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Underrated Physalis
Underrated Physalis

Video: Underrated Physalis

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Video: How to grow Physalis from seed at home 2023, February

Physalis is a vegetable worth getting to know and love


Physalis deserves close attention among vegetable crops that are still not widely spread on the plots of amateur gardeners in the Leningrad Region.

This culture was brought to Russia from South America, where it is quite widespread. Fruits of edible physalis are distinguished by high taste and rich biochemical composition. They contain sugar, a significant amount of vitamin C, organic acids, trace elements, pectin substances.

Physalis is the only vegetable that has a gelling property and therefore is widely used in the confectionery industry. In addition, its fruits are used in fresh food, they are used to make jam, jam, jam, compote, caviar, they are salted, pickled.

Physalis fruits have long been used in folk medicine for kidney disease. It has choleretic, hemostatic and antiseptic properties.

Physalis is interesting for St. Petersburg vegetable growers because it is less demanding on heat than tomato, and has simple agricultural techniques.

Physalis belongs to the nightshade family, as do tomato, pepper, eggplant and potatoes. It got its name from the shape of the flower's calyx (fiza in Greek is a bubble), which grows strongly and subsequently completely clings to the fruit like a cap.

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Types and varieties of physalis

The Physalis genus consists of 110 botanical species. Some types of physalis are cultivated for edible fruits, while others are cultivated as ornamental plants because of a beautiful, brightly colored cup, for example, perennial garden physalis, from which winter bouquets are made.

Garden physalis, judging by the literature, is apparently isolated from a wild Asian species of perennial plant with an annually growing stem, but with a smaller berry in a large cup brightly colored by autumn ("flashlight").

Physalis cultivars with edible fruits can be divided into two groups according to their botanical and economic properties.

Peruvian physalis, depending on the place of origin and cultivation, is also called Brazilian physalis, Colombian fish soup, Venezuelan topo-tono. The plants are perennial, demanding for heat, therefore they are cultivated only in the southern regions by seedlings. Propagated by seeds and rhizomes. The stem is erect, 70-200 cm high, slightly branching, densely pubescent. Leaves are ovate with finely serrated edges and with a long pointed tip 6-15 cm long. The calyx is bell-shaped. Peruvian physalis is a self-pollinator. Berry with a diameter of 10-15 mm, weighing 6-13 g, yellow, very tasty, sweet and sour, aromatic.

Strawberry physalis or dwarf Cape gooseberry, Barbados physalis, strawberry tomato, frosty one-year-old, more early maturing (growing season up to 100 days) species than Peruvian. It can be grown by sowing seeds in open ground, but better by seedlings, since frosts are destructive for plants.

Plants are low (35-45 cm) with creeping or semi-raised branches, densely pubescent. Leaves are medium in size, ovate, fruit calyx (cap) 2-3 cm in diameter, rounded-conical with five prominent ribs, deeply depressed at the base. The berry is 6-12 mm in size, weighing 3-5 g, amber-yellow, sweet with strawberry aroma, immature - with a nightshade flavor.

Both Peruvian and strawberry physalis have been known in culture for a very long time (over 200 years), not only in America, but also in Europe, India and other regions. Both types can be eaten raw, dried as raisins, for compotes, puddings, for making jams and sweets, in candied form. It is highly appreciated by the confectioners of Paris.

The second group of physalis with edible fruits includes vegetable species. These physalis are mainly of Mexican origin, therefore the vegetable physalis is also called Mexican. In Mexico, vegetable physalis has long been cultivated under the names "tomatil" and "miltomat", i.e. Mexican tomato. The local population uses unripe fruits for making hot sauces with pepper, mashed potatoes, boiled and baked, as well as for salting.

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Mexican physalis

Annual, peripherally pollinated plant. Among vegetable physalis, there are semi-creeping forms (30-40 cm high) with a branching angle of up to 140 °, as well as tall ones (over 1 m) with branches extending from the stem at an angle of 35-45 °.

Within the group there can be both early ripening and very late ripening plants with fruits weighing 30-90 g, green, white, yellow, yellow-purple, dark purple in color, flat, oval in shape, from highly ribbed to smooth, to taste - from sugary-sweet to spicy-sour with an unpleasant aftertaste. The cups (caps) of fruits are very diverse in shape, color and size - they are either too large, or, conversely, are torn apart by large fruits.

In general, Mexican physalis are more productive and less heat-demanding than physalis of South American origin.

In the Leningrad region, Physalis grows well in the open field and gives a yield of 2 to 4 kg / m². The best varieties are: strawberry physalis - Strawberry 573, Confectionery, Korolek, Gold placer; Mexican physalis - Moscow early, Gruntovy mushroom, Kudesnik, Surprise, Philanthropist.


Growing physalis

In the conditions of our short summer and frequent spring and autumn frosts, physalis, like tomatoes, can be grown with preliminary forcing of seedlings. When growing seedlings, strawberry physalis is sown a little earlier than Mexican, since it is more thermophilic and grows slower in the conditions of the Leningrad region - in mid-April, and Mexican - at the end of April.

