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let's Discuss Tomatillos

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Turan on 3/24/2014, 11:20 pm

I was not suggesting a death match. They do very well crowded and adapt.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 3/25/2014, 12:45 am

I was going to let them do their thing. Set Borage, lavendar, lupine pots around the yard. A flower or 2 squeezed in the beds her and there.

Marc, How did pruning affect production? I thought they were wild things.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 3/25/2014, 12:48 am

Cajun, I'm sorry we hijacked your post and turned it into a tomatillo topic.

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Post  johnp on 3/25/2014, 10:39 am

I would go along with Marc on this one. When I planted mine I actually planted 4 in a 4x4 of a 4x8 box and they completely took over the whole bed, covering beets and other plants. I moved the stems around and made it through the season. When I pulled the plants at the end I found that only two plants did all the growth and the other two did nothing. They were the same size as when they were transplanted. I really think they need the room.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/25/2014, 1:02 pm

The fruit production of my tomatillos increased substantially toward the end of the season.  I ended up with a lot of them.  I didn't care for the flavor so didn't make anything with them.  I ended up adding them to the stewed tomatoes that I canned but they kinda ruined the flavor of those cans for me.
 
Here are a handful on the left side of the plate that I had to pick due to frost in the forecast.  (no laffing at the corn...it was a 'speriment and tasted outstanding!  Twisted Evil ):

Both the 2 neglected uncrowded plants behind my SFG and the 2 well-tended crowded plants at the community garden did very well.  And the remaining fruits continued on thru a few more frosts.

But this year I'm growing ground cherries instead.  I KNOW I like those.  Very Happy 

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 3/25/2014, 1:19 pm

Laughing at your 'speriment?'  Not me! Tasted sooo sweet!

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/25/2014, 1:32 pm

@sanderson wrote:I was going to let them do their thing. Set Borage, lavendar, lupine pots around the yard. A flower or 2 squeezed in the beds her and there.

Marc, How did pruning affect production? I thought they were wild things.

Considering how miserable it was around here last year for tomatoes, and many plants in general (weeks of forest fire throwing thick ash everywhere, clouding out the sun for a couple weeks solid too, all of it promoting disease and lack of vigor during the prime growing season), I think the tomatillos did pretty well. I only wish there were more of them. At first I got tons of flowers and no fruit, but eventually I got many fruits, mostly in two waves that started later in the season than I expected. That forest fire thing caused lots of spontaneous blossom drop-off, if I recall, too. But unlike my tomatoes, I got no disease.

Anyway, my tomatillos looked anything but wild or even tomato-like in their structure. They really did look like trees with canopies. I have no basis for comparison on what the pruning did, really, since I've never grown them before, but I did get a smallish clue from the volunteers that sprouted up on the opposite side of my neighbor's garden, in a bed I was in charge of caring for. Those sprawled on the ground from a great many slender stalks, so much so that I asked the neighbor who owns the garden if he had ever planted ground cherries. He said he didn't and had never even heard of them. So they must be from the tomatillos he used to grow.

Anyway, the volunteers with numerous stalks had fruits perhaps just a little smaller on average than my "tree" tomatillos. But there was only a single fruiting period, and overall fruit yield was just a small fraction of my single-stem plants.

That's not too determinative an answer, especially since I didn't bother to check whether all those stalks really came from the same plants or if they were each individual plants growing out of a clump from a long-ago rotted tomatillo whose seeds overwintered into invisibility. It doesn't prove much about the alternatives to it, but does suggest that single-stemming can lead to a very productive plant -- we had a terrible year last year and my tomatillos still did better than I thought they might and produced multiple fruiting sessions and a vast number of flowers. They had really thick main stems that said "I'm here to stay, buddy. Get used to it." I will definitely do it the single-stem way again.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  johnp on 3/26/2014, 10:45 am

My tomatillo's and ground cherries have finally sprouted. The toma's took over a week and two of the four ground cherries just appeared yesterday. I am going to plant them about 30 ft. from each other and I got to thinking about cross pollination. But if I don't save the seeds I guess I don't care. I know the plants are related but I wonder if they will cross pollinate like some squash plants.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/26/2014, 11:55 am

that's a good question, john. I'm planting ground cherries this year but I expect to have volunteer Tomatillos also in the same spot.  Ill await the answer and move them if I have to.  Let me know when yours are bigger and if/how you can tell them apart.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Turan on 3/26/2014, 12:33 pm

Here is a good article I found about ground cherries. In the section about saving seed they say
Saving seed from ground cherries is simple. Different varieties cross with one another, so only plant one variety within 100 metres of an- other. However, ground cherries will not cross with tomatillos, Chinese lanterns, cape goose- berries or other Physalis species wrote:
http://www.cog.ca/uploads/TCOG%20Articles/Ground%20cherries.pdf

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/26/2014, 1:09 pm

Excellent! Less work for me. Thanks, Turan!

