Tomatillos (pronounced tohm-ah-TEE-oh) are native to Mexico and have a heritage going back centuries to the Aztecs who favoured them to tomatoes. They are still a mainstay of Mexican food today and are used in stews, moles (mo-lehs) and are the main ingredient in 'Salsa Verde' - a green sauce that accompanies enchiladas or fajitas.
Tomatillos look like a small green tomato and grow encased in a lovely fine papery husk. They have a tart flavour, similar to a beefsteak tomato with a lemony/lime citrus tang.
The tomatillos are ripe & ready to use when green, firm and the paper husk has split but is still attached and has changed colour from green to beige. The fruits will continue to ripen to yellow but it loses some of its tangy flavour and becomes slightly sweeter they are more often used when green.
Tomatillos are relatively easy to grow from seed but do require a lot of space as they can reach up to 1m or more high and wide.
They will give much higher yields if allowed to sprawl across the soil as the fruit is produced on laterals, but if given extra support like tomatoes they will still produce a crop of tomatillos. They will perform better if two or more plants are grown next to each other as they need help with pollination. If you only have space for one plant be prepared to hand pollinate the flowers yourself with a brush etc.
For a true authentic Mexican Salsa try also growing our Serrano chilli
Tomatillos Verde Vegetable Seed Information
|Approx 30 seeds per pack.
Sunny, fertile but sheltered spot or in polytunnel.
|When to Sow
March to April under cover.
How to Sow: ‰ۢÌÛ_í´ÌÎÌ__
Sow seeds in trays of seed & potting compost, cover lightly with a thin layer of compost, firm and lightly water. Keep in greenhouse/polytunnel for 6-8 weeks. Transplant into larger individual pots when 5cm tall. When the seedlings reach about 30cm the central stem has a natural tendency is to collapse so a bit of support may be required. 'Harden off' seedlings for 3-4 days before finally planting outside or in a greenhouse/polytunnel late May to June, and allow 1m between plants.
Keep protected with fleece or cloche if frost is forecast. They require frequent watering and feed with a high potassium fertiliser fortnightly when the fruit has begun to set. If you can leave the plant to sprawl across the soil a lot more fruit will form on the laterals, the plant can however be tied up like a tomato if space is limited but this will be at the expense of some tomatillos.
|August to October.
When to Sow Tomatillos Verde Vegetable Seeds
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