Edible Gardening

How to Grow Your Own Salsa Ingredients

By Nina Koziol


If you grow vegetables and herbs, you can whip up a fresh batch of flavorful salsa anytime during the summer. This article tells you how to grow your own salsa ingredients.

 

Salsa is a delightful dip for tortilla chips and an all-purpose sauce for many meals. I often use it as a topping for eggs, fajitas, enchiladas, salmon, beef, pork and roast chicken.

Common salsa ingredients include tomatoes, tomatillos, onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Avocado, corn, parsley, oregano, pineapple, mango and apricots are a few more ingredients that make a salsa savory and fruity.

Fresh tomato salsa (pico de gallo) is super easy to make. In a bowl, I combine fresh diced tomatoes, finely chopped green onion or a Vidalia onion, cilantro, diced jalapeño peppers, garlic, lime juice and sea salt. It’s that simple.

Here’s how to grow your own salsa ingredients:

How to Grow Tomatoes

Tomatoes grow best in a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight, but eight hours is better. Tomato plants need fertile, well-drained soil along with consistent water. When there’s drought, the soil needs a good, deep soaking. Tomato plant roots can grow 8 to 12 inches deep so let the hose dribble slowly until the roots are sufficiently wet. That’s important because drought-stressed plants are more susceptible to insects. If your plants are not producing flowers, they may need more sunlight or fertilizer. When the temperatures climb above 85 degrees during the day or drop below 55 degrees at night, flowers may fall off and consequently you won’t have fruit until the weather cooperates. Any type of vine-ripened tomato — plum, cherry or beefsteak — can be used in salsa. My favorite is Midnight Snack. The fruit starts out deep blue and turns reddish-blue when ripe.

Tomatoes              Photo by Greg Moroz

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