May is National Salsa month and while we never need a reason to celebrate this versatile topping, we couldn’t resist showing salsa a little love. Whether it’s a quick snack, a party appetizer, or adding a little spice to your breakfast, lunch or dinner, salsa has likely made an appearance in your Inspirada home.
If you are ready to take your salsa game up a notch and find up a new, rewarding hobby, starting a salsa garden at your Inspirada home may be the answer.
Gardening in the Las Vegas Valley
One thing to keep in mind when researching gardening online is climate. Many of the tips may not pertain to our desert climate.
For example, plants labeled “full-sun” probably won’t fare well in our full sun. While we don’t need to worry about drainage as much, plants usually require more water to keep them thriving in Nevada.
If you’re new to gardening in the Las Vegas Valley, this blog can help you get familiar with some of the basics.
Your Salsa Ingredients
Next, you’ll want to determine the perfect ingredients for your homemade salsa. Cilantro, garlic, onion, and, of course, tomatoes are common ingredients.
But don’t rush off to find a tomato plant just yet. It may be surprising, but not all tomatoes are ideal for salsa. Research tomatoes varieties or visit your local farmers’ market (like the fresh52 Farmers’ Market at Inspirada) and sample a few types before selecting your ideal salsa tomato.
If you are not sure where to start, check out this list. Also, if you’re a fan of salsa verde (green salsa), plant some tomatillos as well.
Now that you have your plants picked out, it’s time to think about where you’re going to plant your garden. You have a few options, including a plot, a raised bed, and directly in the ground. One popular choice is planting in a container.
Benefits of container gardening:
- Containers are placed in raised beds, limiting the need to bend down to reach your plants
- You can move the container during the summer to protect your plants from the harsh sun
- You’ll have an easier time maintaining the soil and keeping your plants happy because the soil is contained in a definitive area
Make a Garden Schematic
Plants, like people, fare better around certain types than others. Herbs, like cilantro, can be beneficial to pair near plants prone to infestation, like tomatoes. Onions and garlic can also keep pests at bay — but for some plants, they can stunt their growth. Make sure you do your research when deciding to plant multiple plants in one container, this blog can help.
After you decide on the type and number of plants, it’s time to determine a layout for your garden. Search online for inspiration or seek guidance from your local nursery.
Make a Timeline
Our desert has two planting seasons: spring and fall. If you don’t follow a plant’s ideal planting and harvesting schedule, you can set yourself for failure.
Here are the ideal times to plant and harvest typical salsa ingredient plants:
- Garlic: Plant outdoors August–December. Harvest April–November.
- Onions: Plant indoors January–February. Plant outdoors February–June. Harvest March–November.
- Peppers: Plant indoors January–February. Plant outdoors February–June. Harvest April–November.
- Tomatoes: Plant indoors January–February and August. Plant outdoors March and August. Harvest May–July and November.
With a little work and planning, your Inspirada home will be the spot that everyone on the block will want to enjoy the summer. You’ll feel a sense of pride when you take every bite of your fresh, homemade salsa that you grew from your own backyard. In the meantime, while you’re waiting for your plants to harvest, get your salsa produce from the fresh52 Farmers’ Market for a tasty treat. Check our calendar for the next one.