Nothing beats fresh-from-the-garden flavor and what better way to get your family to eat vegetables than to grow your own. Those new to gardening may want to focus on a few family favorites, while experienced gardeners may want to expand their options. Salsa is a favorite of many and can be used for dipping chips, seasoning baked potatoes, omelets, meat and more. Here’s gardening expert, Melinda Myers how-to recipe, 'Grow Your Own Salsa':
What You Need
A sunny location to grow your ingredients
Plant them in a garden of their own or mixed with flowers
Or plant them in containers
2 - Tomato plants – use meaty varieties like Better Boy, Beefsteak, or Celebrity
They’ll need 4 square feet in the garden or a 3 to 5 gallon container each
1 – Jalapeno or other hot pepper plant (1 square foot in the garden or 2 to 3 gallon container)
1 – Bag of onion sets or a container of transplants (thin to 4 inches apart)
1 – Package of Cilantro seeds or 6-pack of transplants – harvest fresh young leaves
Sow seed every 2 to 3 weeks as the plants quickly set seed and the leaf flavor decreases. Be sure to thin young seedlings to 6 inches apart.
Mix with other vegetables and flowers in a window box or 12 inch or larger pot.
1 – Package Cucumber – grow several plants on a support
Each plant will need 4 square feet in the garden or one 3 to 5 gallon pot
2- Bell pepper plants – Each plant will need 2 square feet in the garden or a 2 to 3 gallon pot
Purchase garlic for this season and plant your own in fall for next year’s harvest.
Double or Triple the Planting recipe if you love salsa and your gardening space allows.
Wait for soil to warm and danger of frost to pass before planting. Use Harvest Guard, Wall-O-Waters, and other frost protection to jump-start the growing season.
Grow tomatoes in towers or other supports to save space and reduce problems with insects and disease. Consider using orange- and yellow-fruited tomatoes and colorful hot peppers for added color.
See plant tags and seed packets for planting directions.
Dawn’s Salsa Recipe
(great cook, horticulturist & graphic designer for Melinda Myers LLC)
4-5 large tomatoes
1 onion - finely diced
2-5 jalapeno peppers (depends on your 'heat' preference) - finely diced
1 large cucumber - peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
4-5 sprigs cilantro - finely chopped
salt to taste
Finely chop tomatoes and place in a colander in the sink. Toss with a healthy amount of salt. Let stand to drain excess juice while you prepare the other ingredients.
Mix onion, peppers, cucumber, garlic and cilantro in a bowl. Add the juice of one lime. Toss tomatoes to remove as much excess juice as possible and then add to the mix. Salt to taste.
Only use juice from half a lime
Add 2 fire roasted sweet bell peppers - finely chopped
Add 1 can of black beans - rinsed
Add a dash of curry powder