Mexican Feast Growing Guide

Nothing beats the satisfaction of using fresh harvests from your garden in your cooking. Grow a variety of ingredients perfect for Mexican style dishes in your own backyard to create a Mexican feast from your garden to table! See our guide to growing popular Mexican ingredients below.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes take pride of place in every Kiwi’s garden over the summer months and are a fresh and juicy ingredient in Mexican inspired dishes.

  • Plant in your garden beds, or in pots and containers close to the kitchen for easy access.
  • The exceptional taste of Beefsteak, Campari and Money Maker makes these varieties a flavoursome addition to Mexican style dishes.
  • Choose a warm position in full sun and away from strong winds.
  • Tui Tomato Mix contains the right blend of nutrients to provide your tomatoes with the best possible start and sustained growth. We’ve added extra potassium to this mix – just what your tomato plants need to encourage a plentiful harvest of big juicy fruit.
  • Stake your tomatoes when planting to provide support and avoid damaging the roots later on.
  • As your tomatoes grow, remove the laterals to encourage bigger and better fruit. Laterals are the shoots that grow out from the side of the stem.
  • For tomatoes planted in garden beds feed every four weeks during spring and summer with Tui Tomato Food - a blend of nitrogen, phosphorus and a generous amount of potassium formulated to promote the growth and fruiting potential of all types of tomatoes. For tomatoes in pots and containers use Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser.
  • Asparagus, basil, carrots, celery and parsley are ideal companion plants for tomatoes to help each other grow.

Capsicums

Capsicums can be added both cooked or raw to your Mexican dishes, although once cooked, they become tender and very sweet and mellow. Plant a range of capsicums to add a variety of colour to your meals.

  • Sun is the key to growing successful capsicums, along with high temperatures. Plant outdoors from November and harvest three months later in summer.
  • Capsicums need rich, fertile soil. Prepare your planting area well with layers of Tui Compost and Tui Super Sheep Pellets. Plant in Tui Vegetable Mix and water well.
  • Capsicums can also be planted in pots and containers using Tui Vegetable Mix, as long as there is a depth of approximately 25cm of mix.
  • If growing from seed, start in a mini greenhouse or under glass as they need high temperatures to germinate.
  • Apply Seasol seaweed based plant tonic once a month for a healthy crop.
  • Red capsicums are sweeter than green capsicums.
  • Californian Wonder is a sweet, reliable capsicum that starts off green and changes to a rich red as it matures. Target is a common consistent performer that changes from green to red as it ripens. This means you can harvest when it is the colour you would prefer for your cooking.

Coriander

Add a flavour punch to your Mexican inspired dishes with freshly snipped coriander from your garden. Also called cilantro, coriander is a quick-growing, hardy herb and can be planted all year around. Its leaves have a delicate sweet flavour, adding freshness to your meal. Pinch off leaves as required and use in your dishes either cooked or fresh.

  • Choose a spot outside that is close to your kitchen, or put pots on a sunny windowsill inside, for easy access.
  • A good foundation is the key to success in your herb garden - Tui Herb Mix is specially blended to provide ideal growing conditions for your herbs. It is free draining and rich in nitrogen to promote green, leafy growth and continuous harvesting. Suitable for garden beds, pots and containers.
  • Coriander uses nutrients from the soil as it grows, so replenishing the nutrients ensures you’ll get the most from your crop - we recommend using Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser.
  • Remember the smaller the pot the more quickly it will dry out so take care to keep it well watered.
  • Over summer coriander is prone to go to seed. To avoid, water your coriander consistently, and remove parts of the plant that go to seed. Keep sowing seeds regularly so you have a continuous supply.
  • Coriander makes a great companion plant as it helps deter aphids.

Limes

Add zest to your Mexican feast with juicy fresh limes plucked from the tree in your backyard. Accompany dishes with sliced lime or drizzle over the juice after cooking.

  • Choose a suitable spot: citrus trees are frost tender and they do best in a consistently sunny environment with adequate rainfall, in an area sheltered from cold winds.
  • Plant during late autumn through to early spring in warm areas.
  • If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in Tui Super Sheep Pellets and compost to your soil. Then add a layer of Tui Garden Mix.
  • Dwarf varieties grow well in pots - plant in Tui Pot Power, which contains a controlled release fertiliser and SaturAid wetting agent to ensure water gets to the root of the tree.
  • Stake trees well when planting.
  • In the first year after planting your lime, remove any fruit that sets. This allows the tree to establish itself and encourages better fruiting in the following seasons.
  • Water consistently but not too much. Lime trees will drop leaves when left dry for too long.
  • Feed in spring and late summer with Tui Citrus Food.
  • Bearss lime is a hardy variety that produces medium sized, seedless, tangy and very juicy limes – ideal for using in cooking.

Chillies

Give your Mexican dishes an extra kick with freshly harvested chillies. They come in many shapes, sizes, colours and heat levels – pick a variety depending on how spicy you like your food!.

  • The Jalapeno variety is commonly used in Mexican food. Anaheim and Long Sweet Yellow provide a milder flavour if you prefer less spice in your meal.
  • Chillies need heat and sun to grow and are frost tender. Plant from November and start harvesting approximately three months later.
  • Like capsicums, chillies also require rich, fertile soil. Prepare your planting area well with layers of Tui Compost and Tui Super Sheep Pellets. Plant in Tui Vegetable Mix. Plant seedlings approximately 30cm apart in garden beds.
  • Seedlings are an easier option, but chillies can also be grown from seed. Raise in a mini greenhouse or under glass before transplanting into garden beds or pots.
  • When harvesting chillies, cut from plants when they are ready, taking care not to pull them as they may rip. Chillies will produce for months when regularly harvested.

Avocados

The must have ingredient for guacamole to accompany Mexican flavoured dishes! With their creamy buttery flavour, avocados are best eaten raw and can also be sliced and added to dishes on their own.

  • Avocados grow best in areas with a mild winter and warm climate. Plant in spring and summer.
  • Hass is a common variety of avocado and produces pear-shaped with a pebbly dark green skin.
  • When planting ensure there is plenty of room for the tree to spread.
  • Prepare the soil well with plenty of Tui Compost and plant in Tui Garden Mix.
  • Feed regularly after one year of growth with a balanced fertiliser such as Tui Nitrophoska.
  • Young trees are frost tender, cover with frost cloth to help protect your tree over the cooler months.
  • Harvest fruit when it reaches its matured size but is still hard on the outside, and ripen next to a ripe banana or apple.

Click here for more gardening How to Guides

Post a comment

Mexican Feast Growing Guide Comments

  • Be the first to write a comment