Food-Lover's Garden: Grow Your Own Tacos

With smart planning and some new varieties of seeds and plants, you can create a garden based on your favorite dishes.

Tacos
Create a Tex-Mex condiment bar.

Lettuce: Plant romaine, which is nice and crunchy in tacos and surprisingly easy to grow. Just position the lettuce near tomatoes or other tall-growing plants to provide some shade and to keep the leaves from wilting in warm weather. And be sure to keep the soil evenly moist.

Chiles: Jalapenos are a gardener's delight: Given full sun, a single pepper plant will produce a bumper crop. They don’t need a lot of space; they tend to grow in small, tightly knit formations. If you plant hotter habaneros, wear gardening gloves when tending and picking: The oils can burn your skin and eyes—ruining a perfectly nice day in the garden.

Cilantro: Slow Bolt cilantro withstands heat better than typical cilantro. The herb grows quickly from seed and goes to seed just as fast -- about three weeks. It won't last long under a hot summer sun, so sow a few seeds or plants each week.

Tomatillos: Sweet green tomatillos are great for salsa verde: Broil a few, chop, and mix with onions, garlic, adobo sauce and cilantro. You’ll know they’re ready to harvest when
the papery husks split open.

Growing tip: Unless noted, all plants need 6 to 8 hours of sun each day and a thorough watering every 3 to 4 days.

Use your home-grown produce to make Aaron Sanchez's Carne Asada Tacos.