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De Milpa Tomatillo

Physalis philadelphica

Grown by: Chelsea Askew in Mars Hill, NC

  • $5.00

This pretty purple-blushed tomatillo is so named because it is traditionally grown in the Milpa, a cleared field where corn, beans, squash, and often many other crops are grown intercropped together in Mexico and Central America. Fruits are about 1.5” in diameter and have a slightly sharper flavor, which is preferred for some Mexican dishes.

Days to maturity: 70-80

Seeds per pack: 60

Germination rate: 88% on 3/15/2023

Planting / harvesting notes

Sow indoors no more than 1/4" deep a few weeks before the last frost date, and transplant in the garden in rows about every 18"-24". Plants will form blousy bushes like ground cherries. Keep well weeded until they fill in the space in order to best find the fallen fruits later in the season. Harvest when the husks turn brown and the fruits are yellow.

Seed keeping notes

Tomatillos are self-pollinating, but different varieties of P. philadelphica should be isolated by several hundred feet to prevent unwanted cross-pollination. Seeds are ready for harvest when fruit is fully ripe. You can remove seeds by hand, rinse, and dry. We use a blender on the lowest setting with plenty of water. When the fruits have been broken open, pour the mixture into a large container and add water. Allow the fruits to float and the seeds to sink. Pour off everything except the seed (you may have to add more water and repeat this process a few times) and then strain and rinse the seeds, and dry.

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