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.
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.
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.
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.
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?