If you planned on planting a vegetable garden this year and think you’ve missed your planting window… think again! One of the great benefits of living in Louisiana is our extended summer weather. Technically, summer hasn’t started yet but the days are already long and hot — ideal conditions for growing a garden. Plus the pests that plague gardens in spring are less of a problem late in the season.
If this is your first garden, you might want to try a container garden or a raised bed garden where you can easily control soil and watering. Our favorite place to plant our salad and salsa fixings is in a raised bed surrounding our Crepe Myrtle. Lady bugs love Crepe Myrtles, our cucumbers use the tree as a trellis and the lady bugs take care of the veggies. Perfect vegetable garden harmony!
This year my oldest son has taken over our veggie garden care and our veggies are thriving! Don’t let growing a garden scare you, you don’t have to start your garden from seeds, get plants from friends or purchase plants at your local nursery. If organic veggies are a must for you, you can purchase organic plants online. Whatever you do, get the kids involved, they will love to see the “fruits” of their labor.
Growing a Salsa Garden
Nothing tastes as good as homemade salsa, think of how impressed your guests will be when you offer them a homegrown, homemade salsa at your next summer gathering.
- Choose your container – choose a container with good drainage: 4 pots, a window box, large round container or a raised 3 x 3 box container, add potting soil and place in a spot with plenty of sun.
- Pick your plants – Cilantro, onions or chives, cherry or regular tomato and peppers. Have stakes on hand for your tomatoes, you can purchase a wire stake or use tree branches or sticks.
- Plant – Place the tomato in the center of the pot with the pepper, Cilantro and chives on the edge. Fill in around each with potting soil and tamp down the soil.
- 3 cups chopped tomatoes peeled (you can also use whole canned if not using home grown)
- 1/2 onion roughly chopped
- bunch of cilantro - 1/4 cup minced
- 4 teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- Roughly chop the tomato, onion, cilantro and pepper and place in a food processor or a blender.
- Give the mixture a quick few chops in your mixer to your preferred consistency.
- For a chunky salsa, pulse in the food processor or blender.