
- plant the crop away from nightshade and not to the site where plants of this family used to grow;
- after working in the garden and garden, disinfect garden tools so as not to cause infection;
- pay attention to ensure proper care of the bushes throughout the season.
Unusual nightshade culture can act as an ornamental plant, as well as fruit, berries and vegetables. The delicious fruits of the physalis berry varieties are well suited for making jams and jams, vegetable varieties for pickles and other winter preparations. In addition, they can be consumed fresh.