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General information and discussion about cultivating tomatillos.

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Old January 1, 2010   #16
brokenbar
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The three largest varieties are Cisneros, Grand Maje and Burpee's Gigante. All of these are between three and four inches around.

I grow my tomatillos in their own spot, along with all of the other notorious delinquents that re-seed like the devil lives inside them. Dill...OH MY, Cilantro....a moving green pile that threatens everything in it's path, NASTY little tiny tomatoes that are impossible to keep picked and the sly but just as insidious, basil gone rogue.

It seems like nearly every other day, I am tieing the Tomatillos up. I grow them against hog (or stock) panels. One does have to be careful because they are not nearly as tough in the vine as tomatoes. I also lay down black plastic because of their demonic need to re-seed.

My harvest would never be complete without Salsa Verde. My family eats it on everything. These larger varieties are much less work than the smaller tomatillos or ground cherries. Having just moved to Mexico, I can verify that they grow wild in huge clumps everywhere there. The Mexicans use them in many more ways and they are a staple in their diet. I saw one woman who wrapped them in banana leaves and baked them. She put some sort of chili pepper in there and something else I could not define. When I went back to pin her down she was gone...DRATS!

They are very rich in Vitamin C and contain almost no liquid which makes for a nice thick salsa verde. I listed many of my recipes for Tomatillo's over in the recipe section. They will also store well for at least a month in a root cellar or refrigerator. They also freeze whole for later use.

These are one of the most rewarding plants to grow...nothing seems to phase them and they grow faster than Jack's beanstalk. Mine reach 7 to 8 feet and have branches sticking out all over. I do notice that the birds like the few I leave laying on the ground at the end of the season and also the chipmunks (?)

Cisneros and Grand Maje can be harder to find. I will do some scouting around and list sites that have them. There is also a large golden. I got a few seeds from a gal in Canada but they utterly failed to germinate. I might also add that these dudes grow FAST. I only start mine about 3-4 weeks before outside planting because they quickly outgrow starting containers, get really leggy and try to smother all of their playmates in the greenhouse. They are NOT self-fertile so you need a few for pollination.

Grand Maje LINK

Cisneros LINK

Burpees Gigante LINK
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Last edited by brokenbar; January 1, 2010 at 09:11 PM.
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Old March 9, 2010   #17
recruiterg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokenbar View Post
They are NOT self-fertile so you need a few for pollination.
Brokenbar,

What do you mean by the comment above? How many plant would one need to grow to ensure pollination?

Pat
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Old April 11, 2010   #18
Frog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recruiterg View Post
Brokenbar,

What do you mean by the comment above? How many plant would one need to grow to ensure pollination?

Pat
I typically grow two plants and get more fruit than I can use.
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Old February 16, 2011   #19
flutterby
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I grew only one plant and had a gazillion fruits...it's just that the fruit set was so late it did not get a chance to ripen. This year I am starting them earlier. When do you usually start yours?
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Old February 17, 2011   #20
RinTinTin
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For the record, ground cherries and tomatillos are two different species.
Tomatillo = Physalas ixocarpa
Ground cherry = P. peruviana
Ground cherries are usually sweeter than tomatillos. For an authentic Mexican salsa (or chile verde) you need the tomatillos, AND you need to pick them before they totally ripen...the authentic flavor uses the tart ones, not the ripe sweeter ones.

If you grow for market, you need to determine your market. The gringos want the ripe (sweeter) ones, whereas the Mexicans will NOT buy them if they are ripe (sweet).
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Old February 17, 2011   #21
pinakbet
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are tomatillos determinate or indeterminate?
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Old February 17, 2011   #22
carolyn137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flutterby View Post
I grew only one plant and had a gazillion fruits...it's just that the fruit set was so late it did not get a chance to ripen. This year I am starting them earlier. When do you usually start yours?
PLease look at post 11 here where it's said that if another physalis spp is within 500 m of a single plant it can pollinate it.

I just looked at the original content of the link that several gave and found that it had been altered as to content, but I believe that others have said the same as you, that you had only one plant and got lots of fruit so I believe that original info which is found in post 11 is probably still correct.

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/m...sk_tomato.html
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Old February 17, 2011   #23
carolyn137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinakbet View Post
are tomatillos determinate or indeterminate?
Unlike tomatoes, I've never heard of tomatillo varieties being referred to as det or indet.

Any I've grown have been very large bushy plants. And if you read Brokenbars post above i think you'll see that some of them, actually most of them, are rangy rampant growers and some tie them up for support. I hnever did that but then right now i can't remember the specific variety that I grew. And once growing them you've got them forever since when they drop to the ground they eventually self seed with wild abandon.
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Old February 17, 2011   #24
pinakbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
Unlike tomatoes, I've never heard of tomatillo varieties being referred to as det or indet.

Any I've grown have been very large bushy plants. And if you read Brokenbars post above i think you'll see that some of them, actually most of them, are rangy rampant growers and some tie them up for support. I hnever did that but then right now i can't remember the specific variety that I grew. And once growing them you've got them forever since when they drop to the ground they eventually self seed with wild abandon.

Oops I should have wrote annual/perennial instead of det/indet. So tomatillos will live more than a year if grown in an area without frost?
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Old February 18, 2011   #25
akeimou
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i believe the tomato is a perennial which is treated as annual in temperate zones. for example, the huge tomato vine in Epcot, i can't imagine it being only one season old. unless it's a mutant?



--meg

oops, sorry, just realized we're talking about tomatillos here, not tomatoes.

to the moderator, pls feel free to move or remove.

Last edited by akeimou; February 18, 2011 at 10:12 PM. Reason: oops
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Old February 18, 2011   #26
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You'd be in trouble if you used 3' spacing on those!
Yikes, that is one impressive mater plant.
You just made my day with that photo...who needs a grape arbor?
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Old February 27, 2011   #27
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I was thinking of trying something similar to the Epcot tomato picture, but on a smaller scale. I have sheets of CRW and was thinking of putting it up on posts, 4-6 feet above the ground and leting the tomatoes grow through and sprall on top. I have used it bent over in sort of a quonset hut style, but that was where we had high winds, close to the bay here.
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Old May 4, 2012   #28
Tracydr
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Can purple tomatillos and ground cherries cross pollinate? I'm not sure what kind of ground cherry I have. It's low to the ground, wide leaves, very pretty and slow growing. Hasn't started to blossom yet.
The tomatillos just say purple tomatillos, no other name on the description.
Just wondering, since I only have two ground cherries. Last year, I lost one and didn't get to taste any cherries.
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Old June 12, 2013   #29
mecktom
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I have 4 nice plants..a lot of flowers and no fruit yet....planted approx first week in May,....when should I be seeing the fruit?

Thanks in advance.
Gene
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