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Old November 1, 2007   #1
celticman
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Default info on tomatillo

I am looking for information on Tomatilloes. I have never grown them and am considering them.
Do they grow similar to tomatoes?
Will they cross with a tomato?
Any recommendations on which varity?
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Old November 1, 2007   #2
PaulF
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My experience with tomatillos is that they show an explosive growth pattern a lot like a cherry tomato; mine got very very viney(?). Four or five feet tall and about ten feet in diameter. I happened to get a variety from Sandhill but Tomato Growers Supply also has several choices. We were not into salsa production at that time so most went to waste. Might have to try them again.

I did grow them from seed the same as tomatoes, but I think I could have started them a bit later. If I remember, tomatillos and tomatoes are related but are of a different genus so cross pollination would not be a problem. I grew two plants so I am not sure about whether they are self pollinating. The growth is very tomatolike in the garden.

I happened to grow Giant Yellow which was not very giant and not very yellow but was a good tomatillo. TGS pictures give a nice display of the varieties. Hope my experiences help a bit.
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Old November 1, 2007   #3
carolyn137
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http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/m...sk_tomato.html

Above is the best website I know of with regard to almost everything you need to know about growing tomatillos.

Some quick answers:

As stated above tomatillos ( Physalis) do not cross with tomatoes ( Solanum)

Tomatillos are self infertile so you need to grow at least two plants to get berries, for that's what the fruits are. Note in the article that pollination from another Physalis sp can occur within a certain distance, but best to plant your at least two plants next to each other.

Not for fresh eating, rather, for salsa's and similar.

And there is a place below on this first page here at Tville in the other veggies and fruit sections for just Tomatoillos if you didn't see it.
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Old November 24, 2007   #4
gardenhappy
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Default tomatillo

I have growen them for years and i do know at least when we lived in michigan where there is one,there will be more!
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Old November 28, 2007   #5
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Carolyn wrote: "Tomatillos are self infertile so you need to grow at least two plants to get berries, for that's what the fruits are. Note in the article that pollination from another Physalis sp can occur within a certain distance, but best to plant your at least two plants next to each other."

I've grown tomatillos a few times, and as gardenhappy notes, they like to volunteer (and I doubt it's a Michigan thing!). A couple of times I've left one volunteer to flower and fruit, and it did so happily and abundantly, with no other tomatillo plant in the garden or the neighborhood, to my knowledge.

So I can't rule out the possibility that some other species of plant nearby is getting involved (maybe a ground cherry, they are also Physalis spp.), but the volunteer seed comes true each year (with Purple tomatillo, the color is rather distinct), so to me it seems to be a solo act. I'm not convinced that more than one plant is necessary, even though the source you cited says that it does take more than one plant.

BTW, Suzanne Ashworth's Seed to Seed states that flowers of Physalis spp. are perfect (a botanical term in this context) and self-pollinating. This seems to contradict the cited source.

Personally, I find that one plant produces an overwhelming amount of fruit for the home gardener who might want a few for a batch or two of salsa. Don't know why I'd ever want two of them!
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Old November 15, 2008   #6
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Carolyn mentioned that tomatillos are: Not for fresh eating, rather, for salsa's and similar

Does anyone know for certain if this is the case for Cossack's Pineapple? I'm assuming it's not because I had them at TP6 and LOVED them. I'm just a little confused.
Has anyone grown this one before? I need two plants right?
What would happen if I ate a handful of Tomatillos? Would I get sick?

I could see Cossack's making a great addition to salsa.

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Old November 15, 2008   #7
newatthiskat
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Default Tomatillo

Most of the pico I eat is from fresh tomatillos. I haven't gotten sick yet
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Old November 15, 2008   #8
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I have eaten tomatillos many times fresh from the garden. I have never gotten sick. Traditionally tomatillos are boiled first and then made into salsa.

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Old November 16, 2008   #9
tantaw0
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Default Tomatillos

Where I live Tomatillos, Texas, are grown by "everyone". My experience with growing them from seed is to treat them like peppers. That is to say that they take longer to germinate than tomato seed normally does. It is not unusual for them to take 10 to 14 days to germinate.

I have also found that they are very hardy plants and will do very well in hot, arid climates. I live in Zone 7 and normally in the summer our temps range from highs of 97 to 105 degrees. Hopefully your experience will be like mine. We normally get from 75 to 175 fruits per plant.

