Tomatillos are lovely additions to your salsa verde recipe. Tomatoes are close relatives to tomatillos, and so they both grow in similar ways. Sometimes, gardeners and farmers decide to have their tomatillos grow with other plants.
There is some strategy to consider when selecting the proper companion plants for your tomatillos. Also, there is the right time of the year and an appropriate place in your garden to grow them with optimal results.
Some plants protect from pests when grown alongside tomatillos. Others help the soil in which the tomatillos grow. Though there are a few plants that create harsher conditions for tomatillos because they attract pests instead of repelling them.
When growing tomatillos, take the time to learn about your living area. Consider the weather conditions, the seasons, and your general gardening conditions. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to grow tomatillos with confidence and the best possible cooking results.
What to Grow With Tomatillos: Herbs, Vegetables, Pollinators
There are many tomatillo companion plants for you to choose from. You can get creative with the options you will find below. Your selections can depend on where you live and your personal preference.
Your location can determine different weather conditions and pest populations, so pay attention to those too. There are several herbs to plant with tomatillos and vegetables.
Herbs to Plant with Tomatillos
Some herbs accompany tomatillos well and can double as complements in your recipes.
Basil is an excellent tomatillo companion plant to consider. Basil will repel hornworms that eat tomatillos.
You can also grow parsley with tomatillos. Growing parsley will keep asparagus beetles away. Additionally, parsley attracts hoverflies. The larvae of hoverflies eat aphids. Your tomatillos will also be safe from other pests because parsley attracts wasps who will eat pests.
Mint will help deter aphids and other garden pests.
Other herb options include chives, sage, capsicum, and garlic. Garlic will help repel pests as well.
You can use all of these as tomatillo companion plants that can also be ingredients to your salsa if that’s what you’re growing. These herbs go well in other tomato dishes.
Vegetables to Plant with Tomatillos
You also have many options for vegetables to plant with tomatillos too.
Tomatoes naturally make useful companion plants because they’re so similar to tomatillos.
You can also plant onions as these will repel beetles and would go well with salsa.
Growing carrots will break up the soil to keep things loose.
Peppers will help prevent root rot, protecting the plants around it.
Peas are great as well because they add nitrogen to the soil.
Pollinators are great tomatillo companion plants.
You can grow marigolds with your tomatillos. These will serve to attract bees and repel nematodes in your soil.
Another pollinator is nasturtiums. These will deter whiteflies from coming to your plants.
What NOT to Grow With Tomatillos
It’s essential to observe what will not grow well with your tomatillos. Some of these plants are garden favorites. These plants will make growing conditions much more difficult for tomatillos and may ruin them entirely. These will attract pests and disturb root growth if planted as companions.
Do not grow corn near your tomatillos. Though these are a garden favorite, corn will attract pests that kill tomatillos. You should also raise kohlrabi separately. This plant will stunt the growth of the tomatillo.
Fennel and Dill
Avoid fennel and dill. These plants contain oils that inhibit root development.
Potatoes should be grown separately as well. Potatoes attract beetles and potato aphids.
Other threats are weed killers that you might use in your garden. Be very careful about where you use your weed killer and what kind of weedkiller you use. Most weed killers are not safe for tomatillos, and they can ruin the plant if it is exposed.
Research the kind of weeds that grow in your area. If you know the kind of weeds that grow near you, you can find out alternate ways to get rid of them without harming your tomatillos.
Your Plants Should Work Together
You want to minimize the risk of danger for your tomatillos and maximize the conditions for growth. You do have options when it comes to companion plants for your tomatillos. Select those that you enjoy growing and also consider what sort of threats your plants usually encounter. The weather conditions and seasonal calendar will also be essential to know.
Perhaps you need to attract more bees, or maybe the pest population is larger this time of the year so having only companion plants to repel them is ideal. Prepare well for possible threats to your whole garden.
When to Grow Tomatillos
You can grow tomatillos as annual plants in your garden. Pay attention to when the frost in your soil goes away. Frost can damage or destroy the tomatillo plant, so begin planting long after the ice has gone away.
Tomatillos will bear fruit all summer long. The months for growing them in Mexico were usually from June to October. For your purposes, it’s best to plant when the frost over your soil is long gone.
How to Grow Tomatillos
When growing your tomatillos, the best practice is to sow your seeds four to five weeks before transplanting them into your garden. From there, you can plant the seeds into your garden about four to six weeks after all the frost has gone away.
Most recipes will ask for about a half-pound of fruit. Two or three tomatillo plants are optimal for these purposes.
Where to Plant Tomatillos
You should select a sunny spot in your garden to keep your tomatillos. This area should be moist with plenty of soil. Make sure that the earth is also moist and well-drained. The seeds of the tomatillo will germinate in about five days. Germination works best if the soil is moist and warm.
As the fruit continues to grow, keep the soil moist. When the plan begins to bear fruit, you can start to cut back on the amount of water you use. You can allow the plant to sprawl in the soil or train it upwards with a stake or a cage.
If you do allow the plant to sprawl, keep some plastic above the soil. Tomatillo plants are especially susceptible to fungal infection. Make sure to keep your plant in an area with good air circulation to prevent fungal infection. The plastic on the soil will reduce contact with the soil that could spread disease.
Picking and Harvesting
Tomatillos take about three months to grow. They will reach about four feet in length and width. One plant will bear about one pound worth of fruit throughout the summer.
Tomatillos will grow as fruits with husks around them. The fruit is ready to be picked when the husks turn brown.
The fruit shares similar qualities with tomatoes. They are more tart in more flavor, however. They can come in several colors like purple, yellow, and green. In some cases, they will take up more room than regular tomato plants so be sure they have ample room to grow.
Related: Empty Tomatillo Husks
Tomatillos grow in a way that is similar to tomatoes. There is a proper time and place to grow them for the best results and the least threat from pests and seasonal weather conditions.
Focus on planting after the frost from your soil is gone. When selecting companion plants, pick from the herbs, vegetables, and pollinators that keep away pests and promote your tomatillos’ growth. There’s a large variety to choose from, so you can pick those that complement the dish you’re making.