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Old March 12, 2017   #1
rhines81
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My first year trying to grow Tomatillos.

All 3 of the above were sown at the same time and sprouted 5, 6 and 7 days respectively (left-to-right), the eldest is now 15 days old and I potted it up to a 3.5" deep pot today. All plants were freshly watered prior to picture . so hold off on the 'moisture comments'.


I sowed 6 seeds, 5 spouted - 2 withered earlier this week (those sprouted on day 8 and 11).
I re-sowed 3 seeds today because I think I need 5 plants (2 for final garden, 1 spare and 2 for disaster contingency because we have frequent early summer hail storms). Left overs would be given away, but they would need to be paired for pollination.

Each plant is grown in the same environment and receive the same treatment ... why are they so different and finicky??? Anyone else find that their Tomatillos are not quite equal?
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Old March 12, 2017   #2
dmforcier
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The same with other plants, though this is a bit of a dramatic example. You will often see that the seed that germinates later is not as vigorous. This is down to the seed much more than to the environment.

Assuming that the plants get well established in drawing from the soil rather than the endosperm energy packet, the difference will eventually even out. Still, some will die because the packet isn't powerful enough.

'F'I were you I'd start another half dozen and cozen the early birds.
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Old March 12, 2017   #3
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And keep us informed, please. I'm fascinated to follow tomatillos. Never grown them.
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Old March 12, 2017   #4
rhines81
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The same with other plants, though this is a bit of a dramatic example.
It is the dramatic difference that I am speaking of ... I rarely see this with tomatoes or peppers of the same varieties, these appear a full week apart from each other in development, but yet only a day apart from sprouting.

I have until the end of May to get them in the ground so if the other 3 seeds do not develop this coming week, I should have some more time to sow more. By the beginning of April and I may start to stress some.
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Old March 12, 2017   #5
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C'mon. You're trying to grow tomatillos in the Poconos. Stress is part of the equation!


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Old March 12, 2017   #6
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Quote:
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C'mon. You're trying to grow tomatillos in the Poconos. Stress is part of the equation!


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Old March 12, 2017   #7
Worth1
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If they do good I hope you have room for them.

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Old March 12, 2017   #8
AlittleSalt
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Rhines, two tomatillo plants grow to at least 6' long by 3' wide and tall here in Texas. It is an experience growing them and well worth it. Some people love the way they taste and some don't care for them, but the growing part makes it all worth while. If you want any help on how to plant and grow them, I would be happy to share my experience.
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Old May 2, 2017   #9
instacherk
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My advice to you is to have the supports in place when you first plant. In a week they will be too large and unruly to cage. These are some of my favorite plants to grow simply because of how vigorous they have been. Tomatillos grow like weeds, fast and all over the place.
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Old May 2, 2017   #10
oakley
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Not as hearty when young like toms. Actually quite delicate and spindly. Runts in
comparison but once they take hold they grow insane.
I've grown them for years. This year i have 4 varieties. I need two of each and sowed
a dozen seeds of each.
I need to pot mine up this weekend....
I plant mine down the middle of a couple tom beds without staking. They take forever to
fill out since they love July heat. Then boom, by the middle to late August they fill out
and show themselves as the toms slow down. In my 5a i get plenty of fruit with just 8
plants. Too short a season to expect buckets like down south.

I always get some volunteers as the seeds overwinter nicely. (hard to keep up with
harvest and some drop)
My rule of thumb is if you want 2 sow 12. Not unlike trying to transplant pea shoots.
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Old May 3, 2017   #11
Worth1
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Totally different flavor of allowed to get ripe.
I cant stand the things green in most salsa.
Yet another item here that is so cheap it is ridiculous, not worth the trouble and space.
I do like fried green tomatillos though.
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Old May 3, 2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakley View Post
Not as hearty when young like toms. Actually quite delicate and spindly. Runts in
comparison but once they take hold they grow insane.
I've grown them for years. This year i have 4 varieties. I need two of each and sowed
a dozen seeds of each.
I need to pot mine up this weekend....
I plant mine down the middle of a couple tom beds without staking. They take forever to
fill out since they love July heat. Then boom, by the middle to late August they fill out
and show themselves as the toms slow down. In my 5a i get plenty of fruit with just 8
plants. Too short a season to expect buckets like down south.

I always get some volunteers as the seeds overwinter nicely. (hard to keep up with
harvest and some drop)
My rule of thumb is if you want 2 sow 12. Not unlike trying to transplant pea shoots.
Ditto that. The seedlings are spindly, but very fast growing. They become pot bound very quickly too, and very sensitive... I lost some when weather delayed transplanting. I need to start them about 2 weeks later than tomatoes, they catch up by transplanting time. They volunteer quite freely here too, and those plants will still produce a fair crop, and even a little ripe seed. In one of my other gardens, ground cherries do the same thing. I let both grow whenever they are out of the way, kind of nice having something that comes up by itself.
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Old May 3, 2017   #13
jmsieglaff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeedman View Post
Ditto that. The seedlings are spindly, but very fast growing. They become pot bound very quickly too, and very sensitive... I lost some when weather delayed transplanting. I need to start them about 2 weeks later than tomatoes, they catch up by transplanting time. They volunteer quite freely here too, and those plants will still produce a fair crop, and even a little ripe seed. In one of my other gardens, ground cherries do the same thing. I let both grow whenever they are out of the way, kind of nice having something that comes up by itself.
+1 from another person who has grown tomatillos for a while now. I too start mine 10-14 days after I start tomatoes. I learned the hard way early on, I trench planted them and it worked, but I find it is just better to start them later. I always grow 2 plants, we use them for roasted tomatillo salsa--we make big batches and freeze it in 4 cup containers.

I do not see much differences in my seedlings--they are consistent and fast growing.
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Old May 3, 2017   #14
PhilaGardener
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I had OK luck with them down here by Philly. They got about 5 ft tall and fairly wide so be ready for them to spread. I was surprised that I didn't get volunteers the following year. Fruit kept well too, IIRC until Nov. on the counter in the kitchen.
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Old May 3, 2017   #15
shule1
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If started indoors they can be very spindly. However, they're not like that in my unheated 6'x5'x3' Strong Camel greenhouse. They come up quite short and squat. They're just as easy to start as tomatoes in there, but they do start out smaller. I think they just need more light and maybe cooler night-time temperatures to avoid being spindly. They certainly get that in the greenhouse.

If you want the overwintered ones to germinate faster, try tilling and watering the soil where they are. Tomatillos have a *lot* of seeds (albeit very small seeds). Even if you miss a few fruits, they can be growing like weeds all over where they were.

I haven't noticed a big difference in growth rates between varieties, but I've only grown about 8 varieties or so. They seem to cross-pollinate easily.

I like Cisineros for flavor and size, so far, although a kind I got from my friend can taste totally awesome and sweet when fully ripe when they fall off the plant (although it can also have a strong potato taste/smell at other points and then, too, which is interesting). Amarylla tasted like sour watermelon to me. I've also grown the generic one from Trade Winds Fruit, the Yellow one from Trade Winds Fruit, Mexican Strain, and Purple De Milpa (which didn't get fruit ripe enough to eat, although it did get a big, flowery plant, and it seems to have cross-pollinated my friend's tomatillo, which cross I count as the eighth).

This year, I'm growing a few more, and not all of those above. The standouts I've grown in the past were Cisineros, my friend's, my friend's cross, and maybe Yellow.

I highly suggest transplanting before it gets too hot and dry.

Last edited by shule1; May 3, 2017 at 10:23 PM.
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