Fruit, Vegetable & Herb
Planting a Salsa Garden
Make salsa with your own fresh-from-the-garden vegetables and herbs
1. Choose Your Ingredients
Whether you prefer your salsa hot or mild, chunky or smooth, some basic ingredients remain the same: tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro. Add some other herbs - cumin or scallions are popular favorites. And other salsa enhancers, including black beans, hot peppers, and corn, can also be grown at home. To save time and start you on the road to harvest, many of these salsa ingredients can can be grown from young plants, such as those available from Bonnie Plants®, instead of from seed.
2. Pick a Sunny Spot and Prepare the Soil
Salsa vegetables and herbs need plenty of sun (at least 6 hours a day) to grow well and produce a good harvest. Your salsa garden can be in-ground, in a raised bed, or even in containers. Before planting an in-ground garden, break up the top 6 inches of soil with a spade or tiller and mix in a 3-inch layer of Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose In-Ground Soil. For containers, use Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose Container Mix, which is a lighter and fluffier soil mix. Both contain aged compost, which provides just the right nutrition to get plants off to a strong start. Fill raised beds with a 50:50 mix of in-ground soil and container mix, or with Miracle-Gro® Raised Bed Soil, which is perfectly blended for this style of garden.
3. Plant Young Plants or Seeds
You can start your salsa garden from young plants, such as those available from Bonnie Plants®, or from seeds. Follow the directions on the plant tags or seed packets for planting depth and spacing. Young plants will give you a head-start toward harvest time. If you're planting seeds, you'll need to allow extra time for them to sprout and develop. You might start the seeds indoors to get an early start in the spring. Your tomatoes will need support—a cage or wooden stakes are common methods.
4. Water and Feed Regularly
To help your salsa vegetables and herbs grow vigorously, especially during the heat of summer, keep the soil moist by watering whenever the top inch of soil is dry. For best results, you'll want to make sure your plants continue to get a steady supply of nutrition throughout the growing season. A month after planting, feed them with Miracle Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose Plant Nutrition Granules, following label directions. This fertilizer feeds soil as well as plants, making it even easier for your new salsa garden to get all the nourishment it needs to turn around and provide you with a bounty of salsa ingredients.
5. Make Some Salsa
When your vegetables and herbs are ready, pick them, dice tomatoes, onion and peppers, chop the herbs and and mix up some salsa, either by following a recipe or adding ingredients to suit your taste. Whether you eat it as a dip with tortilla chips, add it to tacos, or put it on your eggs, you'll enjoy the taste and wholesome goodness of freshly picked ingredients.