It takes only 25-30 days to distill Mexican physalis seedlings. Sowing is done by seeds naklyuvannye after dressing in a manganese solution in boxes in room conditions or in warm greenhouses and hotbeds. Seedlings of Mexican physalis can be successfully grown without picking, while seedlings of strawberry and Peruvian physalis, which develop more slowly, are better to pick. The feeding area for seedlings should be 5-6 cm in rows and 8-10 cm between rows.

If the crops turn out to be thickened, then they are thinned out when the seedlings have 1-2 true leaves, while the remote strong seedlings are cut into free places.

It should be remembered that at high temperature and humidity, the seedlings of the Mexican physalis stretch out very quickly, often lie down and get sick with a black leg, at a lower temperature of 15-17 ° C and good ventilation of the plants, strong, stocky and healthy seedlings develop. Caring for it consists mainly in loosening, good (not frequent) watering.

If the seedlings develop too slowly or stretch out into thin stalks, then it must be fed with an eco-phosphate - 4 g per 1 liter of water. By the time of planting in open ground, the plants should be strong, not elongated, with a well-developed root system and large buds. Therefore, at an outside air temperature of 10-12 ° C, the plants are hardened, leaving for a whole day in this mode.

Only when there is a threat of frost, the plants are brought into the room or covered with spunbond. For 10-12 days, the last feeding of the seedlings with superphosphate is done (for 1 liter of water, 3 g of fertilizer). Before planting, when the seedlings are growing rapidly, the number of watering is reduced, however, preventing the plants from wilting.

Physalis seedlings are planted in open ground in late May and early June (7-10 days earlier than tomatoes). On the morning of planting, it is watered abundantly so that the root system suffers less from mechanical damage. The plot is marked so that there are 3-4 plants of Mexican physalis and 5-6 strawberry plants per 1m². It is best to plant plants in the ground in the second half of the day, and in cloudy weather, it is possible throughout the day. In humid areas, it is advisable to grow physalis on soils with a height of 30-40 cm in order to avoid the accumulation of stagnant water near the plants.

Under this culture, cultivated, well-lit by the sun, areas that are not subject to flooding by rainwater are allocated. Acidic soils (pH below 4.5) are limed beforehand. Any crop can be a precursor for physalis, except for potatoes.

Physalis loves loose, fertile, well-aerated soil, not clogged with weeds. Therefore, the site intended for growing plants is dug up in the spring to a depth of 20-25 cm, after having scattered rotted manure over it. The application of fresh manure under Physalis can cause adverse effects, resulting in a strong growth of stems and leaves, as well as a delay in the formation of ovaries and fruit ripening. On marginal soils, manure or compost is spread in a layer of 4-5 cm, which corresponds to 4-5 kg ​​/ m².

Physalis responds well to the introduction of mineral fertilizers, for soils of average fertility 80-100 g of ecofoski per 10 m².

During the growing season of physalis in open ground, the soil is kept loose and free from weeds. Depending on the development of plants, they are periodically watered and fed. The first feeding is given during the period of mass flowering, the second - during fruit formation, the third - after 2-3 weeks, using solutions of mineral fertilizers, as well as slurry (1 part of the fertilizer is diluted with 5 parts of water in dry weather and 3 parts in wet weather), cow (1:10), bird droppings (1:15). An ekofoska is used as a mineral fertilizer - 30-40 g per 10 liters of water. Consumption rate - 10 liters per 1 m².

Unlike tomato, the physalis plant is not stepchild or tied up. On the contrary, it is necessary to strive to obtain more powerful, highly branching plants. Physalis fruits are formed in places where the stem branches, so the more the plant branches, the higher the yield will be. Amateur vegetable growers can be advised to pinch the tops of the branches in the middle of the growing season in order to enhance branching and increase the number of fruits on plants.

Plants affected by diseases are removed. It should be noted that physalis is still not a widespread crop, and therefore, compared to tomato or pepper, it is less susceptible to massive damage by diseases and pests.

Physalis harvest
Physalis harvest

Physalis harvest

Ripening of fruits begins from the lower tiers of plants: the higher the fruits are located, the younger and later they ripen. The moment of ripening can be determined by the drying and lightening of the caps, as well as by the aromatic smell and color of the fruit, characteristic of this variety. Ripe fruits tend to fall off. If the weather is dry, then they remain on the ground without damage. They deteriorate in rainy weather. It is not recommended to harvest the fruit after rain. Physalis can withstand slight autumn frosts.

However, frozen fruits are poorly stored, so it is safer to carry out the final harvest before the onset of frost. For long-term storage, the fruits can be removed slightly unripe.

Since immature fruits can grow somewhat on plants, then with a small number of plants grown, it is advisable to harvest the fruits together with the stem and branches before frost. Such plants are hung in a dry room.

After one or two weeks, they are examined and the grown fruits are collected. Healthy (not frozen) fruits are stored in a dry ventilated area in small trellised boxes. In this form at a temperature of 1-4 ° C, unripe fruits can be stored all winter, ripe fruits - 1-2 months.

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