Nothing says celebrating summer more than al fresco dining. homemade summer pizzas are topped with fresh, seasonal ingredients that are perfect for this time of year but did you know you can source most of the ingredients you use right from your garden?
Growing a pizza garden is a great way to get children outdoors, engaged with nature and motivated to plant and eat vegetables. What’s more, it is easy to do and all you need is a large container to plant together for tasty and nutritious homegrown treat.
This project works in the ground or with a planter that is 15 inches in diameter or larger as tomatoes like depth to grow. We had an ideal range of large planters that would be ideal for the pizza project.
Alternatively, if you would like to plant just herbs, this can be done in our Kitchen Herb Planter with the tomatoes in the top.
- Start by adding a high quality compost to your pizza garden pot. Fill the container with soil until it reaches about 1 inch below the top of the container. It’s important that your container has holes in the bottom.
Plant your tomato first in the middle of the pot as it grows to be the largest plant in your pizza garden. We recommend planting Tomato ‘Roma’ which is big on flavour, mostly seedless and the ideal variety for making sauces. It is also perfect for pots and containers as it is a bush variety and thrives growing in a small space. Packed with antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and lycopene, they are good for you too!
Plant out April to May and harvest from August onwards.
No pizza is complete without sweet bell peppers as a topping. These are best planted if you are using a larger container. Place peppers in the middle of the container, approximately 6 inches from the tomato plant. Plant in June and harvest from August onwards.
- Then start to plant the rest of the herbs around the tomato wall in a wheel.
Oregano is an herb native to the Mediterranean and Southern Europe, so is ideal for your pizza and a favourite for its strong flavours. Ideal for container planting, it also attracts bees and other beneficial insects with its nectar rich pink flowers. Oregano is best used dried and is a great accompaniment to any Italian cuisine.
Common thyme is also an essential ingredient in Italian cooking and perfect for a pizza topping. The plant is also ornamental, covered in tiny blossoms and aromatic leaves which are magnet for insects in the garden. Thyme is ideal for beginners to grow as it is a low growing shrub that requires little maintenance and care. It is good for cutting, so if you only need a small amount at a time for your pizza, your thyme plant will keep on providing for several dishes.
Basil is a vibrant, fragrant and easy to grow aromatic herb. It grows easily from seed and can be sown any time from early spring to mid-summer, alternatively you can purchase as a plant. It will flourish in summer and grows wonderfully in containers. Harvest the leaves individually rather than as this will encourage new growth. For the best flavour, add fresh basil at the end of cooking your pizza and just before serving.
Whilst your pizza pot is growing out in the garden, an indoor gardening project you could do is to grow mushrooms inside as another topping. You can buy mushroom growing kits in your local garden centre, that includes spores, the seed equivalent for mushrooms.
Ideal for novice growers or experienced gardeners, simply keep the spores moist and out of direct sunlight and your first crop should be ready to pick in a matter of weeks to put on your pizza!
Inspired to grow more? Why not try:
- Grow your own cocktail garden