Grow Guide Conditions:
Tomatillos are frost sensitive, warm season plants that grow best in full sun and like fertile, well drained, loamy soils. They are quick to mature, self-seed readily, and are well adapted from north to south. Prepare the planting area with decomposed compost and a general purpose organic fertilizer. Soil that is low in phosphorus and potassium can be amended with rock phosphate and greensand. The broad rangy plants do not need support, but short tomato cages can be used if space is limited. Two to four of these high yielding plants should be sufficient for a small family.
Grow Guide Seed:
Start Tomatillos indoors, not more than 4 weeks before your last frost date. Plant seeds ¼ inch deep and keep evenly moist. Optimum soil temperature is 70-90°F, which can be achieved with a heating mat. After 6-14 days, place new seedlings in a sunny window and fertilize every 2 weeks. Harden off your seedlings before transplanting by placing them outdoors during the day and bringing inside at night. Transplant seedlings when all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed. Plant seedlings 24 inches apart in rows that are 36-48 inches apart.
Grow Guide Pests:
Tomatillos are relatively trouble free, but may be susceptible to some tomato diseases. Practice a minimum three year rotation cycle with all Solanacea family crops, use drip irrigation to minimize wet foliage, mulch to prevent soil from splashing on to leaves during rain storms, space widely for good air circulation, and compost or turn under all crop debris at the end of each season.
Grow Guide Harvest:
Harvest when the fruit is plump and has split open its protective papery husk. Some varieties turn purple where the skin is exposed to the sun, this is normal. Many fruit can also be gathered from the ground. Fruit will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.