Vegetables and Fruit forum: Tomatillo advice?

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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
May 23, 2017 1:31 PM CST
I grew this many years ago and don't remember how their growth habit is. Seems mine kind of sprawled around a lot, if I am remembering correctly. I just read that I need at least 2 plants for pollination. True? How much support do you provide, if any? I was going to just pop one fairly tall spindly plant in the middle of a pot on my back deck but am now rethinking that and may get a second plant and put them both in my herb garden. Or could I interplant them with my tomatoes? And perhaps cage them? Any advice is appreciated.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 23, 2017 2:46 PM CST
Ive heard different opinions on 1 or 2 plants for Pollinazation, plant both in pot, to be sure.
Cage them, or they grow all over.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Paul Fish
Brownville, Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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PaulF
May 23, 2017 3:06 PM CST
The only tomatillos I have grown required two plants for pollination. And they got very large and spread a lot. Mine were in the ground and I think you would need a large pot for two plants or two large plants in pots side-by-side. Support would be good but if you don't mind half your deck taken up by tomatillo plants...
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
May 23, 2017 3:27 PM CST
Grew them just like tomato plants one in each tomato cage. The plants are kinda spindly and open and sprawly though.

Yes they need at least two for pollination.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
May 23, 2017 4:05 PM CST
Why is that, do you think? Seems one plant would have plenty of blooms on it, and I'm assuming if you buy them from the same place, they come from the same seeds. ? I don't get it. But I'll go buy another one (a 2' plant is $3 at the grocery store, so won't break the bank) and I think I'll pop them in this year's tomato bed. I got rid of all my tomato cages a few years ago. They do have some pretty colored ones that would go well with my colored tomato spiral supports. With marigolds in front of them all. Very jolly and bright.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
May 23, 2017 6:09 PM CST
Bonehead said:Why is that, do you think? Seems one plant would have plenty of blooms on it, and I'm assuming if you buy them from the same place, they come from the same seeds. ? I don't get it. But I'll go buy another one (a 2' plant is $3 at the grocery store, so won't break the bank) and I think I'll pop them in this year's tomato bed. I got rid of all my tomato cages a few years ago. They do have some pretty colored ones that would go well with my colored tomato spiral supports. With marigolds in front of them all. Very jolly and bright.


Don't know why they need multiple plants but they just do.
[Last edited by Newyorkrita - May 23, 2017 7:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
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farmerdill
May 23, 2017 7:13 PM CST
They are not the only plants That will not accept pollen from the same plant. Fruit growers have to interplant different varieties as pollenizers. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/en... http://homeguides.sfgate.com/p... http://blog.seedsavers.org/blo...
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
May 23, 2017 9:11 PM CST
I've never grown them myself but neighbors grew them. As I recall they grew more like a pepper plant...not quite requiring a cage, but maybe something to keep them off the ground. May depend on the cultivar and/or zone though.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
May 24, 2017 5:34 AM CST
I caged them last year. The form is spreading, kind of pepper-like, but the stems are very thin and light and fragile. I think you could tie them to thin sticks or light bamboo stakes if that's what you've got. Prune some stems if you don't want too many fruits from your two plants.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
May 24, 2017 9:20 AM CST
When I grew them I never pruned unless a branch just wouldn't go back into the tomato cage and insisted on growing into the pathway. I wanted as many fruits as I could get.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
May 24, 2017 5:38 PM CST
I just wonder if less fruits might make bigger fruits. I couldn't get anyone to take any of my tomatillos last year.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
May 24, 2017 5:55 PM CST
sallyg said:I just wonder if less fruits might make bigger fruits. I couldn't get anyone to take any of my tomatillos last year.


I ate all mine. We myself and my family did.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
May 25, 2017 11:58 AM CST
Well, when I went out to a bucks-up nursery to get my Irises, I checked out the veggie section.
Now as most places this year variety is down but I saw they had ground cherries and they looked like a different variety than I had planted years before.
I though what the heck, try them again.
Well I got the two plants home and found out they were tomatillos.

The look healthy, over a foot tall but what do they taste like?

As I let a large section of the north garden open for squash to grow into, space it tighter this year than normal.
Not sure if I should take them down south , stick them in the ground in the area where roses are being moved from to free up the space on the border mound they are planted in and use the space for something else.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
May 25, 2017 12:01 PM CST
They are great for Salsa Verde!!
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
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Gymgirl
May 25, 2017 12:58 PM CST
Well,
I'm late to this party, but, I'm here!

