Tomatillos are fun to grow in the garden, and there are tons of yummy uses for them in the kitchen. If you’re new to growing this cool vegetable in your garden, it can be tricky to know when and how to harvest tomatillos.
Tomatillos start out as cute lanterns or balloons, and sometimes these little lanterns will grow huge long before the tomatillo inside is ready to harvest.
You might think the tomatillos look like they’re ready to be harvested, but one quick squeeze and you’ll discover that the lanterns are empty.
Don’t worry, soon it will be obvious when your tomatillos are ready to be harvested.
When To Harvest Tomatillos
There are a few ways to tell that it’s time to harvest tomatillos.
One way to tell that tomatillos are ready to harvest is that the the outer husk (the cute lantern) splits open, and it looks like the tomatillo is busting out.
The husk may turn brown and papery once it splits open, or it might stay soft and green. Either way, a tomatillo is ready to harvest once the husk splits open.
Another way to tell that it’s time to harvest tomatillos is when the husk turns brown and papery, but it doesn’t split open.
Once the husk turns brown and papery, the tomatillo is ready to harvest even if the husk hasn’t split open.
How To Harvest Tomatillos
Once you determine that a tomatillo is ready to harvest, it’s best to cut it off the plant rather than pulling it off.
But many times ripe tomatillos will come off the vine easily with a gentle twist.
Just don’t tug or force the ripe tomatillo off the plant or you could damage the stem.
Related Post: Free Garden Harvest Tracking Sheet & Guide
Tomatillos can also be harvested when they’re small, before the husk turns brown or splits open.
So, if a hard freeze is coming, you can harvest all the tomatillos that are left on the plant, and still use the small ones for your recipes.
Once the plant starts to get heavy with tomatillos, you will need to stake tomatillo plants in order to keep the stems from collapsing to the ground – just like you stake tomato plants.
Tomatillos take a long time to produce fruit, 70-100 days. But they are pretty cold hardy and can withstand the first few light frosts in the fall.
More Garden Harvesting Posts
- When To Harvest Onions From Your Garden
- Harvesting And Storing Fresh Basil Leaves
- How to Harvest Chives
- How To Harvest Lavender Fresh From The Garden
- When To Harvest Potatoes From Your Garden
Do you have any tips for how to harvest tomatillos? Please share them in the comments section below.