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Toma Verde Tomatillo

Physalis philadelphica

Grown by: Chelsea Askew in Mars Hill, NC

  • $5.00

Early, large green fruits encased in papery wrappers. Great for salsas verdes and other traditional Mexican dishes. Harvest when fruits are still green but starting to soften.

Wild tomatillos are found throughout the Americas, except for the far north, with the highest diversity in the area now called Mexico, where they were originally domesticated and where they historically played an even more important role to Aztec and Maya people than the tomato.

Photo 1 (tomatillos on wood) by Marie-Noelle-Desbois.
Photo 2 (on marble) by Mehmet Oztan of Two Seeds in a Pod Seed Co.

Days to maturity: 70-80

Seeds per pack: 60

Germination rate: 93% on 03/14/2024

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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