The tomatillos are slowly coming around to being ripe. I’ve found the way to determine if they’re ready to pick, it’s surprisingly simple. There’s really no trick to it at all – when the fruit fill the lanterns, they’re ripe. Color is irrelevant for this fruit as they can be green all the way to yellow and still be ripe. Friday I pulled the first of those that may some day be ripe leaving the other 3 showing promising signs on the bush. Strangely this heat seeking plant seems to be less impacted by the cold snap we’ve had than most of the rest of the garden.
I was terribly surprised to find that this plant is actually sun-seeking, considering they were selling the seeds here in the perpetually cloudy PNW. I shouldn’t really be surprised at this point, some places sell plants that are wholly inappropriate to this area in what seems to be an effort to keep people coming back to buy more plants.1 Fortunately I’ve set the garden in a place where it gets largely full sun anyway, and this little guy went to town. One thing I didn’t know until searching for information on how to tell if the fruit was rip is that these plants spread. I’d noticed what seemed to be root nodules on the joints of the plant when transplanting, but promptly forgot about them since that’s not typical tomato behavior. But it seems that these guys will spread to the point that 3 of them will take over an 8′x6′ bed. Fortunately mine ended up only being about 3 feet in diameter, but I think this is due to the late start and terrible spring. In the future though, I see some serious pruning in order to keep it from going wild. But, oh the fruit we’ll have!
- I’m going to hope my cynicism there is unfounded and it’s just a remote buyer purchasing for a whole chain that’s doing this damage. [↩]