Sow and Grow Tomatillos

Tomatillo
Tomatillo

First of all, I sow my tomatillo seeds in late February or early March indoors in my portable greenhouse.  If you need some seed ideas for tomatillos, just click on the link.

I usually transplant the seedling in early to mid May under cover with a hoop and a lightweight fabric just in case the weather gets bad.  Don’t forget to harden off the plants by taking them outside for a few hours each day for about a week. They like to get acclimated to the weather during the day.

Tomatillo Plant
Tomatillo Plant

Just like tomatoes, you can plant about half of the stem underground.  Tomatillo plants will grow more roots along the part of the stem that gets buried underground.  You can space them between 1 and 2 feet apart.  I have had good luck with the 1 foot spacing.  Also, I like to gently tie the stem of the tomato plant with Vigoro stretch tie to a sturdy stake that is about 5 feet tall for tomatillo plants.  While I forgot this year, I usually use a circular tomato cage to give the stems some more support. The Vigoro stretch tie is a winner to use with tomatillo plants because the branches and stems can get bruised if you just use string.

My preference is to use soaker hoses instead of overhead sprinklers to keep any diseases down to a minimum.

Last year, I started to use the organic tomato food called Tomato-tone by Espoma.  The tomatillos seem to love it too.   According to the package instructions, you should sprinkle 3 tablespoons around the base of the plant.  When I apply the Tomato-tone, I usually water the plant food with a watering can so I make sure that the food gets down in the soil.  This plant food has a little extra calcium in it which is great for healthy tomatillos.  I use it about once a month during the growing season.  Another thing to consider is an organic fish fertilizer.  Veggies really like it!  I usually use the organic fish fertilizer two week after I give the other plant food.

I haven’t started composting yet but compost is a good source for healthy soil which leads to healthy plants.