(Physalis ixocarpa) Toma Verde tomatillos have a sweet, tangy flavor essential for a delicious salsa verde as well as many other southwestern dishes.
Tomatillos bear a large fruit encased in a papery shell very similar looking to a Chinese Lantern. They are related to tomatoes and are somewhat similar, however, tomatillos will withstand much more heat and drought than most tomatoes.
Toma Verde is highly prolific and will produce about 1lb of 2-4 oz. fruits per plant.
Grow some this summer and use them for canning your own homemade salsa verde!
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Sow indoors 4-6 weeks before average last frost. Sow outside 2-4 weeks after average last frost, and when soil temperatures are warm.
Just prior to planting them in your garden, "harden them off" by bringing them outside during the daytime and for increasing hours, until you are leaving them out overnight. If frost is predicted, bring them indoors.
Much like their relative the tomato, tomatillos sprout roots along their stems, so they benefit from being planted deeply.
Tomatillos are ideal for beginning gardeners because they rarely suffer disease and insect pest problems.
Tomatillos are not self-pollinating. In order for the flowers to set fruit, you must grow at least 2 plants.
Fruits should be harvested when they fill out the husks and the husks begin to break open. Fruit at the bottom of the plant ripens first. Fruits harvested young are more tart and become sweeter as they continue to ripen. Cut through the stem with shears and remove the tomatillo from the plant. Leave the husk on the fruit until you are ready to use it.