Toma Verde Tomatillo

The Story

Ugly little red dots all over the leaves of my one tomatillo plant.  
One site recommended destroying the plant! 

Let me tell you what happened...

Red Mites on Tomatillos:

As I saw the little red dots all over the leaves of my one tomatillo plant I was heartbroken.  Up until this point it had been a gorgeous plant and amazingly green - maybe because it had followed a crop of peas that fixed nitrogen for the tomatillo!


Mental note:  Follow peas with tomatillos for extra nitrogen uptake!


The red mites left their damage and made a few leaves look more white than green... the white was like a web up close.  Research revealed the white was the damage the red mites leave behind ~ one site recommended destroying the plant!


I had unsuccessfully tried three times to start tomatillos from seed this year - destroying the one plant of three batches that survived was not an option!


Chemical pesticide sprays are also not an option!

The Solution:

Water turned out to be all it needed!  

Further research revealed that red mites thrive in very dry environments ~ and can be drowned with sufficient water.
A short hose covered the South side of the plant revealing no red mites(!) during the evening inspection.
I also watered deeply and sprayed the tomatillo plant again in the middle of the hot day.

The Tomatillo plant ended up producing a few large harvests very late in the season!

End Note: When we dug up the tomatillo at the end of the season, we found roots from a palm tree on the other side of the fence had been sucking up all the tomatillo's water!

I am so glad we didn't use pesticides or even pull the plant as one website had recommended!  That tomatillo produced an amazing quantity of delicious salsa that year!

Salsa