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Old October 7, 2011   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tantaw0 View Post
Where I live Tomatillos, Texas, are grown by "everyone". My experience with growing them from seed is to treat them like peppers. That is to say that they take longer to germinate than tomato seed normally does. It is not unusual for them to take 10 to 14 days to germinate.

I have also found that they are very hardy plants and will do very well in hot, arid climates. I live in Zone 7 and normally in the summer our temps range from highs of 97 to 105 degrees. Hopefully your experience will be like mine. We normally get from 75 to 175 fruits per plant.

Dave
Mine wouldn't produce a thing from Mid-may until the last week of September. I have purple tomatillos. I wonder if it depends on the variety.
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Old October 7, 2011   #11
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I grew 15 to 20 plants every year in Wyoming and they produced like crazy. Never had a bad year. They grow wild everywhere in Mexico so that shows two very different climates (Wyoming/Mexico) where they do well.

I grew I large (bigger than golf ball) purple variety (Baker Creek) this year and I grew purple jalapenos and purple "tequila" peppers to make a gorgeous "Salsa Violetta".

The bees LOVE Tomatillo flowers so I don't think pollination would be a problem.
I have found that the more water you give them, the larger the fruit. The plants also produce better if staked (they are the sprawlers of the garden...constantly having to be tied up.)

Like tomatoes, tomatillos can be picked when frost threatens and will ripen just fine indoors.
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Old October 7, 2011   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenbar View Post
I grew 15 to 20 plants every year in Wyoming and they produced like crazy. Never had a bad year. They grow wild everywhere in Mexico so that shows two very different climates (Wyoming/Mexico) where they do well.

I grew I large (bigger than golf ball) purple variety (Baker Creek) this year and I grew purple jalapenos and purple "tequila" peppers to make a gorgeous "Salsa Violetta".

The bees LOVE Tomatillo flowers so I don't think pollination would be a problem.
I have found that the more water you give them, the larger the fruit. The plants also produce better if staked (they are the sprawlers of the garden...constantly having to be tied up.)

Like tomatoes, tomatillos can be picked when frost threatens and will ripen just fine indoors.
That's good to know. I'm not watering them very often now (2 times a week) but they look happy except for some yellowing leaves on top. I've been giving them more water than the pumpkins, because if I don't the leaves wilt by the time I get to the next watering. I'm estimating there are about 75 husks growing on each plant now, approximately double of what there was last weekend. How big do they get, and how do you know when to pick them? I looked on this forum and another one but didn't find that info.
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Old October 7, 2011   #13
brokenbar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direct Sunlight View Post
That's good to know. I'm not watering them very often now (2 times a week) but they look happy except for some yellowing leaves on top. I've been giving them more water than the pumpkins, because if I don't the leaves wilt by the time I get to the next watering. I'm estimating there are about 75 husks growing on each plant now, approximately double of what there was last weekend. How big do they get, and how do you know when to pick them? I looked on this forum and another one but didn't find that info.
How big they get depends on what variety you are growing? The husks turn tan when they are ripe but truthfully, you can pick them any time and they will ripen. Some of the varieties are sweeter, the "gold" for instance is much sweeter than regular tomatillos. The biggest ones are "Grand Maje" & "Cisneros". They get about the size of a tangerine.

Here is a GREAT article about tomatillos: http://www.iserv.net/~wmize/tomtil.html
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Old December 5, 2008   #14
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Most of the people I know that use tomatillos to make "fresh" salsa don't cook them at all.

Generally for salsa you want them more on the green side. Then they have a lemony taste.

When they are "ripe" they turn fairly yellow and are too sweet for most people for salsa. At that point they have a somewhat Plum flavor, at least to me. While I haven't done it myself, I would think you could make a jam from the ripe ones.

Even green tomatillos from the grocery store have a decent germination rate if you save the seeds. I've done it.
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Old December 11, 2008   #15
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Trying Cossack Pinapple next year but have a question.

What is the shelf-life on these things? A couple of days? week or two?

Had some at TP6 and was amazed ! I also read all the other posts and you guys came up with some great ideas. I can't wait to try them in fruit salad and salsa.

Thanks,

Greg
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