Spring is here, and it is time to get out in the garden and play in the sun. Growing your own herb and vegetable garden is a great way to connect with nature and do something productive. Since we love the idea of farm-to-table restaurants, we have started our own pizza garden.
We are growing a few of our favorite herbs and veggies that we love to put on our homemade pizzas. If you have ever wanted to start a pizza garden, we have some ideas to help.
Don’t worry. You don’t need a green thumb or a big yard to grow a pizza garden. Most herbs and veggies do just fine in a container garden. All you need is some planning and creativity to grow your own pizza toppings at home.
What is a Pizza Garden?
A pizza garden is a garden devoted to growing herbs and vegetables that taste great on pizza. Starting your own pizza garden is a fun way to get into gardening for beginners.
Before you get started, you should decide what type of garden is best for your living space. You will want to assess a few things and consider your best options. First, you will need to decide if you will plant your garden in a raised bed or in containers.
Then, you will need to learn more about where you live to find out when you can start putting the seeds in the ground. If you live in the north, you need to wait until the temperature is consistently above freezing each night. If you live in a more temperate climate, of course, you can get started earlier.
If you are new to gardening, it’s a great idea to check out some books to get you started. We like the books The Vegetable Gardeners Bible and How to Grow Vegetables in Pots and Containers. Both books have great info to get you on the road to growing your first pizza garden.
Depending on your climate, there are a lot of resources to help you understand your specific area. Whether you are in the dry southwest, the wet Pacific Northwest, or the humid southeast, you can research your zone for the best times to start planting your pizza garden.
The United States Department of Agriculture has divided the U.S. into different planting zones to help gardeners understand which plants will thrive in their zone. You can find your zone here. Knowing your zone is a great first step especially if you are growing perennial plants or plants that grow continually.
But since most vegetables are annuals meaning they grow for one season, it’s actually more important to know the first and last frost to determine when to plant.
After you decide whether to plant in the ground or in pots and the best time to plant, you can start planning what you will grow. For a pizza garden, you will want to choose vegetables and plants that you love for your pizza.
Pizza Garden Herbs
The best herbs to grow for a pizza garden are a blend of Italian herbs that will complement your pizza. We love these tiered planters for growing herbs. They are cute and maximize space.
The best herbs to grow are:
- Oregano works with ALL pizzas. I don’t think we’ve ever made a pizza without oregano.
- Basil is perfect on a Margherita pizza or in a Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes.
- Thyme using fresh thyme makes for an aromatic pizza.
- Mint adds the perfect flavor when mixed with fresh tomatoes and peppers, giving zest to the pizza.
- Rosemary works great with potato and sausage pizza. It’s also great on focaccia.
The first four herbs are easy to grow from seeds, but rosemary can be a little tricky, and it’s best to get it from a nursery. If you are feeling impatient, you can get all of these herbs as starts and just plant them without having to wait for the seeds.
Pizza Garden Vegetables
First and foremost, you have to grow tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are the base for an excellent sauce. They are also excellent sliced as a pizza topping. Tomatoes are quite sensitive plants, and they need a lot of sun and care.
We like Roma tomatoes because they are perfect for our pizza purposes, but you could also grow heirloom, cherry, yellow, or purple tomatoes, just to name a few.
So now that you have your herbs and tomatoes as a base, you can choose your favorite vegetables to grow. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Peppers are easy to grow, and there are a lot of varieties to choose from. If you like hot sauce on your pizza, you can grow habaneros and jalapeños to make your own spicy sauce.
- Onions are easy to grow. Opt for purple or sweet onions of the best flavor. Or grow green onions, sometimes called spring onions, to chop and sprinkle on your pizza.
- Arugula is easy to grow and adds a tangy flavor to any pizza.
- Mushrooms are a little tricky for new gardeners. We recommend trying a mushroom growing kit to get started.
- Zucchini is an excellent choice. Just be sure not to plant too many. Zucchini plants produce a lot, so be prepared to enjoy tasty zucchini all summer long. If you get tired of adding it to pizza, you can make zucchini bread, fries, or noodles (zoodles). You can even eat zucchini flowers. Just remove the stamen before using it.
- Garlic, you can’t forget the garlic. It grows well in pots or in the ground and tastes great in, well, just about everything.
Helpful Tips for Pizza Garden Success
- Garlic scapes or the green part of the garlic plant are edible. Add them to pizza, pasta, or salad.
- Green onions can be grown from other green onions. Buy a small bunch and cut them where the white and green meet, then place them in water to grow more onions.
- Zucchini flowers on pizza can be added stuffed or baked. In Mexico, zucchini flowers are often eaten in quesadillas or breaded and dipped in hot sauce.
Do you like to garden? What would you like to grow in your pizza garden?