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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Tomato Plants Toplef10Tomato Plants 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Tomato Plants I22gcj10Tomato Plants 14dhcg10

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Tomato Plants

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Post  colleenkgallagher 3/14/2013, 10:31 pm

I love to make salsa. Does anyone have any favorite salsa varieties of tomatoes?

Thanks Very Happy
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Post  jimmy cee 3/14/2013, 10:52 pm

Just read an article in Aprils issue of Birds & Blooms
Tomatillos will make the best salsa on the block.
Weird looking thing, however very interesting...
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Post  mijejo 3/15/2013, 6:37 am

Yes, tomatillos make great salsa, but they are good for lots of things. First of all, do not harvest them until they fall off of the plant. Tomatillos in the grocery stores are harvested way too early and do not taste anywhere near as well as garden fresh and completely ripe. I do not use them just for salsas, I also eat them raw and sliced on their own, or in-the-hand as one would an apple.
They are very easy to grow. I have had no issues with disease, pests, or malnutrition. I am so surprised other gardeners do not sing the high praises about this crop as do I. Who else grows them and can you contribute any thoughts?
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Post  jimmy cee 3/15/2013, 8:49 am

I'm certainly going to try them this season
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Post  H_TX_2 3/15/2013, 11:05 am

How many squares do they take? I quickly looked into growing them and I think I found that they need like 9 squares for one plant. This is one of those times where I hope I am wrong because I would love to put a couple of tomatillo plants in my SFG.
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Post  Turan 3/15/2013, 11:33 am

I grow a couple tomatillos every year. I like the Verde Grande variety for salsa verde (green salsa). It is a bush plant similar to a determinate tomato. I give them a a cage and they sorta wander out of that and into the pathway, not with vines but just sorta exuberant branches. They are fairly hardy once established in the garden so I cover them when young but do not keep them in a cold frame like I do tomatoes. They are one of the ground/husk tomatoes and will cross with those. You need 2 plants for good fertilization, but they do not need to be of other varieties. Bees adore them.

Here are 2 young tomatillos with eggplant and peppers in the back ground all keeping warm. You can see that the tomatillos already want to start flowering.
Tomato Plants 12-jun10

Here is a close up a month later. That green lantern thing is the husk the fruit grows in.
Tomato Plants 12-jul10

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Post  H_TX_2 3/15/2013, 12:01 pm

So can they be grown 1 per square if you keep them caged?
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Post  Turan 3/15/2013, 12:23 pm

I planted mine at the box edge, 1 per square right next to each other, with open squares buffering them from the eggplants. They shared each others space and over to he peppers and out onto the path. They have an open growth habit so they share space with others fairly well.

If you want to keep each plant strictly to itself you need to use the determinate tomato spacing of 1 per 4-9 squares. It would take heavy pruning to keep them in a 1 ft square and I think you would lose most of your harvest.

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Post  Hoggar 3/15/2013, 12:41 pm

Tomatillos are nice I did two plants last year and they bush out quite a bit I had them side by side 1 per square. But the caveat is, be sure to get them all off of the ground when they fall they are very prolific my friend planted half a dozen plants a few years ago and is still wrangling them to keep them under control outside of her growing area.
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Post  Turan 3/15/2013, 12:45 pm

Ye, I bet they grow wild in Houston. I was told they grow wild in the corn fields in Mexico.

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Post  CapeCoddess 3/15/2013, 12:59 pm

Oooo...thanks for talking about this, you guys. I got some tomatillo seeds from Ray/praxxus55712 during his free seed giveaway on youtube and forgot to plant them when I started my tomatoes. I'll do it tonight. I thought I'd plant them in a wild side of my yard since they get so big.

They can be started indoors, right?

CC
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Post  Turan 3/15/2013, 1:03 pm

I have to start them inside. They get going a bit faster than tomatoes but need similarly warm soil so you are probably fine starting them now.

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Post  NightMist 3/15/2013, 1:27 pm

I've not done tomatillos, but I have done ground cherries and have been repeatedly told that growing tomatillos is pretty much identical.
In that case yeah, start them inside and treat them like tomatoes. The sprouts are very thin and small, so plan to bottom water until they sturdy up.

Nope, no current plans to grow tomatillos. My regular tomatoes, ground cherries, and Morelle de Balbis (litchi tomato) are more than enough to go on with.
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Post  jimmy cee 3/15/2013, 1:49 pm

If their so bountiful, why not plant them in a good size container and let them go where they want ?
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Post  H_TX_2 3/15/2013, 2:34 pm

Is there any chance of tomatillos and ground cherries cross pollinating?
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Post  Hoggar 3/15/2013, 3:57 pm

jimmy cee wrote:If their so bountiful, why not plant them in a good size container and let them go where they want ?

Its not hard to contain them, but like I said earlier you need to make sure none of them get away on the ground or they try to take over.
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Post  NightMist 3/15/2013, 4:18 pm

H_TX_2 wrote:Is there any chance of tomatillos and ground cherries cross pollinating?

I thought, then double checked my facts, did a search on my other forums, and I do believe your answer would be no.
They are both out pollinators and more closely related to each other than to tomatoes, but they are not closely enough related to readily cross. Good to know if you save seeds, as with so many people gardening these days you never know what may be planted nearby.

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Post  H_TX_2 3/15/2013, 4:26 pm

Thanks NightMist. I didn't think they would but I was hoping someone here would know for sure.
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