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I planted one tomatillo plant this year and I got hundreds of tomatillos; however, I got very few that had the fruit burst the husks, so that they were useable. Also, the fruit that was mature enough to eat tasted like crab apples. Is that normal? I have bought tomatillos in the supermarket, and I don't remember them tasting like that.

  • Where are you located? What is your soil like? Did you fertilize? – J. Musser Dec 2 '14 at 15:28
  • I'd like to second this question. I've had reasonable luck growing tomatillos in pots before. I've always harvested when they just "fill the sack," - before they rupture. But this year I didn't get any that filled the sack. – That Idiot Dec 2 '14 at 16:36
  • Were the ends of the leaves turning brown, by chance? – Shule Dec 2 '14 at 23:26
  • I never grew them before, and the planting beds were brand new and full of nutrients. However, I did plant the tomatiilos in the same 4'X4' bed as two other tomato plants, both of which did very well. So, I am going to guess, per Shule, that the other tomato plants sucked up all the nutrients. And when I say not bursting the husks, I mean the fruit being no more than 1/3 the diameter of the husk. Anyway, they made good food for the composter. I'll plant them all alone next year, with a trellis,now knowing how much the spread. Thanks for the advice. – sborsher Dec 3 '14 at 20:53
  • Sounds like it was also a bad year for tomatillos, along with my hydrangeas. And, yes, I did fertilize, and, no, the plant remained in perfect shape until the frost. It just kept producing non-maturing tomatillos. – sborsher Dec 8 '14 at 21:13
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It's possible that your tomatillos needed more potassium (and that something used it up the year/s before or else the soil received an imbalanced fertilizer where the K in N-P-K wasn't high enough in comparison with the N and P). I've heard potassium affects fruit size: "Poor fruit size is commonly associated with low potassium." However, I'm not an expert on it at this time. It's just something I saw when I was web searching yesterday (without regard to this question, although the link I just showed you is one I found, today).

I've personally only tasted one kind of tomatillo so far (which a friend gave me from her garden; I saved the seeds), and it tasted a lot like limes taste (nothing like pineapple, and not like crabapples), and smelled like black pepper. I have three more kinds of tomatillo seeds on order from wintersown.org (one of which is supposed to taste like pineapple; another is a really big kind, and the other is purple, although I have no idea what they taste like). So, after I grow them and get fruit, I should be able to compare, and hopefully tell you if any of them taste like crabapples.

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