Tomatillo Growing Conditions


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I'm growing tomatillo (AKA Ground Cherries) for the first time this year and already have seedlings that just germinated. This plant is in the same family as Tomatoes (Solanaceae) and of course the package says "full Sun" is best; however, I've noticed that my Florida sun is way too powerful for tomato plants (Also a "Full Sun" plant:rolleyes:). For best results, I usually plant them in a place where they get a mixture of direct sun and dappled sun.

Can anyone, from the south, recommend how much sun (rough estimate) to give these plants? Have you noticed if they're much like tomato plants or more like sun flowers, which cannot get enough sun, even here in Florida.

Thank...
 
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I have roughly the same sun as you do. You will not have any trouble with tomatillos. As far as your tomatoes go the sun isn't the problem, the foliage and amount of foliage is. Many varieties of tomatoes just don't have enough foliage for our sun and other times we don't give the plant enough nitrogen to produce the abundant foliage needed to avoid sunscald. What I do to achieve more foliage is when the very first blooms show proof of set I fertilize again and I add nitrogen every 2 weeks until harvest. I only use organic fertilizers so I don't know what using synthetic fertilizers will do.
 

Meadowlark

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Growing them for the first time this year myself. My understanding is full sun and multiple plants. I'm going for full sun this first time. Let's compare notes as they grow.
 
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Growing them for the first time this year myself. My understanding is full sun and multiple plants. I'm going for full sun this first time. Let's compare notes as they grow.
Tomatillos theoretically are self pollinating but IME the production falls WAY off if you don't have at least 2 plants
 
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Interesting about the nitrogen issue with tomatoes, must be an interesting balance, since too much nitrogen will limit blossoms – so I've heard.

Personally I don't add anything to my garden, other than mulch and things to compost; however, I've been throwing around the idea of getting rabbits and using their droppings, but that's to be continued...I just don't seem to have a growing problem.

I've heard that tomatillos need other plants to pollinate, so far I got about 25 seedlings, probably way too much and I didn't even use half the package of seeds.

I will make some updates here in the future. Thanks all....
 
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Interesting about the nitrogen issue with tomatoes, must be an interesting balance, since too much nitrogen will limit blossoms – so I've heard.

Personally I don't add anything to my garden, other than mulch and things to compost; however, I've been throwing around the idea of getting rabbits and using their droppings, but that's to be continued...I just don't seem to have a growing problem.

I've heard that tomatillos need other plants to pollinate, so far I got about 25 seedlings, probably way too much and I didn't even use half the package of seeds.

I will make some updates here in the future. Thanks all....
In my case too much nitrogen is a non-issue because the nighttime low temps and daytime high temps preclude the setting of additional fruit except on cherry varieties. On hybrid determinate tomatoes fruit set and ripening are both in a short period of time. I don't know what your summers are like in Atlantic Beach, but, if your nighttime lows are above =/- 74F or if your daytime highs are above =/-90F you will not have fruit anyway, no matter if you have blooms or not or whether they are determinate or indeterminate.

Tomatillos theoretically are self fertile. They can set fruit without another plant but you won't get near the production. I always grow 2 plants because any more than that is just too many tomatillos for me. I fry some of them but mainly they are used in salsas and hot sauce. And rabbit manure is excellent composted but be careful with it because it is hotter than any other manure, even chicken, plus it is also high in phosphorus which makes for a lot of blooms.
 
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Kind of embarrassing... I just learned, by accident, that Tomatillos and Ground Cherries are not the same (as I indicated in my opening post). I'm growing Toma verde variety. I'll have to keep my eyes out for ground cherry seeds....Supposedly they are very sweet tasting, where as tomatillos are best for making salsas and stuff.
 
