TOMATILLO

FAMILY: Solanaceae

TYPE
  • Annuals
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11

Plant Details

From Mexico. Easy-to-grow, summer-fruiting tomato relative known botanically as Physalis ixocarpa. Bushy, sprawling growth to 4 ft. high and at least as wide. Fruit swells to filland eventually splitthe loose, papery husk (calyx) that surrounds it. When fully ripe, fruit is yellow to purple, about 2 in. wide, and very sweet, but it is usually picked when green and tart and used in sauces and other dishes.

Sow seeds directly in fertile soil four to six weeks after last frost, when soil has warmed; in moist, warm soil, seeds will germinate in five days. Thin seedlings to 10 in. apart. Or start plants indoors and set out in the garden; plant deep, as for tomatoes. Tomatillos can be trained to a trellis like tomatoes but are usually left to sprawl. Once fruiting begins, cut back on water but don't let plants become drought stressed. Harvest fruit when walnut size (or smaller, if it seems fully developed) and deep green. Don't remove the papery husk until you are ready to use the fruit.

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