The cape gooseberry belongs to the nightshade family. It has got to be one of the easiest fruits to grow in the garden and is self-pollinating. It has heart shaped leaves and produces small round edible berries inside of husks. The plants seem to survive on neglect and yet produce bountiful of fruit. The cape gooseberry has a very wide culinary use from jam, chutney, salads, and pies.
How to Plant a Cape Gooseberry
Cape gooseberry plants can either be germinated from seed or you can buy an established plant from a nursery. Cape gooseberry does germinate very easily.
Where to Plant your Cape Gooseberry
Cape gooseberry plants love full sun, grow to between 1-2m in height and are normally grown as an annual, but it also can be over wintered. They can grow well in the ground and pots.
How to Care for Cape Gooseberry
The cape gooseberry doesn’t require much other than a bit of mulch to cover the surface root, a bit of compost to keep the soil alive and moist, and consistent watering. Prune plant back after fruiting and cut out any dead, diseased, or damaged growth. Tip prune the plant during its growth season to encourage a bushy growth.
How do I know if a Cape Gooseberry is ripe?
The brown papery bell-shaped husks will turn brown and when you open the husk you will see the fruit are a yellow/orange color. They can be eaten at this stage however we prefer them when they turn a brighter orange color as we find them sweeter.
We made cape gooseberry and rhubarb pie, try it and tell us what you think?