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Tomatillo, Gigante Verde

Short Description

The biggest, sweetest tomatillo ever!

Full Description

The Salsa star! Gigante rocks with flavor, having close to 50% more sugar than other tomatillos. It's also earlier, bigger and tastier than any other. Just right for chili, salsa, soups, and your favorite Latin American dishes. Size: 4" across.
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Order: 1 Pkt. (160 seeds)
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

100 days

Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.

4 inches

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

12-24 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

20-24 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Indoor Sow

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How to Sow

  • Start tomatillo seeds indoors in a warm, well-lighted area about 8 weeks before the last frost.
  • Sow seed ¼ inch deep into individual containers filled with seed-starting formula.
  • Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days at 75-80 degrees F.
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots.
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
  • Transplant hardened-off seedlings to the garden once nighttime temperatures remain above 50 degrees F.

Planting in the Garden:

  • Select a location in full sun with well-drained soil. Do not plant tomatillos where the nightshade crops, including tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, have been grown in the last three seasons.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones. Work in organic matter prior to planting.
  • Space plants 2 feet apart if you will cage them, 3 feet apart if you will not cage. Place cages at the time of transplanting.
  • Set plants slightly deeper than they were growing previously.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Pinch off the tips of the branches to control spread.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Harvest tomatillos when the fruits fill out the husks and the husks begin to break open, about 100 hundred days after transplanting. In some cases, the fruits will not break open the husks and you have to feel the fruits for firmness. Ripe tomatillos turn green to pale yellow.
  • Harvest the fruits, husks and all.
  • If you are using them right away, remove the husks and wash the sticky fruits. Otherwise leave the husks in place, and you can store the fruit for up to a month.
  • Do not seal them in plastic bags or airtight containers, store them in mesh bags in a cool, well ventilated spot.
  • Tomatillos are the key ingredient to Salsa Verde. Smaller varieties are delicious for fresh eating.
  • Tomatillos may also be frozen or made into chutney.
Days To Maturity
100 days
Fruit Size
4 inches
Full Sun
12-24 inches
20-24 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Sow Time
6-8 weeks BLF
36 inches
Life Cycle
Tomatillo, Gigante Verde is rated 2.9 out of 5 by 9.
Rated 3 out of 5 by from How I got it to bear fruit I noticed many folks saying they had tons of flowers with no fruit. I had the same thing until I decided to get a Q TIP and go out and cross pollinated the flowers myself. Once I did that? Fruit started to come in. I don't know if the bees don't like the flowers of this plant, but this is my tip and it worked for me.
Date published: 2019-04-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Tomatillo My first try at tomatillos. The plants grew quite large and had many flower but no fruit. I thought they were going to be a bust but then I came out one day to find dozens of fruit and they kept on coming until frost. Made the best chili verde ever. The aphids loved the plants so that was a challenge.
Date published: 2018-02-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from huge but no production I planted one seedling (the best of four). Grew like crazy all summer--6 ft. tall, 8 x 4 feet wide. Tons of flowers and small fruit, but even though our MI frost was really late (November 12), I got only a dozen small tomatillos from it. The rest just didn't grow to full size. Might do very well in a longer season area.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from never polinated i got hundreds of pretty yellow flowers all summer but no fruit
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Absymal germination Of the whole packet, one seed sprouted. Tomatillo's are usually hardy. Not this batch.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great variety, but sizes are wrong I ordered some of these seeds last spring, and planted them in some of the worst soil I had... mainly because of very late frosts and such, they were lanky and I didn't expect them to do much. I ordered this variety specifically because of the very small size listed for a tomatillo plant, which is completely wrong in my experience. Two plants took over and I ended up with so many fruits that I was giving them away to family and coworkers by the pound. This year I decided to see what they would do in better soil, so planted some in the front of my place. 20-24" tall? Try 8-10 feet. Here's a picture of them next to my front windows. Sorry for the poor quality. I am in no way complaining, these are sweet, great producers, no problems with bugs (I don't spray) and taste great as well... but I think the size info for the plant should probably be updated on the page. :-) They do seem to be the proper variety as I get very large fruits from them (with some small stragglers of course). Anyone expecting to plant these in a pot or a smaller area is going to have problems though... The picture explains it all. Cheers
Date published: 2014-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from so far so good I purchased these seeds in 2009 for the 2010 growing season - even though the seed packet was dated Dec 2009, and I was disappointed that I got old seeds, I tried them anyway. The sprouts just came up right away. and from the looks of it the plants seem hardy already. I will wait until May 3rd to put them in the ground. I have grown Tomatillo before, and it is better to have about 4 plants for pollination. They will make lots of flowers that will attract bees and other good insects to your garden.
Date published: 2010-04-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Slow to produce I only have a small area thar gets full sun, so I only have room for about 4 plants. I grew the Toma Verde the previous season and was interested in getting larger fruit from my limited space, so I went with the Tomatillo Gigante last year. I started them inside in March and planted them outside in May. The vines grew large quickly and bloomed, but I didn't get any fruit to develop. I didn't get the first fruits until late August. The plants didn't really start to get lots of fruit until October and early frost killed the plants before many had a chance to mature. The tomatillo in general don't seem to like extreme heat (100+ degrees F) in direct sun. We had a stretch of very hot weather in May and early June, and it was cooler in August. The plants did better in August.
Date published: 2009-01-02
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