Tomatillo Purple de Milpa originates from Mexico and Central America. Unlike the name suggests, it's no tomato variety, but it's closely related to the Cape gooseberry. The fruits of the tomatillo are surrounded by a thin Chinese lantern-shaped membrane. The fruits of this rather large tomatillo variety ripen from green to green-light purple to blue purple till completely purple. The ammount of sunlight determines how purple the fruits become. The flavour of Tomatillo Purple de Milpa is exotic and a bit sharp with some sour, some sweet and a bit bitter. The flesh is firm.
Tomatillos can be used in salads, salsas and in exotic fruit desserts. You can also make fruit-compote with them. Tomatillos are used together with chilis to make Salsa Verde. You can harvest from August on, when the husks are starting to become translucent or tear open and the berries are starting to colour. Ripe fruits can fall of the plants. This plant needs support. Non hardy annual. Height: 120 - 150 cm.
|Scientific name||Physalis ixocarpa|
|Sowing guide||Download PDF|
|Synonyms||Mexican husk tomato|
Indoor sowing: middle - end of March
Germination: 7 - 10 days
Germination temp.: 20 - 22 °C
Sowing depth: ¼ cm
Outdoor planting: middle of May (after the Ice Saints)
Plant distance: 30 - 40 cm
Plant position: sheltered and sunny
Harvest period: August - October
Sow indoors from the middle of March untill the end of March. Earlier makes no sense, because this results in weak and very long and thin seedlings. Sow in seperate pots or trays filled with moist potting soil. Sow shallow and thinly and cover the seeds with a very thin layer of soil. Tomatillos are lightgerminators. Put the pots or trays in a warm room or in a propagator. The temperature must be at least 20 °C. Keep the temperature as even as possible and don't let the temperature drop during the night. Keep warm and moist but not to wet to prevent rotting of the seeds. Cover the trays with a lid and the seperate pots with clingfilm to retain the moisture.
Remove the lid or clingfilm when the seedlings emerge. Transplant the seedlings, when they've their 2nd pair of true leaves, to larger seperate pots. Let the plants grow on at a cooler temperature of approx. 15 °C untill it's time to harden them of. Harden the plants of in the beginning of May. Put the plants outside, during the day, for approx. 10 - 14 days or in a coldframe. Plant them outdoors from the middle of May, when there's no longer any danger of nightfrosts. Give them a sunny, sheltered position with free draining soil. Some sources say that tomatillos shouldn't be planted in a greenhouse. These plants can grow to 120 - 150 cm in height and they need a sturdy support. Harvest the fruits when the casings start to become translucent or in some cases they tear open. Ripe fruits fall often from the plants.