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Purple Tomatillo

$2.99 USD

Seed Count: Approx. 50 seeds

Days to Maturity: 100 Days

Description: Purple tomatillos are a high yielding, rare, unique variety of tomatillos that you won't normally find in a grocery store.  They're small and round, averaging around 1-2 inches in diameter.  Just like their green counterparts, they are encased in a papery husk.  Purple tomatillos start green, and ripen to a beautiful deep violet, that also bleeds into its bright green interior flesh.  Fruits will be mostly purple, but there can be a few green ones among the mix.  Lots of sunshine is the key to producing lots of purple fruit, so make sure to plant this variety in full sun.  Purple Tomatillos are much sweeter than their green counterparts.  They're described as being fruity, tangy and sweet, with lemony citrus notes, and hints of sub acid flavors like plum and pear.  The flavor is truly unique, and you should give this nutrient rich fruit a try.  Use purple tomatillos in salsas, or eat them fresh, right off the plant, but cooking them will really enhance their sweet flavor.  These plants are semi-determinant, growing to about 3 ft. tall, and bushy with stunning green foliage and husks, and purple veins.

Mint2Grow Tip:  You can hand pollinate tomatillos by swapping pollen between its flowers, with a small paint brush, or cotton swab.

How To Grow

Sowing:  Start tomatillos indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost of spring, or direct sow in warmer climates.  Sow seeds 1/4" deep and 1" apart. Tomatoes need 70-75 degrees F to germinate, as well as adequate light. Keep the soil moist, but make sure there is proper drainage, or the seeds can rot. When the second set of leaves emerge, transplant the seedlings into individual pots. Bury the stems up to the lowest set of leaves for strongly rooted plants.  When soil temperatures reach 70 degrees, transplant your tomatillos outdoors, and bury them once more up to the lowest set of leaves.  However, before transplanting your seedlings, make sure to harden them off first.

Growing: A trellis isn't necessarily needed, but can be helpful to keep the plants upright, especially once loaded with fruit.  It'll help to support your plants, and keep them off the ground, protecting them from diseases and pests. Protect plants, if temperatures drops below 55 degrees F, or damage will occur. Keep soil consistently moist, or cracking may also occur. Mulching can be beneficial to preserve moisture, and deter weeds.  It is important to avoid wetting the leaves to reduce diseases.   I surround my tomatillo plants with basil.  Other companion plants include marigolds, nasturtiums, sage, carrots, garlic, or onions.  

Harvesting:  Tomatillos are ready to harvest when the fruit fills out their husk, and starts to split.  This variety will turn violet when ripe.  If you plan to store your tomatillos before using them, leave the husks on.  They'll keep for several weeks in or out of the refrigerator.  Just make sure to remove the husk, and wash off the sticky residue before consuming.  Seed saving: Since cross pollination between tomatillos varieties is likely, you should isolate your plants.  Tomatillo seeds are ripe, once the tomatillo is ready to eat.  You should ferment your seeds in order to remove the gel like substance on the seeds exterior.  During fermentation, any bad seeds will float to the top, and all of the viable seeds stay sunk to the bottom.  Fermenting your seeds can also increase germination rates as well.  To ferment, squeeze the seeds, along with its gel, into a jar.  Add some water, and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of days, you should see a film form on the top, and it should smell a bit sour. Once the film forms, skim it off the top, and rinse out your seeds.  Place them on parchment paper to dry.  Once dry, store your seeds for the next season.