Salsas come in many varieties. but whatever the ingredients, they add flavor and color to a host of dishes. They can be vegetable- or fruit-based, hot or cold, spicy or mild. No matter your special recipe, it’s likely you can grow many of the ingredients in your own garden.
A full sun location and fertile loose soil are about all you’ll need in addition to the plants and, of course, water! You can grow most of these veggie varieties in containers or in the ground, depending on your garden space and needs.
The ingredients for the most traditional type of salsa include chili peppers, tomatoes, oregano, onions and cilantro. Here are some you can grow to create your own salsa garden at home!
Hot peppers specifically for containers
Mighty, strong, hot and quick! Quickfire peppers produce plenty of hot, delicious fruits on a compact, sturdy plant that is perfect for container gardening. No staking is required. This pepper has tremendous ornamental value but was bred for its taste and yield. Culinary gardeners will want to give this gem a try in their dishes where a little heat and kick give the meal some quickfire!
Perfect for growing in containers and hanging baskets, Pot-a-peno is a fun new jalapeño pepper with a compact habit. Plentiful, small, green jalapeño fruits have a traditional spicy zip that is great in any dish where you want a little punch of spice. Simply leave the fruit on the vine for a few extra weeks and they will ripen to red for a sweet, spicy flavor.
More hot peppers:
Wildcat is a cayenne pepper with extra-large, 2–3-ounce fruits. A high-yielding plant with thick, fleshy walls, the 8-inch fruits are straighter than traditional cayenne fruits with a great smoky flavor and peppery sweetness and a mild pungency of 500–1,500 Scoville units. Ease of harvest combined with a very even growth habit and mild heat level makes this a good plant for everyone’s garden!
This Buffy will do right by you by producing a good yield of juicy, thick-walled green to red fruits on strong, healthy upright plants. Buffy’s fruits are attractive and larger, making them perfect for flavorful sport peppers and in your homemade salsa. The peppers are held high on the plant, adding ornamental value to the garden. In short, Buffy deserves a place in your garden!
Add some spice to your life with this new cayenne pepper! This new pepper is earlier to mature than most. Early maturity is an important feature for gardeners who live in climates with a shorter growing season. Red Ember produces a large harvest of rounded-end fruits on durable, medium-sized plants. The thick-walled fruits are spicy but tastier than the traditional cayenne, with just enough pungency for interest.
Aji Rico is the first of its kind: a hybrid hot pepper from the Capsicum baccatum species that matures early for early summer enjoyment. The large plant produces many thin-walled, crunchy fruits, which have a narrow conical shape. Fruit matures from green to red and can be eaten at any stage. These fruits have a refreshing citrus flavor and warm heat level, perfect for eating fresh or adding to salsas or hot sauces.
A unique miniature bell pepper that is mildly hot when fruits turn red. These peppers are compact, easy to grow and adapt well to a container or small garden planting. Another plus is their dark green foliage and ability to set fruit even under hot, humid conditions. Each plant yields 25–30 fruit and can be eaten fresh or cooked.
At 2,500 Scoville units, this hot pepper boasts extra-large and very tasty jalapeño fruits that are perfect for stuffing, grilling or using in salsa. Emerald Fire produces gorgeous, glossy green peppers with thick walls that have very little cracking, even after maturing to red. Gardeners will appreciate the prolific fruit set on compact plants that resist disease better than other similar varieties on the market.
Now home gardeners have an easy-to-grow bunching onion (also known as a green onion). Warrior grows quickly and thus matures early, producing a very uniform crop of slender, crisp onion stalks that are easy to harvest and clean. Can’t get to your harvest? No worries as Warrior will hold up in the garden. Warrior can be used raw or cooked to add texture, flavor and color to all kinds of dishes.
Super Star is an improved white sweet onion recommended for all spring gardens in North America because it is day-length neutral. Most onions require long days (over 12 hours of sunlight) or short days to bulb. Super Star does not have this requirement, so it is widely adaptable. Resistant to pink root, Super Star onions are exceptional when eaten raw, in salads or cooked in sauces.
All that an heirloom has to offer but better, Buffalosun shines with great texture, high yield and less cracking. The unique yellow with red/orange flame coloration is beautiful on the outside and results in a nicely marbled interior. Sweet-tasting, tender flesh gives the look of an heirloom without the mushiness often associated with heirlooms, making it delicious in salsa.
Galahad is a brave new tomato variety that has a high level of late blight resistance because both parents are resistant. Galahad is a high-yielding, great-tasting tomato that grows on a strong sturdy plant. The sweet, meaty-flavored, large, crack-resistant tomato grows on a highly productive, disease-resistant plant.
Chef’s Choice Black is a beefsteak-type tomato with a dark green/brown/black hue. It is a vigorous, healthy plant with clean and uniform fruits that are early to set and have a meaty interior with great flavor. You’ll harvest 30 or more blemish-free fruits throughout the season from this disease-resistant plant with dark green leaves and a well-behaved form.