The Pizza Garden
Try something different in the garden this year. Everyone will enjoy growing a pizza garden. If you have the space, create a pizza shape garden or simply grow the ingredients in pots or beds wherever you can.
To get your pizza shape:
*Put a stake in the ground firmly.
*Attach a length of string to the stake.
*Keep the string tight and walk round in a circle, marking the soil to show the border.
*Divide the circle into wedges.
Try and make the wedges equal if you can to produce an obvious ‘pizza garden’ but you may choose to grow more tomatoes and onions so you’ll need bigger wedges for the veg and smaller for herbs. This is your garden. You choose!
Put stakes around the outside and run a string to the centre stake. Or simply make a line in the soil. The number of wedges depends on the size of your circle.
Ingredients to grow in your pizza garden
If you have six wedges, try for 3 herbs and 3 veg or change it up and grow what you prefer. The 3 veg that come to my mind when thinking pizza are tomatoes, peppers and onions.
Tomato plants can get very big and unruly, although if you have the space you can’t have too many fresh garden tomatoes.
There are different varieties available in most garden centres or online. I found this variety on Amazon (UK) which should suit any garden, especially if you have limited space.
Peppers are easier to control than unruly tomato plants but again, check on available varieties. And if you like a touch of heat on your pizza, grow a chilli plant. They often produce plenty of chillis.
Onion sets should be started fairly early in the year (in the northern hemisphere). Check the variety you want to grow for recommended planting times. And onions are so versatile, it’s worth growing as many as you can. I’ve had great success with everlasting onions. Plant one and you get a whole bunch. The same with shallots, which are my personal favourite.
And the 3 herbs you could grow are basil, oregano and parsley.
Basil is a must-have if you’re growing your own tomatoes. It really is the ‘tomato herb’. Pick regularly and it will bush out before putting its energy into flowering. In some climates basil is bi-ennial although in the UK and northern Europe its usually an annual so make the most of it while you can! Leaves can be dried, although they can sometimes be a little bitter after drying. The leaves can also be frozen. Frozen leaves retain their taste but they tend to be rather soggy after freezing.
Oregano is a perennial and will keep growing for years with the right conditions. There are a number of varieties. This one I love. Found on Amazon (UK) but check your local garden suppliers if you can. You may find one that grows particularly well in your region.
And last, but not least, parsley. Parsley is such an under estimated herb and is often used simply as a garnish. In fact, gram for gram parsley has more vitamin C than oranges and is one of the few plants that retain iron I believe. Again, there are a number of varieties to choose from. Grow a few plants if you can and use chopped leaves in stews and pies. Parsley is biennial and will produce flowers and seed during it’s second year of growth.
The whole family can get involved in growing your own pizza. If I ever find a way of growing the base and some cheese I’ll let you know. 😀
P.S. If you like mushrooms with everything, you can grow those at home too, although not in the same way as your herbs and veggies. Check out my Growing Mushrooms post for some more ideas.