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Kind of embarrassing... I just learned, by accident, that Tomatillos and Ground Cherries are not the same (as I indicated in my opening post). I'm growing Toma verde variety. I'll have to keep my eyes out for ground cherry seeds....Supposedly they are very sweet tasting, where as tomatillos are best for making salsas and stuff.
I'd call it a typo. I started to say something but they are a little similar as they both have husks. The only thing I have against them is that they are small. They make better than excellent jams, jellys and my favorite, pies.
 

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... I'll have to keep my eyes out for ground cherry seeds....Supposedly they are very sweet tasting, where as tomatillos are best for making salsas and stuff.
These folks offer them: https://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/ground-cherries

I've never grown them but interested in doing so...but probably too late for here. They are reported to be slow to germinate from seed and we are headed into high temps pretty soon. Maybe next year.
 
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I start mine the same time as tomatoes. About 6 weeks before last frost.
 
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Thanks for the link, I'll try them out.

I have to admit, I hate waiting for seeds to germinate, especially because I have to make sure they stay moist for the entire time, such as what I'm waiting for now Nicotiana (Indian Peace Pipe); the seeds are like dust and they must be sprinkled on top of the soil, so the sun can hit them -- they supposedly take 7-21 days for germination.
 
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Thanks for the link, I'll try them out.

I have to admit, I hate waiting for seeds to germinate, especially because I have to make sure they stay moist for the entire time, such as what I'm waiting for now Nicotiana (Indian Peace Pipe); the seeds are like dust and they must be sprinkled on top of the soil, so the sun can hit them -- they supposedly take 7-21 days for germination.
Have you tried putting Saran Wrap over the container? I get one of those cheap tinfoil turkey roasting pans at the grocery store and put a few holes in the bottom and soak the growing medium. Then I sprinkle the seeds, pat them down and seal the container top with the wrap. You never have to water as the soaked medium condenses and the water drips back down. When the seeds sprout you still have an inch or so for them grow and when they reach the wrap just remove it and continue to grow in the roasting pan until large enough to transplant. I start all kinds of seeds this way.
 
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I doing something similar for the first time this year, where I put the seeds near a large bush that allows them to get morning sun and then shades them out about 2 pm.

After that I make sure the soil is still moist and place a semi-translucent plastic cover over them to trap the moisture until the next day. My goal is to give them sunlight for germination, but not over-cook them, nor letting them dry out, as use to happen a lot with my sun-germinated seeds that were on the top of the soil.

So far the soil has remained relatively moist as opposed to other times where the soil would dry out, because I forgot to check them. Hopefully this works. However, I still got a ways to go, since I just sowed them two day ago (3/27).
 

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Any updates from the tomatillo growers out there?

Mine have finally started blooming...and presumably will soon be setting fruit. The plants have a distinctive smell but look to be very healthy.

Looking forward to seeing some fruit!

tomatillo bloom.JPG


tomatillo bloom 2.JPG
 
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^^^^^ Your tomatillos seem to be a different variety than mine, judging by the flowers. Problem is that I don't remember the variety I have, since I mailed the package to a little kid up in Maryland that likes to plant stuff -- I'll have to go to the nursery and write down what I bought from them.

I have only about six fruits so far, but they all flower a lot and I see a lot of buds. I'm just not sure how attracted the pollinators are to them, since they seem to love everything else I'm growing -- maybe I need to cut down some of those flowering plants.

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I grew Amaryllis (yellow) Tomatillos last year, very sweet and PROLIFIC, and I'm doing Purple Tomatillos this year. Nice vines so far, but no flowers yet. Hoping for the best......
 
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Hello,
I planted around twenty tomato seeds (some pots with Roma seeds other pots with slicer tomato seeds) in those really small pots a week ago. In each small pot, around 5 seeds have germinated and the plants are currently about 2 inches tall. I plan on moving the ones that grow into a larger pot in 3 weeks. Since each plant in a small pot is within an inch of all the other plants (in that very same pot), will one of the plants in the area live and the other die off, or should I cut off all but one plant per area, so it gets enough nutritions? This is my first time growing tomatoes. I wasn't sure if this was the correct place to post. Thanks.
 

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