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How do you grow tomatillo plants?
Posted by Suttons Staff on 06 June 2014 12:20 PM

The tomatillo originates from Mexico and can be successfully grown in full sun, in a sheltered position in the garden. The soil must be well drained for the plants to thrive. The plants are not self-fertile and at least two plants must be grown for pollination to take place. The plants crop heavily and two plants are sufficient for the average family.

Tomatillo seed should be sown in trays, covering the seed lightly with compost during March and April at a temperature of 18-21ºC (65-70ºF). Germination will normally take approximately 14-28 days. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick out into 7.5-9cm (3-3½in) diameter pots using a multipurpose compost.

Space the plants 1m (39") apart outdoors in late May or early June once the danger of frost has passed. The plants will grow to approximately 30cm (12") in height and the central stem will then naturally flop down in contact with the soil. It then sends out lateral roots, followed by high yielding shoots. Keep the plants well watered in dry spells and feed weekly with a liquid tomato fertilizer.

Tomatillos are ready to harvest from August to October when the husk starts to split and the fruit is still green. Remove the husk and wash the fruit under warm water to remove the bitter, waxy coating prior to eating or cooking.

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