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Wow friends and family by growing your favorite pizza toppings right in your own back yard!
We grew this garden in a 6- X 4-foot-space in full sun. Because we have so much clay in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden, we grew the plants in raised beds filled with good-quality topsoil amended with compost. All of the plants were provided by Bonnie Plants.
Use more than one variety of tomato to create rich, complex flavors in your tomato sauces. And be sure to slice up a few tomatoes to place on top of your pizza, as well. 'Husky Cherry Red' is a great variety because it's compact, so you can tuck one or two in the garden without it taking over.
'Golden Jubilee' is a mild-tasting variety perfect for making a great tomato sauce. It offers large, golden-yellow fruits that mature in about 80 days from planting. This variety grows tall, so we used colorful tomato stakes to keep it upright.
Tomatoes and basil are one of the most classic flavor combinations, so be sure to include a few basil plants in the garden. Chop up basil leaves and incorporate them into your tomato sauce or sprinkle them over the top of your pizza. And be sure to use the basil to make fresh pesto!
Chop up a bell pepper or two for your pizza and add this vegetable's great flavor and high nutritional value to your meals. Create a cheery, colorful pizza by including different colors -- red, yellow, orange, purple, brown, or green bells are so much fun.
Introduce a rich Italian flavor to your garden with oregano. This easy-to-grow, quick-spreading plant will create a carpet of color in your garden. Use it to flavor your tomato sauce or chop it up and sprinkle it over the top of your pizza.
Rosemary will give your food a wonderful, unmistakable flavor and aroma. Mix it in tomato sauce, chop up some rosemary leaves and sprinkle them over your pizza, or add some stems to the coals in your grill.
Thyme is sure to make any tomato sauce taste richer. This easy-growing groundcover is great for a dry corner of your pizza garden where you can plant it and let it grow on its own. Its aroma alone will bring an extraordinary note to your homegrown pizzas.
Here's a grid you can use to create your own pizza garden:
A. 2 'Husky Cherry Red' tomatoes
B. 1 'Golden Jubilee' tomato
C. 2 basil
D. 1 'Keystone Giant' bell pepper
E. 1 'Jalapeno' pepper
F. 1 oregano
G. 3 onion
H. 2 rosemary
I. 5 thyme