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The tomatillo or husk-tomato (Physalis philadelphica) is a solanaceous plant cultivated in Mexico and Guatemala and originating from Mesoamerica. Various archaeological findings show that its use in the diet of the Mexican population dates back to pre-Columbian times. Indeed, vestiges of Physalis sp. used as food have been found in excavations in the valley of Tehuacán (900 BC–AD 1540).
The tomatillo has been a constant component of the Mexican and Guatemalan diet up to the present day, chiefly in the form of sauces prepared with its fruit and ground chilies to improve the flavour of meals and stimulate the appetite. The tomatillo is also used in sauces with green chili, mainly to lessen its hot flavour. The fruit of the tomatillo is used cooked, or even raw, to prepare purees or minced meat dishes which are used as a base for chili sauces known generically as salsa verde (green sauce); they can be used to accompany prepared dishes or else be used as ingredients in various stews. An infusion of the husks (calyces) is added to tamale dough to improve its spongy consistency, as well as to that of fritters: it is also used to impart flavour to white rice and to tenderize red meats.
Pretty Wild Seeds are registered with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under number 7529, so you can have confidence in both our products and advice. Although our products are listed in weights and acres, we can supply in additional quantities upon enquiry so if you need a larger supply, please don't hesitate to give us a call.
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We happily accept returns within 14 days from date of delivery. All returns must be received in the same condition and packaging we sent them. Postage charges will not be refunded on unwanted products.
You are solely responsible for ensuring the goods are returned to us. We will not be liable for returns that are lost in the post or lost for any other reason. If a product arrives damaged we will advise the customer how to return the item with all return costs covered by us. Replacements & refunds will be dispatched / issued on receipt of the returned items only.
Sowing; Sow the seeds in shallow trays of compost in a propagator or on a sunny windowsill in March, potting them on into small pots when they get to about 5cm (2") high. Transfer them into their final growing positions outdoors in late May/June when frost danger has passed.
These vigorous plants do best in full sun in a warm, sheltered position, set about 1m (40") apart to allow them space to branch out. You will probably only need 2 plants for the average family, as they are extremely high-yielding, however do not plant any less as tomatillo bushes need a friend nearby to ensure effective pollination.
When your Tomatillos get to around 30cm (12") tall they will begin to flop on their sides, losing their neat upright shape. This is a natural phase of their development, in which the central stem flops down in contact with the soil and sends out loads of lateral roots, followed by heavy fruit-producing shoots. Your plants will produce at least 4 or 5 times more fruit on these lateral branches. If possible grow your plants in open ground rather than pots if you have that option, to allow them space to spread out over the ground.
They respond well to a high potash feed, producing even higher yields of fruit. Tomatillos are ready to harvest at any stage between walnut and medium tomato size; when they start to split their lantern-like casings but are still green. Each plant is capable of producing up to an astonishing 10 kilos (22lbs) of fruit per plant before the first frosts!
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