Grow your own salsa garden!
There’s no question that the popularity of home-grown gardens is exploding. Not only is it good exercise to garden while you soak up that healthy vitamin D, but there is nothing so rewarding a cropping a tasty, fresh vegetable or piece of fruit from your own property. The flavor is incomparable to that of the grocery store and nutrition is much higher when edibles are fresh-picked. With recalls of dangerous fruits and vegetables, the fuel consumption of importing food and the escalating store prices, well, it’s no surprise that home-grown edibles are becoming the top trend in home gardening.
To start growing your own edibles, try a simple idea that will deliver fun and practical results; try growing your own salsa garden. In a salsa garden you can grow all your favorite ingredients and you don’t even need a lot of space for planting. You can carve out a small salsa garden from your lawn, design in a little vegetable bed, build a raised garden or even just plant up some pots on a patio or sunny balcony. This is an easy project even the children can enjoy.
In your little salsa garden you will be growing the favorite ingredients usually used to make salsa. Plant tomatoes, onions, peppers and tomatillos. Also enjoying full sun and similar growing conditions are a number of herbs. Cilantro is a primary ingredient in salsa and probably adds the flavor that is most characteristic of a good salsa. It is easy to grow cilantro as a decorative edging plant or in a small pot.
There are a number of tasty recipes for salsa so you can design your garden with interesting additions to create the flavors you like best. Or create your own recipe with other favorite vegetables in your salsa garden. Add chilies, scallions, garlic, oregano, carrots, corn – even fruit. All of these can be grown in the garden.
All the plants you want for your salsa garden should be grown in full sun with regular water and a soil with plenty of organic material. Watch out for tomato worms, aphids (usually clustered on new growth or hiding on the underside of leaves), and, in some areas, onion fly. Plants grown in good soil and healthy conditions are less likely to suffer from pests or disease, but always keep a close watch on all your garden plants. It is much easier to treat insect invasions when caught early — before they become established.
Crop your vegetables and herbs as soon as they are ready. Chop them up fresh so you can serve up a salsa that will taste better than anything you could buy ready-made. Another benefit of growing your own salsa garden is that you can harvest only as much as you need. Most plants will keep your remaining ingredients fresh — sometimes for weeks — and ready to be picked again whenever you are ready to make up your next delicious batch of home-grown salsa.
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