You can’t go wrong with homemade pizza. It’s easy and inexpensive to make, can be catered to your individual needs, and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Now you can take pizza to the next level by growing the ingredients right in your backyard! There’s nothing better than fresh herbs and juicy tomatoes still warm from the sun. Plant a pizza garden and you can enjoy super fresh pizzas all year round.
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What should you plant in your pizza garden?
Not surprisingly, the most important plant in your pizza garden will be the mighty tomato. Three tomato plants that are well cared for should be enough to keep your family in pizza sauce all season long. Consider planting a few extra seedlings if you’d like to can some pizza sauce to use throughout the winter.
If you want to grow tomatoes for making pizza sauce, look for varieties labeled sauce or paste tomatoes. These types have fewer seeds and a meaty texture. They’re not meant to be eaten raw, but have a wonderful flavor in sauce.
Popular sauce/paste tomatoes:
- Jersey Devil
- San Marzano
- Super Sauce
- Amish Paste
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Whether they’re in the sauce or used as toppings, or both, onions go great on pizza. Yellow or sweet onions would be a great variety to add to your pizza garden.
To grow big, flavorful onions, make sure the soil is loose and well draining, and use plenty of compost or aged manure in the garden. Onions are tricky to grow from seed, but easy to grow from sets that can be purchased at the garden center or online.
An essential ingredient in both red and white pizza sauce, garlic is a total necessity in your pizza garden. This crop is incredibly easy to grow, and so small you can squeeze it in practically anywhere. Garlic is a companion to most vegetable plants, and is known for warding off pests. Planting garlic around the perimeter of your pizza garden will save space and help your other veggies thrive.
Did you know you can make a delicious pizza crust using cauliflower? Cauliflower is gaining in popularity due to it’s extreme versatility. Using cauliflower instead of white flour is not only healthier for your family, it’s also perfect for those on a low carb or gluten free diet.
Don’t forget the herbs!
No pizza is complete without some flavorful herbs. Herbs are easy to grow and even easier to cook with. Chop them up for the pizza sauce or sprinkle them on top of the pie, either way, fresh herbs bring your homemade pizza to a new level of delicious. Italian herbs tend to be the best to grow for pizza making.
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Basil is one of the most important ingredients in that most famous of pizzas, the Margherita. Two basil plants will be enough for flavoring pizza sauce and as a topping. Sweet basil is the most popular variety, and the one that goes best on pizza. For an added kick in flavor, try growing Thai or lemon basil. Variety is the spice of life!
Oregano is used to make pizza sauce and is often sprinkled right on top of the pie before it goes into the oven. This herb can be tricky to grow from seed, so if you’re a beginner, you’ll be better off getting a starter plant from the garden store.
Oregano grows best in full sun with very well draining soil. You can snip off leaves anytime you’re in the mood for pizza.
Italian parsley adds a bright, fresh taste to pizza sauce. Parsley is incredibly easy to grow, but difficult to start from seed. Seedlings are very often sold cheaply at garden centers and home improvement stores in the spring.
Parsley has a long taproot and enjoys growing in deep pots or garden beds to accommodate its roots. Be sure to plant it in full sun and water consistently for a happy plant!
Growing a pizza garden is a great way to form a deeper connection with your food. It’s fun for the whole family, and you can reap the rewards together, hot from the oven!