Toma Verde Tomatillo seeds are easy to grow with prolific yields of early-maturing tomatillos. Compact heirloom plants from Toma Verde tomatillo seeds are hardy and adapt well to a variety of climates. Fruits average 5 cm (2") in diameter. Firm, uniform green fruit are wrapped in a papery husk that turns from green to tan and splits open as the fruit reaches full size and maturity. Fruits are tart when enjoyed fresh, and turn sweet when roasted. A Mexican favourite, try Toma Verde in savory sauces, snappy salsas, soups and dips. This plant works well in 5 gallon (or larger) containers, but it forms a large, somewhat sprawling bush so it benefits from some means of support like a tomato cage.
Matures in 70 days (Open-pollinated seeds)
These big sprawling plants are easier to grow than tomatoes and do not require any protection from rain. Their fruits develop within a distinctive, paper-like wrapper that forms from the calyx of the flower. As the fruits mature and swell, they sometimes fill or split the covering. Tomatillos are prized for their tartness, and are widely used in Mexican cuisine. Ground cherries (AKA Cape Gooseberries) produce sweeter tasting fruits that are used for preserves and desserts. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow tomatillos and ground cherries from seed.
Tomatillo: Physallis philadelphica
Ground Cherry: Physallis peruviana
Season & Zone
Season: Warm season
Start indoors in early spring with bottom heat, and transplant out in warm weather, once night time temperatures are consistently above 10°C (50°F).
Sow seeds 5mm-1cm (¼-½”) deep in individual pots or trays. Space transplants 45-60cm (18-24″) apart in rows 90-120cm (36-48″) apart.
Ideal pH: 6.5-7.0. Full sun and regular watering will keep the plants producing. Plants need support to keep drooping branches off the ground. Tomato cages work well. Tomatillos and ground cherries are good candidates for large containers. Be sure to pick the fruit before it drops.
For salsa verde, harvest tomatillos when they’re just starting to lighten up on the blossom end. But for fresh eating, the fruit is sweetest when it turns yellow and splits its husks, sometimes falling to the ground. For ground cherries, the fruit ripen from green to yellow-gold, and drop to the ground in their husks.
In optimal conditions at least 75% of seeds should germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years.