Here we go again - No Tomatillo's

grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)May 25, 2007

Following are the results from planting Toma Verde Tomatillos from the SAME seed packet.

2005 - Lots of tomatillos on 2 plants

2006 - No tomatillos on 3 plants. (But my gardening freind who received 2 plants from me had more than what he could use and froze a large surplus.)

2007 so far - Nothing. I believe my problem is due to not having any bees to polinate. I tried manually polinating but so far without success. It might be that my pollinating brush has nylon bristles and needs to be a hair based brush.

Am I alone in this problem?

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loydb

I have tried tomatillos twice, and failed both times. They're on my list to try again next year, as I love them. In fairness, both years that failed were miserable, hot drought years, in which nothing but the peppers really did well.

loyd

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 1:13PM
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Violet_Z6(6a)

It might be that my pollinating brush has nylon bristles and needs to be a hair based brush.

It's always better to use natural hair bristles. Try a make up brush.

In the future, plant at least 5-7 plants.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 1:41PM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

I did notice 2 bees visiting the flowers yesterday. I will also try the hair brush approach.

My gardening friend who did well with the tomatillo's had a look at my flowers. His plants are also not yet producing this year. He commented that he remember the flowers on last year's plants looking different. Is it possible that my plant is producing all male flowers? Perhaps there are pictures of tomatillo flowers somewhere.. think I may do a web search on this.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 10:05AM
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Violet_Z6(6a)

Is it possible that my plant is producing all male flowers? Yes, which is the reason more than one plant is required. Each plant is either male or female.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 10:45AM
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fliptx(Houston 9)

Tomatillos aren't self-pollinating like tomatoes? Huh! I learn something new everyday.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:42AM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

Violet, I have three plants not one. I searched the web for male/tomatillo flowers and only found pictures of one flower. The flowers shown look exactly like my flowers. The sites said nothing of male or female flowers. So do you have a reference that shows both male and female flowers? If so, can you let me know where to find it?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 11:56AM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

Meant to type searched for male and female flowers..

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 12:00PM
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Violet_Z6(6a)

Sorry, I misspoke.

Tomatillos have male and female blossoms but will not self pollinate. They require a different plant for pollination. Males on one plant can only pollinate females on a different plant. It could simply be early, once they start going, they go crazy with production.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 12:37PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Don't give up yet. Tomatillos can be slow to set fruit at first and it seems like they will not fruit. Then, all of a sudden, they can be loaded. This question comes up frequently.

Also, remember that empty husks form first, then the fruit grows inside.

Jim

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 1:13PM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

They're here!!! Three lanterns on the way. Not sure if to give credit to the 2 bees that I saw a couple of days ago or my hand pollination but looks like one or both did the trick.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 3:05PM
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microbradley

Hi - I've had a similar problem this summer - planted Toma Verde's from seed - I have one plant that's about 3 feet tall - has 1,000,000 flowers and NO fruit! I've had some miniscule husks that have something the size of a pea (or less) inside. What's a guy to do?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 12:46PM
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macmex

My tomatillos generally start out with, what seems to be "empty lanterns." With time they fill out. My guess is that you should just wait. I plant mine in an out of the way corner of the big garden and only go back about every other week. They last a long time on the vine. I try to pick mine when they are filled out right to the husk.

Having said that, I have noticed, that as the summer has progressed, I've begun to get some empty husks. I suspect an insect pest is causing this.

George
Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 2:36PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Just wait. I've never had them fail to first develop empty husks, then fruit inside the husks.

Jim

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 2:47PM
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lolly_gardener(9)

I have just one plant. It grew quite humungous. It has about a million flowers, and even more empty husks for the past 3 weeks. I see tons of bees around it. But no Tomatillo. For me, I would get some tomatillos when I stop hoping to get any from it. Its weird. Maybe it needs some watering curtailed...

Lolly Gardener.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 2:55PM
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daria(Z5A ME)

If you only have one plant, and there aren't any nearby, then you won't end up with any tomatillos. They aren't self-pollinating, like tomatoes; they need a second plant around. I learned this the hard way a couple of years ago.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 4:03PM
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raisemybeds(SouthernCT)

Holy Moly you guys. anyone who doesn't have tomatillos should come to my house and gather them off the ground. They are EVERYWHERE and I cannot keep up with the harvest. This is my first time growing them, and there are but TWO plants. I guess I got lucky, based on some of your comments. How do I freeze them?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 12:01AM
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barton(z6b OK)

I had four plants and finally pulled them up because I got tired of making salsa, couldn't give my surplus away, and how much canned salsa verde does one old lady need anyway?

I have flowers in and around my vegetable garden, dill, buckwheat, mint, zinnias.. so maybe that attracts the pollinators.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 3:51PM
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