How to Grow Tomatillos

Tomatillos are a warm-season crop known for their tart, citrusy flavor. They are a staple in Mexican cuisine. Here�s how to grow tomatillos using organic methods.

Materials Needed

  • Tomatillo seeds or transplants
  • Rich, well-draining soil
  • Trellis or stakes
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Watering can or hose

Choosing Varieties

Tomatillos come in several varieties:

  • Toma Verde: Classic, green fruits.
  • Purple: Purple-skinned fruits, sweet flavor.
  • Pineapple: Small, yellow fruits, fruity flavor.

Soil Preparation

Tomatillos prefer well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-7.5:

  1. Loosen the Soil: Till to a depth of 12 inches (30 cm).
  2. Add Compost: Mix in 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) of compost.

Planting Tomatillos

Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost or buy transplants:

  1. Spacing: Plant seeds 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) deep, 24 inches (60 cm) apart.
  2. Transplants: Space transplants 24 inches (60 cm) apart.

Watering and Mulching

Maintain consistent moisture:

  • Watering: Water regularly, especially during dry periods.
  • Mulching: Apply mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Supporting Tomatillo Plants

Provide support for the sprawling plants:

  • Trellis: Use a trellis or stakes to support the vines.

Organic Fertilizing

Tomatillos benefit from regular feeding:

  • Use compost tea or a balanced organic fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.

Harvesting Tomatillos

Harvest tomatillos when the husks turn brown and split:

  • Method: Twist or cut the fruits from the plant.

Storing Tomatillos

Store tomatillos properly to maintain freshness:

  • In the Fridge: Store fruits in a paper bag in the crisper drawer. Use within a month.
  • Freezing: Remove husks and freeze tomatillos for up to 6 months.

Growing Tips

  • Tomatillos need at least two plants for proper pollination.
  • Rotate crops annually to prevent disease.

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