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Growing Tomatillo

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S   P              

(Best months for growing Tomatillo in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 70°F and 81°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 28 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-14 weeks. Husk splits when fruit is ripe..
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Will happily grow in a flower border
  • Young tomatillo
    Young tomatillo

NB Tomatillos are not self-fertile so you need to have at least two plants for cross-pollination. Tomatillos are from the same family as Cape Gooseberries, with a papery husk round the fruit.

Tomatillo plants are similar in growth to tomatoes and spread about 1 -1.5m . Can be supported but are happy spreading themselves around. The plants are very productive so 2 or 3 plants may be enough for the average household.

Tomatillos will cope with cooler weather than tomatoes. The fruit will swell to fill the husk as they ripen. Do not use fertiliser.

When buying seed, check that it is Ph. ixocarpa not Ph.peruviana otherwise you will grow Cape Gooseberries instead of Tomatillos.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Tomatillo

Use in spicy sauces with or to replace tomatoes.
They are the base of salsa verde in Mexican cookery.

Your comments and tips

13 Jun 10, Andrea (Australia - tropical climate)
Where can you get seeds for things like this. The seed supply up here in Cairns seems rather limited.
16 Jun 10, (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
The online seed companies often have tomatillo. Maybe greenharvest, diggers, or eden seeds?
05 Jan 11, Adrian (Australia - temperate climate)
My Tomatillo's [6 plants], have gone crazy. I have Cape Gooseberries near them, but have not done so well. It's my first time growing them, so will keep experimenting. That's the fun of gardening.
19 Jan 11, kim (Australia - arid climate)
I got mine from diggers.
07 Feb 11, Rose (Australia - temperate climate)
Our Tomatillos have what looks like a virus causing leaf curl. There are no aphids or red spider mites on the plants. Does anyone have any knowledge of this and what I can do to avoid this in the futhre - thanks
08 Jun 11, carl (Australia - arid climate)
just worms, use insect poison
07 Jul 11, alevity (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
i planted about a dozen seeds in early June, and have 6 hardy small plants, one of which has been exceeding all the others! Though small, I transplanted one of the saplings in to a pot far to large for it, but it took off as if trying to fill its big shoes. big tip, DEFINITELY give them there own pots early.
26 Aug 11, Rod Hoad (Australia - temperate climate)
Have one tomatillo weighing 140 grams,diameter 70mm. Saving the seeds.Manyothers on the bush but none this size.Ho.d
26 Nov 11, Liz (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My tomatillos aren't setting though I have several patches with 2-3 plants growing together. Bees are around, so no problem there. What to do?
07 Sep 12, (Australia - temperate climate)
I'm having trouble sourcing Tomatillo. Home garden. Western Australiia. Any ideas?
Showing 1 - 10 of 67 comments

Where can I buy tomatillos in New England area?

- Patricia Dunsky

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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