Growing tomatillos (and the troubles I have had)

Tomatillos was on my list of things to start from seed earlier this spring, but with my life taking a turn in another direction, I never got around to starting any seeds, let alone the tomatillos.

ants

ants

At the Swap I went to in May, I was thrilled to came home with two purple tomatillo plants and got them planted as soon as I could. They grew very well.  Back in July I posted about what was growing in my garden. The tomatillo plants where flowering and little tomatillos were starting to take shape. The plants were looking really good, but the tomatillos never did develop. The plants kept flowers. I could see more tomatillos developing. Then Nothing.

leaves starting to curl - this was only on the smaller of the two plants

leaves starting to curl – this was only on the smaller of the two plants

Here is where the ants come in. We have ants everywhere (fire ants, crazy ants, ants ants ants.) It is hard to turn around and not see ants. Fire ants and crazy ants (or sugar ants) I noticed ants on the largest, biggest and healthiest of the two tomatillo plants about three weeks ago.

leaf hopper

leaf hopper

The other plant was smaller and the leaves where starting to curl a bit. A few people would wave their hand and tell me that I had aphids. No, there were no aphids. They said, there are ants, so there are aphids. No, no aphids. A few days later, after closer inspection, I found leaf hoppers. There they were sucking on my best tomatillo plant. So, I started hand picking them and strong blasts of water. I also noticed the eggs on the stalks, so I would wipe those off.020

Did any of this help? Yes and No.

The plants kept on growing, but developed no tomatillos. The ants where still hanging around and so where the leaf hoppers.

So I wound up with beautiful plants, with no produce. Hmmmm. I will try again.

Do you grow tomatillos? Do you have good harvests or have you experienced something similar to my story?

Sincerely, Emily

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7 Responses to Growing tomatillos (and the troubles I have had)

  1. Annie says:

    I grow them every year and some years they’re amazing and others I see exactly what you’re describing with the lack of fruit and leaf curl. I suspect disease actually. This year I’m growing Rio Grande instead of Verde so we’ll see what happens. Maybe it will have more resistance to whatever the problem is!

    • Hi Annie, well that is interesting. I am very behind in my see planting so I will have to see if I can swap for some tomatillo seedlings again this year and cross my fingers! Hope this is one of the “good” years for your tomatillo plants!

  2. Nancy Davis says:

    No I don’t grow tomatillos. Sorry you had such a problem. Better luck this year! Nancy

  3. Joanna says:

    I have never grown them, I have never eaten them (!) I have a tin that I bought from a Mexican shop in Bristol, what do I do with them? 🙂

  4. Mr Byron Redburn says:

    I have good looking blooming tomatillos, however there are ants crawling all over all of the blossoms. I was hoping they were accidentally pollinating them however, no fruit to be seen…whats up?

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