How Do You Plant Tomatillo?

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Tomatillo

Growing Tomatillo

"Discover the joy of gardening by learning how to plant tomatillo. This detailed guide will unravel the fascinating secrets behind the growth cycle of the tomatillo plant, demystifying the process for beginners and experienced gardeners alike. From sowing the tiny tomatillo seeds to harvesting bright, ripe fruits, we cover it all! Our article, "How Do You Plant Tomatillo?", aims to offer practical tips and strategies for successful tomatillo cultivation. Written by gardening enthusiasts, we've carefully curated this guide to foster a green thumb in every reader. So, whether you're aiming to dip your toes in the world of gardening or looking to expand your plant repertoire, our guide will provide you with all the necessary knowledge to make your tomatillo planting venture a fruitful one. Keep reading for a comprehensive look into the enchanting journey of tomatillo growth from seed to harvest."

Cheatsheet for Planting Tomatillo

Choosing the Right Spot

🌞 Plant in full sun

🌱 Provide well-drained soil

Planting Basics

🔪 Prepare soil by removing weeds or debris

🧹 Add compost or organic matter for nutrients

🌱 Sow seeds or transplant seedlings after frost danger

⚖️ Space plants 24-36 inches apart

🏷️ Use plant tags for easy identification

Watering and Maintenance

💧 Water regularly to keep soil evenly moist

🍽️ Feed with balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks

🌿 Stake or cage plants to support growth

🔎 Inspect for pests like aphids or tomato hornworms

Harvesting and Storage

🌽 Harvest when tomatillos fill husks and turn yellow-green

🛒 Store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks

🥦 Use fresh in salsas, salads, or sauces

🥫 Preserve by freezing or canning for long-term use

Interesting Facts

👩‍🌾 Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cuisine

🌱 A single plant can produce up to 100 tomatillos

🔥 Tomatillos contain more vitamin C than tomatoes

🔄 They are self-pollinating but benefit from bees

💪 Tomatillos are rich in fiber and antioxidants

What Is A Tomatillo And Why Should I Plant It?

Tomatillos, or Physalis philadelphica, are native to Mexico and members of the nightshade family. Tomatillos look similar to green tomatoes at first sight, but their paper-like husks make them easy to differentiate from other tomato varieties. Known for their use in Mexican cuisine, tomatillos provide a tart and tangy flavor. They can be used to create salsa, sauces, and even desserts! Along with being super flavorful, tomatillos are very nutritious and can provide a healthy boost to any meal.

The Best Time To Plant Tomatillos

Tomatillos can be planted in pots or in gardens. If you choose to plant your tomatillos in pots, you’ll need to consider the container size and placement of your potted plants as they won’t need to following the same climate or soil restrictions as plants grown in larger gardens. The best time to start planting tomatillos is late spring or early summer. Make sure to start your tomatillos indoors 4-6 weeks before the last spring frost to give them enough time to germinate and become hardy enough to survive outside.

How To Plant Tomatillos

Once you’ve selected an appropriate site to plant your tomatillos - either inside a pot or in your garden - it’s time to start getting your space ready for planting. As mentioned before, soil should be well-draining and have a good level of fertility. You also want to make sure that the pH level is around 7 – 7.5. To get the most out of your tomatillos, add a good layer of compost prior to planting.

To plant, dig a hole that is a couple of inches deep, and gently place your tomatillo seedling into the hole. Make sure the husk is still intact andit shouldn’t be covered with too much dirt. As the tomatillo grows, give it plenty of water and a dry, sunny spot in your garden or in the container. Once the plant is 6-8 inches tall, choose your fruit and leave the remaining fruit to continue to mature.


Tomatillos can be a great addition to any garden or container space. With the right amount of care, you can ensure a bountiful harvest of the delicious and nutritious Mexican fruits this season.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When should I plant Tomatillo?

To ensure successful growth, plant Tomatillo after the last frost in your area.

2. What type of soil is best for growing Tomatillo?

Tomatillo thrives in well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5.

3. How much sunlight does Tomatillo need?

Tomatillo requires full sun to produce abundant fruit, ideally 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.

4. How do I sow Tomatillo seeds?

Sow Tomatillo seeds ¼ inch deep, **spacing them 18-24 inches apart** in rows or containers.

5. How often should I water Tomatillo?

Regularly water Tomatillo, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged.

6. Should I fertilize Tomatillo?

**Apply a balanced fertilizer** during planting and **every 3-4 weeks** throughout the growing season.

7. How do I support Tomatillo plants?

As Tomatillo plants grow, **stake or cage** them to provide support and prevent sprawling.

8. Do I need to prune Tomatillo?

Minimal pruning is recommended, remove any **suckers** that form in the leaf axils.

9. When can I harvest Tomatillo?

Tomatillo is ready to harvest **70-90 days after planting**, when the fruit fills the husk and turns light green or yellow.

10. How do I store Tomatillo?

Store harvested Tomatillos **in a cool, dry place** or refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Having only experienced the joy of having homegrown tomatillos for the past few years, I can confidently say that I've had great success with the crop without too much extra effort. It's a little like nurturing a slightly more temperamental but more exciting version of a tomato, and I can think of no better way to add a unique flavor to your cooking. Planting tomatillo is a wonderful and rewarding endeavor for any enthusiastic gardener, and I highly encourage everyone to give it a try.

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