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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

07 Nov 17, Patricia (Australia - temperate climate)
What a lovely idea! I’ve never grown them and about to plant some seeds-
07 Oct 17, Juanito Dela Cuestak (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Where can I buy tomatillo seedling or seeds in Melbourne. And, how to grow tomatillo plants here in Melbourne.
08 Oct 17, Darren (Australia - temperate climate)
The Seed Collection sells seeds online, and they are based in Victoria.
30 Sep 17, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in Western Victoria, and would like to try some Tomatillo. Can you advise where to buy seed or seedlings in Hamilton or Mt Gambier (nearest main centres). I do grow Cape Gooseberries which grow extremely well here, despite frosts in winter months but have never tried ixocarpa.
02 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try "Australian Seeds" website. 30 seeds $3.60 + postage. Or look for Cape Gooseberries - very similar. Look around the internet to find sellers and best price.
30 Sep 17, Lawry (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I get my seeds fro fairdinkum seeds. They are a farth north qld family who sell all sorts of fascinating seeds by mail order. Fairdinkumseeds.com.au or on Facebook.
09 Sep 17, Mara (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I live in Adelaide. Appart from Bunnings do you know any other contact where I could get seeds or plant to start growing it myself? I'm mexican and tomatillo is like the 'heart' of mexican dishes so can't wait to grow it! :)
23 Sep 17, Suzy (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Mara. I grew a bumper crop of tomatillo last summer and saved thousands of seeds. I'm happy to share or swap. This month I've put in a tomatillo hedge of 11 plants; I'm hoping people will pass by, curious, pick a few and start conversations.
20 Sep 17, jack niemann (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
online greenpatch seeds https://greenpatchseeds.com.au/snowpea-to-tomatillo-seed.html
11 Sep 17, Bru (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Mara. You could try Hillside Herbs at Mclaren Vale. I get most of my herbs/veg from these guys. Always healthy plants and good knowledgeable service. If they don't have any, they may at least know where to get some.
Showing 1 - 10 of 69 comments

Hi, I live in Adelaide. Appart from Bunnings do you know any other contact where I could get seeds or plant to start growing it myself? I'm mexican and tomatillo is like the 'heart' of mexican dishes so can't wait to grow it! :)

- Mara

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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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