Tomatillo Companion Plants with Salsa Verde Recipe

tomatillo companion plantsToday, we're going to share how to create a tomatillo salsa (salsa verde) garden with companion planting. You know we love our Mexican cuisine. On every road trip activity list, it's always a search for great flavor and experiencing what different regions can do with tacos, carne asada and Wendie's favorite, roasted carnitas. 

We up our game at home by frying our own tortillas. At least once a week we're eating fresh, flavorful and savory meals inspired from south of the border. 

Believe it or not, you can grow tomatillos in New England. They are a hardy, medium-growth plant and can accompany or replace a great many traditional Yankee veggies in recipes. Salsa verde, made with tomatillos instead of tomatoes, has a distinct flavor that compliments the traditional salsa roja we usually see on the table and brings a smoky flavor from the roasted ingredients.

Tomatillo Recipe Companion Plants

tomatillo companion plants
Not only do the ingredients of salsa verde pair well in a salsa bowl, they create a great companion planting in the garden. Good tomatillo companion plants include include garlic, cilantro, peppers, onions, oregano, tomatoes and basil. 

We are a square foot gardening family, so in a micro planting zone, we integrate herbs with larger plants to best stimulate growth and other gardening benefits. Companion planting is not about looking organized and aesthetically pleasing, but rather a closeness and sharing of resources to drive a productive companion planting scenario.

The garlic and onions keep pests away from developing plants, while the herbs enhance the tomatillo flavor. Jalapeño companion planting can be expanded even further out with other pepper varieties and tomatoes. Jotting down a simple map in your gardening journal will help fit all of the puzzle pieces together. 

Companion Planting a Tomatillo Salsa Verde Garden

All the ingredients of a salsa verde recipe salsa garden will need a sunny location to grow. Select a spot that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Salsa verde ingredients will grow equally well when planted in-ground or in a container as long as they receive enough sunlight.

Companion Planting Starts Early

Garlic is 1 of the 5 basic salsa ingredients and should be planted in the fall. Plant garlic bulbs right after the first frost in fall and it will ready to harvest the following spring. Hang garlic bulbs up to dry until the other salsa ingredients are ready.

Stagger Your Companion Planting

tomatillo companion plantsSalsa verde recipe salsa garden ingredients will ripen at different times and allow for space-saving stagger planting. Stagger planting allows for more than one type of produce to be grown in the same location so garden space can be maximized. 

After harvesting garlic in spring, amend the soil with compost and plant the remaining tomatillo companion plants. Onions will be ready for harvest next, followed by tomatillos and herbs, and the last ingredient to ripen will be the hot peppers. 

Tomatillos will continue to produce until frost. Store garlic, onions and herbs in a dry location to preserve them. As each plant finishes production, it can be removed from the garden and something else planted in its place. Amend soil with compost prior to re-planting.

About Tomatillos

tomatillo companion plants
Tomatillos are a fruit, not a vegetable, mjuch like tomatoes. Like many fruiting companion plants, a tomatillo will not produce on its own. You must plant two or more in order to achieve pollination. They can come in many colors, including green, yellow, purple and red.

For storage, tomatillos are great for canning, or you can keep them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks with the husks on. If you decide to remove the husks, they will keep a little longer. 

Salsa Verde Recipe

This is a beautifully simple salsa verde recipe, and you can expand out a bit with your creativity quite a bit. A tomatillo recipe relies on the freshness and quality of your ingredients, so use fresh veggies and herbs to really bring home the flavor.


  •  10 tomatillos, washed with husks removed
  •  1 jalapeño
  •  2 garlic cloves
  •  1 medium-large onion
  •  1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
  •  1 teaspoon salt


salsa verde recipe
Chop the onion in half, peel and crush your garlic and leave the jalapeño and tomatillos whole. Roast on a grill for flame broiling or on a baking sheet in the oven. You want them to start blackening, so set your oven at 400 degrees and let them go for about 8 minutes. Turn and cook for another 8 minutes to even the sides.

Once blackened, remove the seeds from the hot pepper to reduce your heat, or leave them in to your preference. Chop the onion to a salsa consistency.

Use a food processor to pulse your cilantro, salt and roasted ingredients until they are chopped to your preferred consistency.

Serve with corn chips.

Tomatillo Companion Plants

tomatillo companion plantsWe love sharing our experiences from our off the grid homestead with you all, and enjoy hearing from you as well. Have you planted using companion planting techniques, or have experimented with tomatillo companion plants? 

What is your favorite tomatillo recipe? Is salsa verde better than salsa rojo? Let us know by joining the conversation below, and don't forget to subscribe for more stories from our home!


I still haven't grown tomatillos on our homestead yet! Your recipe looks delicious, though! We grow tons of tomatoes, but I really need to expand and add the tomatillos.
WT Abernathy said…
Hi Krystal:)
We tried them out for something new- they can get expensive at the supermarket, but having a couple in our garden has really Brough another flavor into our menus.
Thanks for stopping in!