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KITCHEN GARDENER

Want to grow tomatillos?

May 14, 2008|Noelle Carter

Tomatillos (Physalis philadelphica or Physalis ixocarpa) are, like tomatoes, a member of the nightshade family. The plants are bushy, about 4 feet tall, with leggy branches that need stakes or cages to keep them off the ground.

Tomatillo plants are not self-pollinating; at least two plants are needed for both to produce fruit (each plant yields about 60 to 100 tomatillos per season). The fruit is ripe when it bursts through its husk. Pick while still firm for best flavor. Tomatillo plants and seeds are available at most nurseries and garden centers. Now is a perfect time to plant, because tomatillos thrive in warm weather; the season typically begins in May and runs until autumn. Plant seedlings or seeds in well-draining soil with plenty of sun; like tomatoes, the plants can be grown in pots or in the ground.

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