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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.

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Post  sanderson 4/28/2013, 12:58 pm

I'm a first year SFG gardener. Can tomatillos be vertically trained like tomatoes? I'm trying SFG, served with a side of container and vertical gardening. [all with Mel's Mix]
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Post  llama momma 4/28/2013, 1:12 pm

This is my second year with Aunt Molly's, it loves mels' mix and will try to take over the surrounding squares. My seedlings at this time aren't even half your size plants Rooster.
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Post  RoOsTeR 4/28/2013, 1:58 pm

llama momma wrote:This is my second year with Aunt Molly's, it loves mels' mix and will try to take over the surrounding squares. My seedlings at this time aren't even half your size plants Rooster.

Lol, I don't know if they're big or small, or about where they should be. I'm just kinda going with it Very Happy Right now I've got 7 plants, and thinking I may put them in buckets instead of my boxes. Are they controllable if planted in squares?

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Post  CapeCoddess 4/28/2013, 2:29 pm

I'm growing tomatillo for the first time and started with seeds. They are tall and spindly right coz I fertilized yesterday but they have hardened off already. I read that they take alot of space so I'm not putting them in my SFG's. I'll put them off to the side so the bees can enjoy the flowers I read about.

The ground cherries sound intriguing. I never heard of them til this thread. Please keep us posted.

Anyone else have tomatillo experience? Any warnings?

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Post  jmsieglaff 4/28/2013, 3:59 pm

sanderson wrote:I'm a first year SFG gardener. Can tomatillos be vertically trained like tomatoes? I'm trying SFG, served with a side of container and vertical gardening. [all with Mel's Mix]

I don't trellis mine, but I use very large tomato cages and stakes. They out grow and out produce tomatoes. Just make sure you grow two plants--the plants typically do not self-pollinate (not sure why that is). The tomatillos grow like crazy, you'll be pruning them a good amount, but produce abundantly.
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Post  llama momma 4/28/2013, 4:54 pm

RoOsTeR wrote:
llama momma wrote:This is my second year with Aunt Molly's, it loves mels' mix and will try to take over the surrounding squares. My seedlings at this time aren't even half your size plants Rooster.

Lol, I don't know if they're big or small, or about where they should be. I'm just kinda going with it Very Happy Right now I've got 7 plants, and thinking I may put them in buckets instead of my boxes. Are they controllable if planted in squares?

Guess I'd have to go look up when I started my seedlings, anyway, you could probably cut it back to stay roughly in a square, but the thing really wants to grow! I found it not to be as vigorous in a container which also resulted in less production of fruit. I wasn't thrilled with the flavor but I have a friend I'm growing it for her, thought the pineapple/strawberry combo flavor would dazzle me, but my tastebuds ended up very confused. On the other hand, my friend went crazy beserk over the fruit. Tomatillos - Page 2 3170584802
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Post  grownsunshine 6/18/2013, 2:03 pm

my friend just told me that if you blend in tomatillos with avocados when making guacamole, the guacamole will stay green. I know people use milk or lemons, but he liked this the best because of the flavor...
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Post  Goosegirl 6/18/2013, 5:22 pm

grownsunshine wrote:my friend just told me that if you blend in tomatillos with avocados when making guacamole, the guacamole will stay green. I know people use milk or lemons, but he liked this the best because of the flavor...

I like this idea. Will have to try it with the next batch of guac.

GG
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Post  sanderson 2/26/2014, 3:19 am

Last season, I had one plant in a corner square and a second plant in pot right next to it. But the sun moved in the late summer when they were just getting productive. I would like to be able to relocate them this summer as needed. Can I plant 2 in a pot or bucket? !4" diameter x 10" deep. I want to use one container so when I move it, the plants won't be pulled apart like they would be if I move one container, then the other. I will have a tomato cage to keep them somewhat supported (ha!), even though most will spread outside the cage.
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Post  camprn 2/26/2014, 6:57 am

2 in one pot surely can work but use a larger pot, both for adequate room for roots and for weight so the pot doesn't fall over.

