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Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarp) is a small edible fruit belonging to the Solanaceae family. A tan to straw coloured calyx covers the fruit and commonly known as “husk tomato.” It is native to Mexico and Guatemala. Ripe tomatillos taste like crisp sweet limes and are excellent raw in fresh salsas or cooked in sauces.


How to grow tomatillo in a garden

  1. In a sunny spot, fill pots or trays with Yates Seed Raising Mix and sow seeds. Firm down and water regularly to keep soil moist. Allow seedlings to grow to about 7 cm height before transplanting.  
  2. Once seedlings have emerged, feed with Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food
  3. Prepare the planting area by adding Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser to activate the soil microbes. Transplant seedlings and water in well with Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food.  
  4. They can sprawl on the ground or can be staked just like tomato vines.  
  5. Water in well. 
  6. Mulching with organic material like bark chips, sugarcane or pea straw helps to ensure moisture retention in the soil. 
  7. Water when required.  
  8. Feed every 6-8 weeks from spring to mid autumn with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. During flowering and fruiting stages feed weekly with Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food.  
  9. Once the husks or calyx open up as they dry, the fruits are ready to harvest. They usually go dry and turn brown. Harvest them like tomatoes. 

     
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How to grow tomatillo in a pot

  1. In a sunny spot, fill pots or trays with Yates Seed Raising Mix and sow seeds. Firm down and water regularly to keep soil moist. Allow seedlings to grow to about 7 cm before transplanting. 
  2. Choose a pot or trough that is at least 50 cm diameter. Fill with Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter. Add a small amount of Yates Waterwise Water Storage Crystals to the mix. These will help hold extra moisture.  Transplant seedlings, backfill with potting mix and water in well with Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food
  3. Water when required but don’t let the water sit in a saucer at the base of the pot.  Note that staking will be required. 
  4. Add light mulch over the potting mix surface with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw. 
  5. Feed every 6 weeks with Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.  During flowering and fruiting stages feed weekly with Yates Thrive Vegie & Herb Liquid Plant Food
  6. Step 6:  Once the husks or calyx open up as they dry, the fruits are ready to harvest. They usually go dry and turn brown. Harvest them like tomatoes. 

Growing tips

  • Tomatillo plants can be very productive. It can produce up to 200 fruits per plant.   
  • Tomatillos are relatively disease free unlike tomatoes but are prone to pest attack. 
  • There are a few cultivars available in the market but it is advised to choose a variety that suits the region. Some varieties are: 
    • 'Cisineros' and 'Gigante' which have big fruit. 
    • 'Pineapple' has a fruity flavour 
  • Staking is helpful especially in areas prone to heavy rains as the husks can rot causing damage. 

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