A child’s existing passions provides one of your best opportunities to get them involved in the garden.  Love to cook?  Plant a pizza garden of tomatoes, green peppers, and basil.

Plant a ‘pizza garden’ this season with your children.  If it engages your kids in the process of nurturing some plants all the way to the dinner table, it serves a valuable purpose.  A pizza garden will feature a large tomato plant that bears early season, mid-sized tomato fruit in a large pot.


The half barrel is a great choice for growing tomatoes.  It is wide and deep enough to support a good healthy tomato plant.  Tomatoes are heavy feeders and require a generous quantity of nutrient-rich soil.

Drainage is extremely important when growing tomatoes in a container.  Drill 7 or 8, half inch holes in the bottom of the barrel to ensure good drainage.  Cover the drainage holes with large pieces of broken clay pot.  Fill the container with a 50/50 mixture of BIOMAX™ compost and PRO-MIX® Organic Vegetable & Herb Mix and begin planting.


In a separate pot, grow basil: the basic ingredient for any great pizza.  This annual herb is difficult to grow from seed so I recommend buying young plants in the spring.  Basil loves a sunny location.  It is fussy about the amount of water it receives.  The soil should be well-drained.  I use PRO-MIX® Organic Vegetable & Herb Mix in a container with adequate drainage holes.  Harvest the young leaves from the top of the plant to encourage new growth.

You could take the idea further and plant some green peppers.  There just can’t be too much sun for pepper plants.  They like about eight hours of full sun a day and lots of heat.   Peppers like warm, loose, well-drained soil.  Sow seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost.  Transplant outdoors once all danger of frost has past. Consistent, generous watering is important for good growth.

The ‘pizza’ garden is a neat idea even if it gets us thinking about traditional garden variety food plants in a new context.


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