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Post  johnp 2/26/2014, 9:00 am

last summer I planted 5 Tomatillo's in 1/2 of a 4x8 bed. The plants absolutely took over the whole half of the bed plus most of the other half. When I cleaned them out at the end of the season I found that all the growth and production was from two plants. The other three were still very small. They need a lot of space. This year I have an isolated 4x4 box that is going to have only 4 plants in it.
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Post  sanderson 2/26/2014, 2:12 pm

Thanks for the responses so far.
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Post  Marc Iverson 2/26/2014, 3:48 pm

My tomatillos last year spread to a good three feet wide each. Together, they took up half of an 8-foot bed.

They had a single main stem that was staked, and had the kind of top that you would expect of a tree -- wide and spreading. None of the branches dropped to the ground, though some hung low. Instead, they spread wide.

When I pulled them up, they had a huge wide root ball, well over a foot wide and more than a foot deep, with other longer roots that kept going deeper.

They are also generally described as a very thirsty plant. Because of that, I would give their root balls plenty of room to expand. I wouldn't plant one of these in anything smaller than a 5-gallon bucket, and I would keep it quite well watered. Ideally, a large self-watering container. That's what I will be doing this year.
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Post  landarch 2/26/2014, 5:28 pm

I will be planting tomatillos this year just to try out some salsa verde recipes.  I think the seed I purchased from Baker Creek is Rio Grande Verde...starting seeds indoors this weekend.
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Post  FamilyGardening 2/28/2014, 12:52 am

we are going to grow them for the first time this year....what do they taste like?

thanks
happy gardening
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Post  sanderson 2/28/2014, 2:04 am

Sweet and tart. Hard to describe. good snack fruit. Even if you end up not really liking them raw, there's always making chili verde sauce. And, watching the fruit grow in the lanterns is neat.
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Post  Marc Iverson 2/28/2014, 1:47 pm

The riper they get, the sweeter and less tart they get, but it isn't easy to judge where it crosses any lines between sweet and sour -- at least on my green ones, which stayed the same shade of light green at all stages of ripeness.

They make a very good chutney too, either on their own or mixed with green tomatoes.
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Post  CapeCoddess 3/1/2014, 3:00 pm

My 3 tomatillos grew in sand with tender loving neglect outside the SFG.  They got huge in a Charlie Brown tree way and made lots of fruits late in the season.  I rudely yanked one up end of summer, plopped it in a bucket of nothing for travel, and replanted it in our companies community garden next to a lone one that wasn't showing any signs of fruiting - you need 2.  A month later it was fruiting. 

I don't care for their odd flavor but my mom loves them.

I have a funny feeling that all of the fallen fruits I missed last year will be sprouting this year. Rolling Eyes 

I love the taste of ground cherries though, and will be planting them in the same spot this year.  What a Face 

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Post  johnp 3/2/2014, 7:19 am

They are best when the husk starts to yellow. I have always roasted mine , never eating them raw. The best way I have found is to roast them on the BBQ along with the onions. This makes the best green salsa. This year will be a first for me with ground cherries. Do they grow about the same size and what do you do with them?
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Post  CapeCoddess 3/2/2014, 7:33 am

johnp wrote:This year will be a first for me with ground cherries. Do they grow about the same size and what do you do with them?
Ground cherries are smaller. The husk is closer to the fruit. I just peeled them and ate them as a snack. Sweet and delicious! I bought them at the farmers market so I don't know what size the plant is. But I will this year. What a Face 

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Post  southern gardener 5/17/2014, 9:37 pm

Our tomatillos are really coming on. We've never grown them before. There are lots of the little lantern thingys, but they feel "empty".  How do they grow? Will they fill up? We planted two plants, so the pollination should be OK, lots of bees around too.  Thanks!!

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Post  donnainzone5 5/17/2014, 9:56 pm

Give them time.  With a proper growing medium, sufficient water and sunlight, they should do well.
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Post  jmsieglaff 5/17/2014, 10:12 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Give them time.
+1.

That's what they do, form the empty lantern and then slowly fill.  The lanterns will split once they're ripe and color of the fruit will lighten.
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Post  southern gardener 5/18/2014, 1:42 am

Thanks guys! I was so excited then felt the empty lantern and thought, "now what did it do??"  lol
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Post  AtlantaMarie 5/18/2014, 9:09 am

They look great, SG!
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