Seriously, anyone who knows me knows how much I love pizza. So, having a pizza garden for me is just common sense. Now, I do not have any young kids at home anymore, they are all grown and have kids of their own. However, I do have 20 grandkids (soon to be 21 next month) so they can help when they come visit. Anyway, my point is, I may not have any kids here to help me design and plant this pizza garden right now, but they would love it. So, if you have kids, let them help you plan and design your own pizza garden. They will be excited to help plant the seedlings and will definitely love to pick the herbs and veggies when they grow. This is an easy project you can do every year and even if you do not have a big yard. You can use pots to grow each section of the pizza if you do not have the room.
Pick a Good Spot
First, choose a spot for your garden. It should be in a place that gets plenty of sun and has well-drained soil. The area should be at least eight feet wide and eight feet deep so you can make a six-foot circle and still have room in between slices to walk through if needed.
Make Your Outline
You will need a string that is about three feet long tied to a stick. One person should stand in the middle and hold one end of the string while the other walks around in a circle, marking the edges as they go. If you do not have anyone to help, just use two sticks and push the stick into the middle while you go around the circle and mark the edges of the circle.
Make Your Slices
Keeping the stick in the middle, mark off “slices” of the pizza to grow each vegetable or herb. You can have four, six, or even eight, but remember that the more sections you have, the less space you have in each. To mark the spaces, you can put rocks in between each slice and around the edges or you can use whatever you happen to have handy.
Choose Your Plants
I suggest using seedlings rather than planting seeds because it is easier and takes less time. Especially if you are working with children because they do not like to wait. You can grow your own seedlings indoors or buy them from a gardening store or Walmart. I get mine at Walmart. Some of the choices I would suggest are tomatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers, onions or chives, basil, and oregano.
Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum)
Tomato seedlings are easy to get since they are popular everywhere and there are so many varieties. They grow well in full sun, with well-draining, acidic soil in zones 2-8. Plant them slightly deeper than they were in the pot they came in and space them about 18-20 inches apart.
Bell Peppers (Capsicum annuum)
These plants can be grown easily in any zone from 1-11 as long as you plant them in neutral, well-draining soil that gets full sun. There are many varieties and should be planted 18-24 inches apart. One trick I learned from the Farmer’s Almanac is to put a few matchsticks in the hole with the plant before you bury it because they like sulfur. Don’t let the kids play with the matches though.
Banana Peppers (Capsicum annuum)
Just like many of the other vegetables, banana peppers like sunny, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.2 and 7.0. There are many varieties of banana peppers from sweet to hot, so you can plant several kinds or just one, it is up to you. They grow best in zones 2-8 and should be planted 12-48 inches apart, depending on the type that you choose.
Onions (Allium cepa) or Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Both onions and chives are happy to grow in loamy or sandy soil with a neutral pH. They do best in zones 3-9 in full sun planted about 6-12 inches apart. Chives actually grow purple flowers and will come back year after year so they are a good choice for those of us who are kind of lazy.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is a fragrant herb that comes in many different varieties from sweet to sour. Some taste like lemon and there are some that actually taste like licorice. This is a hardy plant that grows well in zones 4-10 in full sun and likes well-drained soil. The soil should have a pH between 5.1 and 8.5 depending on the variety.
Growing oregano is easy in zones 5-12, in sunny areas with well-draining, moderately acidic soil. You should plant them about 10-12 inches apart. Oregano is another perennial (bonus) that grows purple or white flowers and smells delicious. It is hard to go out in the garden without getting hungry when you grow basil, oregano, and other herbs.
So, now that you have your garden planted, make sure you water and feed them according to the instructions for each plant and you will have ingredients for pizza in just a few weeks! All you will need is some crust and cheese.