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Old April 20, 2013   #1
brokenbar's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Of The Border
Posts: 1,169
Default Totally Tomatillo

Wow...we have so many new members! I thought I would post my Tomatillo information for the benefit of any who have never grown them. Tomatillos are one of my favorite things to grow but frankly, they are rude!

They will crowd, choke and grow over their unlucky tomato or pepper flatmates in the greenhouse faster than you can believe. You will re-pot them way to many times because they grow about 3 times as fast as tomatoes ( so don't start them too early...)

In the garden, they are a plant on steroids. I live in Mexico and they grow wild here. They completely take over and choke out all other things in their path. You must stake them because if you don't, they will sprawl at an alarming rate and your tomato and pepper plants will be in peril. One woman wrote on her blog "Thank God they are not frost hardy or they would take over the world..." She isn't kidding.

Did I mention they re-seed with a vengeance? I keep black plastic under my plants and keep dropped fruit picked up but even then...I still get little tomatillo plants coming up in the most unlikely places. Frankly, I grow them and the other juvenile delinquent plants (cherry tomatoes, dill, cilantro) in a "special" area all their own. The soil is lousy, there are lots of little rocks and the sun bakes on it 15 hours a day and yet they thrive...go figure.

After all the negatives one is probably wondering why anyone would grow them...SALSA VERDE....a staple in my cooking and in my families meals. In Mexico, they use it on and in everything. I have posted many great recipes using tomatillos here on the forum.

The varieties I grow are:

Grand Maje
Large Purple (From Bakercreek Heirlooms) It is about 3 times the size of the little gumball shaped purple tomatillos one commonly sees.

In addition to salsa verde, I allow some of my green varieties to trun yellow which is when they become very sweet. I cook them into a sauce and can it. I can then open a jar and add mango's, a little red onion, hot peppers and some lime juice for a delicious spicey/sweet salsa.

I use the purple variety for Salsa Violetta, a new family favorite and the single item I can for which I get the most requests. It is also a hot/sweet sauce, a lovely color and terrific served over chicken or pork.

If you have never tried Salsa Verde, you are missing out. My garden would never be complete without tomatillos, no matter what a pain in the behind they are. Those giant plants, loaded with fruit just make you smile!
"If I'm not getting dirty, I'm not having a good time."

Last edited by brokenbar; April 21, 2013 at 05:01 PM.
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