Been harvesting tomatillos for several weeks now. Planted 10 seedlings into a 4x8 raised bed. I believe 8 are one variety, and there are only 2 of another variety. Have averaged picking a batch every 2-3 days.

Early on (about a month ago), the fruits were vibrant and plentiful, and the stinkbugs were only nymphs. I grabbed as many of both as I could. It's a month later and the fruits are getting slower, duller, and the nymphs have grown up. I still grab as many of both as I can, but, the plants are petering out, and the ones the stinkbugs haven't stung are getting fewer and fewer. Also, there are worms moving in to help the stinkbugs....

My process is to peel them, wash them in soapy water, rinse & air dry, then, vacuum seal the tomatillos in 8x14" bags. There are roughly 15-18 tomatillos per bag, depending on the size. In the beginning, I was alerted that I should keep the two varieties separate, because they DO taste different. I did a taste test, and found this to be true, so, I learned to tell them apart before packaging them for the freezer.

I'm about ready to rip the bed, and move on to beets. Following a rotation that says, "Leaves, Fruits, Roots, then, Beans". Since the tomatillos are "fruits" a root crop should follow.

BTW, I caged the plants, and kinda glad I did, as they DO sprawl everywhere. And, yes, they are fragile. I have snapped a couple branches, putting them back into the cage, or, out of the pathway.

Finally, the stinkbugs seem to prefer the tomatillos to the tomatoes that are growing in the box right next to them. So far, it has been a happy "trap" crop of sorts, especially since I've harvested and frozen about 12 packages of tomatillos. Hurray! This was my first time growing them, and, It wasn't hard at all. Next time, I may consider putting a tulle cover on the hoops, just until they bloom, to keep the stinkbugs from laying on the plants. I tip my hat to you.

Pics #1 & #2, Tomatillos, 4/10/2017
Pic #3, Tomatillo harvest, 4/19/2017
Pic #4, Tomatillo bed as of 4/23/2017
Pic #5, Tomatillo bed as of 5/9/2017
Pic #6, Tomatillo harvest 5/9/2017
Pic #7 Tomatillo bed as of 5/21/2017
Thumb of 2017-05-25/Gymgirl/341914 Thumb of 2017-05-25/Gymgirl/4e04c3
Thumb of 2017-05-25/Gymgirl/fe3006 Thumb of 2017-05-25/Gymgirl/124552 Thumb of 2017-05-25/Gymgirl/60ac4f Thumb of 2017-05-25/Gymgirl/efbbf0 Thumb of 2017-05-25/Gymgirl/0935ed

[Last edited by Gymgirl - May 25, 2017 1:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
May 25, 2017 6:11 PM CST
I've only grown tomatillos once, and it was only one plant. Perhaps it cross-pollinated with my near-by tomatoes? It was a big sprawling plant.....a tomato cage just kind of held it semi-upright, and what escaped from the tomato cage just trailed along the top of my picket fence. Still got a good yield from just one plant, but no definitive answer on the need for 1 or 2 plants.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 26, 2017 11:24 AM CST
Hay ! Sally ! Send them Tomatillos, my way. I don't care how small they are. After taking husks off and washing them, there going straight up into blender. Zerr !!! Thumbs up
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
May 26, 2017 2:08 PM CST
Deb 😁 Howdy !!!
Don't plant with tomatoes. There are some bugs and worms that prefer them over tomatoes.
Keep them bugs and worms seperate.
Get it ! Got it ! GOOD ! 😁😁😁
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
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sallyg
Jun 25, 2017 6:45 AM CST
Update from my experience- This year I am growing three plants, from a fruit I found left in the garden all winter under compost. These three have thick, fleshy stems very unlike what I recall from last year. I didn't have enough cages, and left them to sprawl, which they've done with enthusiasm. Still waiting for fruit.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jun 25, 2017 3:14 PM CST
Sally ! Howdy, There !
From, hot, sunny, zone 8/9, California !!!
Dang o'l heat wave, hear, right now. Triple digits !!! that is !!!
My tomatillos, are all voluntary. They've just started blooming, in last week.
At most high ! 2 & 1/2 feet tall.
So ! Don't give up on yours. Thumbs up
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.

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