Thursday, May 20, 2010

Planting a Pizza Garden

I think it would be fun to plant some seeds and have tiny pizzas pop out of the ground!  But ... that's not what I mean by a pizza garden.  Every year I play with a theme to my gardens - one year it was a salsa garden, another year a chili garden, and I always plant a salad garden because I eat salads every day in the summer.  I think about the ingredients I need to go into recipes for certain meals and plant herbs and vegetables to make those meals.

There are lots of ways to think about growing a pizza garden - I know I'm not planting wheat for a crust, so that's out!  That leaves sauce, herbs and spices and toppings.

To make the heirloom tomato pizza sauce recipe, I can grow the tomatoes, oregano and garlic.   Out of the nine ingredients in the salt-free pizza seasoning recipe, oregano (again), basil and maybe fennel seed are doable for me.  I've never tried to grow fennel before, but I'm going to experiment with it this year.  Toppings are the fun part - my favorite toppings on a traditional red sauced pizza are mushrooms, green and hot peppers and sliced olives; on white pizza, I like tomato, spinach and basil.  Out of those toppings, I will definitely grow green and several varieties of hot peppers.  I've been doing a little research about growing mushrooms, but haven't quite gotten brave enough.  If anybody has any hints, let me know!

So here's my plan: 

  • Roma or other meaty, Italian style tomato
  • Heirloom variety for the outstanding flavor
  • Celebrity or other salad tomato
  • Variety of grape tomatoes
  • Greek oregano - I planted some a few years ago and it has now taken over my garden!
  • Basil - both
  • Fennel
  • Sweet Globe Peppers - both green and yellow varieties
  • Banana Peppers - both hot and sweet banana
  • Giant Marconi - huge chiles that I found at my local nursery (Mosside Greenhouse in Wall, PA)
  • A slow bolt variety, such as Burpee's Harmony Hybrid (spring and fall)
  • New Zealand spinach - not a true spinach, but a decent substitute for hot summer weather
  • Burpee's has a variety called "Salad Fresh" which sounds like it could be good for summer also and great for salads and toppings
  • Sweet (like a Mayan or Vidalia type)
  • Red
  • Scallions
I'm going to do some planting this weekend!

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