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  mijejo on 3/27/2014, 9:01 pm

Hi All. I am the one who started this thread a looong time ago.

Yes, treat them like tomatoes and bury those stems. While you are at it, chop off their top leaves considering you have one or more sets of true leaves to leave on the stem. This will help make the plants bushy. The top part that you chop off can grow roots if put into water, thus leading to another plant.

Yes, those two little plants each need their own pot.

My tomatillos always ripen very late in the season. If possible, leave them until they fall off. Groceries actually sell unripe tomatillos because they pick them to have maximum shelf life.

Tomatillos are great sliced as wedges and used for small snacks. My family always expects them put out as appetizers for Thanksgiving.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  johnp on 3/28/2014, 8:48 am

Ditto to turan on the cross pollination.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  trolleydriver on 7/30/2016, 12:42 pm

Bringing back an old thread.

Anyone growing tomatillos?  I decided to try some in the regular soil veggie garden. Glad I didn't put them in the SFG because they are big plants. Maybe I should have treated them more like staked tomatoes and tied them up better.  The one in the picture is six feet across.  I did start to tie it to a stake but eventually just let it do its own thing. There is a ton of fruit on it. I bought this one as a transplant from an organic nursery. A few days later I learned that I needed more plants to ensure polination. So there are three more in another part of the garden.


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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  donnainzone5 on 7/30/2016, 1:29 pm

I've been growing tomatillos for a while now.

I have four thriving volunteers from last year's crop, plus two of another variety (Gigante Verde) started from seed this year. 

If they get too much out of control, I'll stake and loosely tie them.  The main issue is to keep them from dropping their fruit into my neighbor's yard!

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 7/31/2016, 11:16 am

I grow two in 2 very large pots and use tomato cages to keep them somewhat upright. They still spread outwards as the season progresses but it keeps the everything off the ground.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Turan on 7/31/2016, 12:58 pm

I have three tomatillos from the nursery, 2 were labeled only as tomatillo and 1 is a Toma Verde. I planted them in a 3x4 cold frame that is 2' tall.  They outgrew that and I took the top off.  They are a tangled mess covering that half of a 3x8 bed, but the flowers and ripening fruit are off the ground. It looks like it will be a good year. We are looking forward to chicken verde and salsa verde hungry

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 7/31/2016, 1:10 pm

Lucky folks who actually have fruit developing,. I pulled mine out. One was dying. Next year I will try them in a BTE-like area.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Turan on 7/31/2016, 1:31 pm

Better luck next year, sanderson! 
They are strange plants somehow, it is like they do not appreciate being pampered too much, like they think of themselves as wild and free, but still want watering.  Reminds me of some 3 year olds I know.  lol

This year I think I got the balance right between wild and free and pampering.  The last couple years I barely got anything, too much wild and free and not enough early season warmth.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 8/3/2016, 12:33 am

I'm growing tomatillos, TD! This is my first year growing them. I have a green one and a purple one growing in cages, in one of my ANSFG beds, next to each other. It looks like the bees have been doing their job because I have some fruit slowly maturing. But not many, and the plants aren't anywhere near the size I expected. Neither is taking up its 2x2 allotment. Guess they have 2 more months to do something... and I'll know that next year I can use the surrounding area for other plants for at least the first half of the season. Or maybe they prefer dirt and I should put them in a non-ANSFG portion of the garden.

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 8/3/2016, 4:13 am

Turan, I did get fruits in 2015. In fact, they are still frozen in the freezer Embarassed I'm really short on pollinators this year, plus I moved them to a different location, thinking that shade in the afternoon would help. One died Shocked

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

Post  Ginger Blue on 8/3/2016, 2:46 pm

I don't have a lot of culinary use for tomatillos, but plan to include them in next year's layout as a trap crop for striped cucumber beetles.  Even if marginally successful, they will be worth the space. Twisted Evil

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Re: let's Discuss Tomatillos

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