You don’t need a large bed for a pizza garden—you can even grow one in containers. Also, a single paste tomato plant can give you 6 to 20 pounds of tomatoes.
When choosing a place for your garden, be sure to choose an area that gets at least 8 hours of sunlight every day. Your tomato plants will most likely be the biggest plants you’ll be growing, and you should keep your tomato plants at least 2 feet apart from each other and from your other crops to ensure they have enough space to grow. When planting, loosen the soil with a garden fork or a tiller, and then add a couple inches of finished compost to the soil to give the plants enough nutrients to grow.
You can also grow your pizza garden in containers. For large plants like tomatoes and peppers, you’ll need large pots or else large containers like 5-gallon buckets. As for smaller plants like basil and oregano, you can grow them in smaller containers, roughly 1 gallon in size. Also, if you properly pick basil by pinching off larger leaves just above two sets of new leaves, that will help encourage the basil to become a full, bushy plant rather than a tall one with fewer leaves. When you fill your containers, use potting soil rather than garden soil. Potting soil provides better drainage and doesn’t compact as easily.
Paste tomatoes are a great choice to grow for a pizza garden. They have drier flesh and fewer seeds than other kinds of tomatoes, which makes them an excellent choice for pizza sauce. There are many varieties of paste tomatoes, such as the red Amish Paste, the orange Illini Golden Paste, or the reddish-brown Black Plums.
Oregano is the quintessential pizza herb. It’s a perennial in zones 5 through 10, so if you live in those zones, you’ll only need to start it once. Start it indoors, and then once the danger of frost has passed, transplant it to your outdoor garden.
Onions are another popular addition to pizzas and pizza sauces. They’re also good at helping to deter pests. You can add bulb onions, bunching onions, or perennial onions to your pizza garden. Start bulb onions indoors well in advance. Perennial onions you will need to start in the fall.
Garlic is another good herb to add to pizzas and pizza sauces. Like onions, you will need to plan them well in advance. Start garlic in the fall.
You can also add peppers to your pizza garden as well. You can add bell peppers like Carolina Wonder, California Wonder, or Bull Nose, or you can add sweet banana peppers as well.
When planting the seeds, please read the seed packets carefully so as to properly care for your plants. Before transplanting, it’s a good idea to harden off your plants—that is, gradually expose them to the outdoors before you transplant them.
Use stakes and cages for your tomatoes and peppers. Tomatoes do best when they’re properly trellised and pruned, and peppers may need some support as well.
Also, be sure to give the plants enough water. They will be the most productive if they receive enough moisture.
And finally, get your friends and family involved in growing your garden! It’s more fun when more people are involved.