Gardeners have a lot if imagination and like to make their gardens as uniquely theirs as possible. One way is to grow the vegetables and or fruits you need to make your own version of your favorite commercial products. How nice would it be to serve salsa that you not only made yourself, but made it with vegetables from your own garden. You do not need a lot of room. A corner of your garden will do and you can also use the produce for other recipes as well. Find a recipe you like. Most will have all or some of these ingredients.
Pick a spot that gets full sun, at least six hours of sunshine a day. Lay 3 inches of organic matter on top of the space and work it down into the soil. Be sure to plant after the danger of frost is past in the spring. In colder areas, start the plants indoors or use seedlings. You also have the option to plant in containers and move them outdoors in late spring.
Tomatoes are the base of a good salsa. Use a regular type, not plum or cherry. The growing directions are basically the same whatever the variety. Make sure to keep them off the ground.
Tomatillos( PHYSALIS IXOCARPA) or husk tomatoes will add some heat to the salsa. The plant is an annual and grows in the same way a tomato does. It takes 50-70 days for the green fruit to appear and another two weeks for it to be ripe. It is best to start tomatillos indoors.
There are literaly hundreds of choice of onions. Pick a sweet one, since you will be getting heat from the tomatillos. Onion take anywhere from 50 to 150 days before they are ready. You can plants “sets” instead of starting from seed.
Chives are hardy in USDA zones 3 though 9, all except for the hottest areas and there they can be grown as part of an indoor herb garden. They will keep on growing as long as you do not take all the leaves off. Just cut them as you need them.
Peppers are where you really make the salsa your own-hot and spicy, mild or anywhere in-between. There are 23 types of chili peppers alone and then there are sweets of all colors. Peppers are grown as annuals all over the country and can survive a light frost.
Garlic is another ingredient that lets you choose just how hot the salsa will be. Plant garlic in the fall and let it winter over in the garden.
Cilantro is another spicy addition. It is the leaves of the coriander plant. It is planted in spring in zones 3-8 and in fall or winter in zones 9-11.
Put the finishing touch to the salsa with sweet basil, oregano, marjoram and /or parsley.
University of Tennessee