Grow Pizza Herbs in a Container
A pizza garden is a container planting in which you grow all the herbs regularly used to bake homemade pizza—all in one pot. Even if you don't regularly make the pizza yourself, adding fresh herbs to a frozen or takeout pizza can make it taste great.
Creating and tending a pizza garden is an easy and fun project to do with kids. It also makes a terrific gift.
- Working time: About one hour
- Material cost: $30 to $70, depending on size of garden and type of container
What You'll Need
- A large container with drainage holes
- Drill and bits (if necessary)
- Window screening or landscape fabric
- Potting soil
- Favorite herbs
Prepare the Container
First, make sure your pot has enough drainage holes. They should be spaced about 4 inches apart. If you are repurposing a metal container such as a washtub or pail, you'll need to drill your own holes, about 3/4 inch in diameter.
Next, you'll need to cover the holes with a porous material that will let water out but keep the soil in. For a metal container, a good method is to use a heavy plastic bag with lots of small holes punched in it. You can also use plastic window screening or coffee filters to cover the holes. Mesh landscape fabric can also be a good choice.
Add Potting Soil
Next, add enough potting soil to your container so that the base of the plants will sit an inch or two from the top of your pot. This ensures that the soil won't flood out the top when you water. Any good, general-purpose potting soil will suffice; preferably one with slow-release fertilizer mixed in.
The herbs you select can include whatever appeals to you for making pizza. Common choices include parsley, thyme, basil, and oregano.
Take the plants carefully out of the nursery pots and if the roots are visible and packed together, gently pull them apart. Dig holes and place the plants in the container, making sure to give them enough room. In most container gardens plants are crammed rather close together, but here it's best for the herbs (especially basil) to have space for air circulation.
- Thyme, oregano and some varieties of tarragon and parsley will drape, so it's best to plant them along the edges of the container.
- Basil and rosemary are good choices for the center of the container, because they tend to be taller and more upright.
Once you have placed all the plants, add potting soil, making sure to fill in the spaces between the plants, and pat it down gently. When finished planting, water generously until it runs out the bottom of the container. You may need to add more soil to the container as it settles.
Tips for Caring for a Pizza Garden
Place your pizza garden in full sun and water generously whenever the soil feels dry. Use diluted liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks. Don't use too much fertilizer―it can affect the taste of the herbs.
If you have a sunny spot inside or if you own a grow light, consider bringing your pizza garden indoors to continue growing year-round.
- To keep your basil bushy, use it often or clip it back―the more you use, the more you'll have (within reason, of course).
- If one of your plants dies or begins to look awful, just pull it out of your pot and replace it with another.
- Make sure to cut back parsley and dill before they flower.
- Dill is great on seafood pizza.
- Chives are also good on pizza and are easy to grow.