How to grow Tomatillos from Seed
Tomatillo Growing Stages
Tomatillos like company: You do want to have at least two or three tomatillo plants growing near each other for best pollination, as just one tomatillo plant will not likely produce very much fruit.
You'll see tiny little tomatillos start to develop after flowing, these will grow larger over time, and inside the husks there will be small fruit that increases in size through the summer to fill out the husk. The husks will feel empty until the tomatillos inside have had time to grow to their mature size.
When tomatillos mature, they will fill and even split the husk, and the fruit start turning yellow. That's when you know they're ready to pick! The longer they ripen, the more flavorful they are. We don't recommend eating small green unripe tomatillos, as they will be more bitter, sour, and do contain more solanine, which is mildly toxic if eaten in large quantities. Tomatillos usually take about 85 days from seed to beginning of the harvest, so be patient. We are usually making batches of tomatillo salsa in late August and September.
How to Grow Tomatillos in Containers:
We planted the seeds directly in a large pot in March, and they sprouted in late April/May and quickly grew into large plants in June and July. They grow so easily, we don't bother starting them indoors. The large container on the above right had two tomatillo plants happily growing. In the pot on the right, we had native Canada Goldenrod volunteer to grow, so we left it along with some sunflowers and salvias to attract pollinators and provide a screen and fragrance. We had a great harvest of tomatillos! They do seem to grow very well in large pots, though we like to provide a support trellis for them as they get pretty unruly in the late summer.
When to Plant Tomatillos:
You can grow Tomatillos in large Containers!
In the photo above, there a few too many tomatillo seedlings in this giant patio container. So we transplanted all but two and grew them alongside a jalapeno pepper plant and basil plants. This large patio pot was beautiful at the end of the summer! We provided a obelisk cage to contain the sprawling tomatillos and keep them growing upward.
Do tomatillos grow back every year?
Tomatillos are great for adding to
recipes like stews, chile, roasted with other veggies,
and of course to make Salsa Verde!