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Old 06-10-2003, 04:03 PM
Steve Harris
 
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Default Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa) verdict: worth considering

I grew a couple of these plants and I expected weekend frost to kill
them (but it didn't) but since I'd started an obituary ...

Main points:

* Take up VERY little ground space (see below)
* More attractive than many kitchen garden plants
* A bit tricky to start
* Low maintenance
* Useful ingredient rather than a star at your table

Tomatillo has SOME similarities with Tomato such as origin, hardiness,
family, etc. However, a dinner guest is more likely to mistake it for a
tiny green pepper. The plant is better looking than tomato. See the web
for lots of stuff.

The plamts end up like miniature spreading trees covered with yellow
flowers, lime-green leaves and green "chinese lanterns". I'm tempted to
grow them in a flower border next year. They're nice, not stunning.

Near the ground is a straight green trunk a couple of inches thick and
little branched for about a foot. This should mean you could underplant
it with another crop. They cast much less shade than tomatoes and their
prefered soil has little nitrogen. Summer radish or lettuce?

Tomatillo is usually harvested green and cooked. The best time is when
the "lantern" starts yellowing and splits to reveal the fruit. If you
let the fruit mature to yellow, it's sweeter, doesn't need cooking but
has amlost certainly split. Hoewever, in the UK, it's more likely you'll
do a green harvest when frost threatens. The fruit is said to keep for
weeks if not months.

Some seed catalogues mention a cultivar name but Chiltern don't bother
and that's where I got mine. It seems to be a green rather than a purple
variety.

You MUST plant more than one if you want fruit.

Germination was eratic:

- In pots in dull but heated room 21/02/03 - failed
- In pots ina cool, light room 11/04/03 - success
- Direct in soil, 19/04/03 - failed.

I'm going to try lifting the roots and keeping them somewhere cool over
the winter in the hopes of a head start next year.

Steve Harris - Cheltenham - Real address steve AT netservs DOT com

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Old 07-10-2003, 02:12 PM
Lyndon Thomas
 
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Default Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa) verdict: worth considering

Steve i have grown them for years in pots very easy to grow and always a
fair yeald of fruit.
This year i grew one in a border, it grew to about 5feet tall X 4foot spread
and smothered everything in its path, It produced Lbs & Lbs of fruit
though.
Its back in to tubs next year easier to manage.
Lyndon

"Steve Harris" wrote in message
...
I grew a couple of these plants and I expected weekend frost to kill
them (but it didn't) but since I'd started an obituary ...

Main points:

* Take up VERY little ground space (see below)
* More attractive than many kitchen garden plants
* A bit tricky to start
* Low maintenance
* Useful ingredient rather than a star at your table

Tomatillo has SOME similarities with Tomato such as origin, hardiness,
family, etc. However, a dinner guest is more likely to mistake it for a
tiny green pepper. The plant is better looking than tomato. See the web
for lots of stuff.

The plamts end up like miniature spreading trees covered with yellow
flowers, lime-green leaves and green "chinese lanterns". I'm tempted to
grow them in a flower border next year. They're nice, not stunning.

Near the ground is a straight green trunk a couple of inches thick and
little branched for about a foot. This should mean you could underplant
it with another crop. They cast much less shade than tomatoes and their
prefered soil has little nitrogen. Summer radish or lettuce?

Tomatillo is usually harvested green and cooked. The best time is when
the "lantern" starts yellowing and splits to reveal the fruit. If you
let the fruit mature to yellow, it's sweeter, doesn't need cooking but
has amlost certainly split. Hoewever, in the UK, it's more likely you'll
do a green harvest when frost threatens. The fruit is said to keep for
weeks if not months.

Some seed catalogues mention a cultivar name but Chiltern don't bother
and that's where I got mine. It seems to be a green rather than a purple
variety.

You MUST plant more than one if you want fruit.

Germination was eratic:

- In pots in dull but heated room 21/02/03 - failed
- In pots ina cool, light room 11/04/03 - success
- Direct in soil, 19/04/03 - failed.

I'm going to try lifting the roots and keeping them somewhere cool over
the winter in the hopes of a head start next year.

Steve Harris - Cheltenham - Real address steve AT netservs DOT com



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Old 08-10-2003, 09:10 AM
Lyndon Thomas
 
Posts: n/a
Default Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa) verdict: worth considering

Hi Steve I live in south Wales.
In pots they are in the front garden that is south facing so very hot in
summer yes they take a lot of water.
I only planted one this year which i put in a flower bed again in the front
garden, this only had water when i put the sprinkler on the lawn.
No i dont feed them they grow ok without.
Lyndon

"Steve Harris" wrote in message
...
In article [email protected],
RemoveXX to reply (Lyndon Thomas) wrote:

i have grown them for years in pots very easy to grow and always a
fair yeald of fruit.


Whereabouts are you? Are these pots on a sun-trap patio. Do you water
them lots?

This year i grew one in a border, it grew to about 5feet tall X 4foot
spread and smothered everything in its path


The largest of mine is that size but all the spread is off the ground. I
did read some advice about pinching out the top once it had got to 1'
tall to encourage bushiness but I didn't. Also, I've read that little
breeding effort has been put in so maybe it's a very variable plant? One
of mine is about 50% taller than other.

Do you feed yours?

Steve Harris - Cheltenham - Real address steve AT netservs DOT com





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