(Physalis ixocarpa) Also known as the Mexican husk tomato, tomatillos were domesticated in Mexico and have become a staple of Mexican cuisine. While they've yet to gain widespread popularity in the US, we think tomatillos are well-deserving of a spot in any garden. Yes they're delicious, but you'll also be amazed by their beauty, with lantern-like husks that seem to glow when back lit by the setting sun. One of my fondest memories of gardening in town was listening to neighbors out on their evening stroll admiring the tomatillos that I had intentionally placed within arm's reach of the sidewalk. Even more fun was listening to folks speculate on what kind of plant it was. Those "weird-looking tomatoes," as one put it, facilitated many conversations with curious passersby. This particular strain has a significant amount of genetic variation for fruit size and color. I have maintained this diversity by bulking seed from many plants, but those interested in plant breeding may prefer to select for a specific color and size. 70-90 days from transplant. Approx. 50 seeds/pkt.
CULTURE: For earliest harvest, start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Sow seeds 1/4" deep in well-moistened, sterile starting mix. Plants will get leggy even in greenhouse conditions, but don't worry as roots will develop along lower portion of the stem. After danger of frost has passed, set plants outdoors, 36" apart in rows 60" apart. Plants have similar growth habit to tomatoes and likewise benefit from caging. Harvest fruit when husks begin to turn brown. Tomatillos have a tendency to drop at maturity, but are rarely damaged. Just be sure to harvest regularly.
All but 1 seed germinated, and they were the first of my seedlings to come through the soil. They're 2 inches high and bigger every day!
As a rule I place a couple of extra seeds into a peat pot to assure that I have at least one germinate. Every seed germinated so a separated the extra plants to share with friends.
I look forward to seeing them mature and produce fruit.