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, onion, 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 be grown at home.

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 six inches of soil with a spade or tiller and mix in a 3-inch layer of compost or garden soil, such as Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers & Vegetables or Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® Garden Soil. For containers, use a quality potting mix, such as Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix.

3. Plant Seeds or Transplants

You can start your salsa garden from seeds or with starter plants available at your local garden center. Follow the directions on the seed packets or plant tags for planting depth and spacing as well as the right time to plant. If you're planting seeds, allow extra time for them to sprout and develop. You might start the seeds indoors to get an early start in the spring. Remember, tomatoes should be at least 2 feet apart, whereas herbs should be spaced around 8-12 inches. Your tomatoes will need support - a cage or wooden stakes are common methods. Read our article on how to train tomatoes.