Tomatillos are one of the last things I harvest. They prefer hot temps so they don’t do much growing until late, so they mature late.

Tomatillo plants don’t mind chilly nights, but you must pick before the first frost. I usually wait until that night, then harvest. This year we had two extra weeks without frost, so I got a decent haul . Not the usual numbers, but enough to make green chile and freeze a few.

If you are not familiar with tomatillos, they are the major ingredient in commercial green salsa. They have lots of small seeds, which you can see in many salsas. Tomatillos are used in some green chili recipes, including mine, and they can be substituted for tomatoes in regular salsa recipes.

For the biggest harvests, start tomatillos plants indoors, then transplant in late June (after wind and hail season). Once established, they will self-seed each year. Weed out all but a few and pinch them back a bit over the growing season to keep them under control. I do not trellis them, but you can.

Pick when the husks are brown and “filled” up. To store tomatillos:

1. Husk and freeze whole, use in stews, chile.

2. Husk and chop in food processor, freeze.

3. Make green salsa and can.

One thought on “Late Season Harvest: Tomatillos

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