Dr. Joe Masabni
Department of Horticulture
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
The tomatillo (toe-ma-tea-o) is of Mexican origin and has been introduced into the United States. It now grows everywhere in the Western Hemisphere and is common in Texas gardens. The husk tomato plant produces an edible fruit enclosed in a thick husk. The husk is brown and the fruit yellowish when it is ripe. Plants grow to a height of 3 to feet.
The husk tomato has the same cultural requirements as the tomato: fertile soil, ample soil moisture and a long, warm growing season. Plant in full sunlight after all danger of frost. Space plants about 18 inches apart in rows 3 feet apart. Mature fruit are produced in about 90 days.
The condition of the “husk” is a good indication of the freshness of the fruit. The husk should be light brown and fresh looking, not shriveled and dried. Fruit should be firm and free of defects. Fresh, ripe husk tomatoes keep under refrigeration for about 2 weeks. If longer storage is desired, remove husks and place ripe fruit in a sealed plastic bags in the refrigerator. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.