Cape gooseberries make an unusual and exotic container crop.
Time to plant: spring
Create a container that combines colourful, edible flowers with the dramatic papery lanterns of the ripening Physalis fruits. Cape gooseberry, Physa/is edulis, is an easy and unusual container crop. You won’t get masses of fruits (and they are a rather acquired taste, being quite sharp), but they look beautiful and they make an interesting garnish, or you can mix them with other fruits to make jams and tarts. Grow physalis from seed, sowing indoors in spring, or buy young plants and start them off indoors, growing them on under cover until there is no longer a risk of frost. In late spring, piant outdoors in a large pot or recycled container, along with edible nasturtiums or marigolds for a real show of colour. Position the pot in a sunny, sheltered spot and water and liquid-feed with tomato feed regularly once the lanterns appear. Harvest in late summer/early autumn once the husks have turned translucent and papery, and the golden-orange fruit shows through.
TIP You can leave the ripe fruits on the plant until you need them.
references: BBC 2011 gardeners book