Salsa will always be a party and snack favorite. Before you grab some chips and dip from the pantry you might want to read the labels. A lot of the ingredients used in your favorite can of Tostitos dip weren’t protected against pesticides. So, get the kids excited about gardening by having them help create an organic salsa garden.
The first and most important ingredient to include in your garden is pepper. Choose something that is according to the heat you and your family want. For medium heat use early jalapenos and for mild salsa you should use ancho or banana peppers. If you prefer very hot or muy caliente salsa use serrano and cayenne peppers. For seeds, I recommend using High Mowing Organic Seeds.
When digging holes Mother Earth News suggests to dig plant holes 12 inches deep and 18 inches apart. Then use pruning shears to snip ripe peppers from the plant once the pepper is ready to harvest. Warn your kids when harvesting peppers to always wear gloves and to avoid touching their eyes and nose as it can cause the stinging feeling associated with pepper burn.
The second ingredient you should include in your garden is onions. Try to get Candy onions as they are milder and adapt to a diversity of climates according to Home Guides. Try to keep them away from weedy locations, as weeds tend to pull water and nutrients from developing onion plants. Onions will be ready to harvest when their green stems fall over and turn brown.
The third ingredient to include is cilantro. Cilantro tends to grow pretty quickly taking on average 30 to 40 days to grow. Make sure to plant the leaves where they can get plenty of sunlight. Strong sunlight creates more fragrant oils on the making it taste better once it is ready to be harvested.
Another important ingredient to grow in your salsa garden are tomatoes. To view directions on how to grow tomatoes check out the pizza garden blog.
The most important thing to do is to add any of the ingredients that make your salsa unique. If you have other favorite salsa ingredients such as pineapples, mangos, corn, cucumbers and peaches. Feel free to share your favorite salsa ingredients in the comments below.
More information on organic gardens: