Vegetable garden

Tomatillo: a physalis that looks like tomatoes

Tomatillo: a physalis that looks like tomatoes

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Tomatillo in summary :

Latin name : Physalis ixocarpa, Physalis philadelphica
Common name : Tomatillo
Family : Solanaceae
Type : Annual

Height : 1 m to 1.50 m
Planting distance : 80 cm to 1 m
Exposure : Sunny
Ground : Lightweight, humus-like and well-drained

Planting : March April -Harvest : August to October

The tomatillo is a physalis much less known than its cousin the physalis of Peru. Native to Central America, its fruits quickly evoke those of tomatoes, but their color when ripe is yellow or purple depending on the variety. If you want to bring someoriginality in your vegetable garden and on your plate, this annual is made for you.

Planting tomatillo

Ground preparation:

If your land is very clayey (we then speak of heavy soil), it will have to be lightened and loosened before considering planting the tomatillo.
In autumn, do a amendment while bringing sand and potting soil to your soil. Know that if you have a fireplace, you can collect the ashes and spread them in your vegetable garden. The following operation must be carried out whatever the nature of the soil: turn over and loosen the earth in depth thanks to a fork-spade. It is rather not recommended to use the spade if you do not want to harm our friends the earthworms.

In spring, just before planting your tomatillo plants, turn the earth again, But in area this time.

Planting Tomatillo:

Like many plants in the kitchen garden, you must first carry out a sowing. The latter must be done in March April :

  • sow the seeds in a mixture of potting soil and sand;
  • install your culture in the sun and protected from the cold;
  • when the seedlings have at least two leaves, transplant them in buckets and continue to preserve them from the cold;
  • around mid-May, when frosts are no longer to be feared, transplant the plants in the ground, spacing them at least 80 cm apart.

Smart tip : like tomatoes, think about tutor your tomatillo plants to prevent the branches from breaking under the weight of the fruit.

Cultivation and maintenance

There is no need to prune the tomatillo. His interview is ultimately limited to water feet regularly without drowning them (especially if your soil tends to retain water).

Diseases and pests:

With the rise of organic farming and the limitation of pesticides, a significant advantage of tomatillo is a very low susceptibility to disease and pests.

Harvesting and storing tomatillo

Depending on the time of planting, the first fruits may appear in July and the harvest continues until the month October-November when frost appears.

Once picked, the fruits keep 1 to 2 weeks as long as they are stored under cover and dry.

Tomatillo in the kitchen

The fruits of the tomatillo are eaten cooked and they have little raw taste value. They go perfectly with Mexican recipes like salsa verde and, in mash potatoes, they also allow to reduce overly spicy dishes.