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A Kid’s Pizza Herb Garden – Growing A Pizza Garden

A Kid’s Pizza Herb Garden – Growing A Pizza Garden


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By: Heather Rhoades

Kids love pizza and an easy way to get them to love gardening is by growing a pizza garden. It is a garden where herbs and vegetables commonly found on pizza are grown. Let’s look at how to grow pizza herbs in the garden with your kids.

How to Grow Pizza Herbs & Vegetables

A pizza herb garden typically has six plants in it. These are:

  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers

All of these plants are easy and fun for kids to grow. Of course, you can add additional plants to your pizza herb garden that may go into making a pizza, such as wheat, garlic and rosemary. Be aware, these plants may be more difficult for a child to grow and could cause them to become frustrated with the project.

Remember, even though these are easy plants to grow, children will still need your help growing a pizza garden. You will need to remind them when to water and help them with weeding.

Layout of a Pizza Herb Garden

Planting all of these plants together in one plot is fine, but for some extra fun, consider growing a pizza garden in the shape of a pizza.

The bed should be a round shape, with a “slice” for each kind of plant. If you follow the list above, there would be six “slices” or sections in your pizza herb garden.

Also be aware that plants in a pizza herb garden will need at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to grow well. Less than this, and the plants may be stunted or produce poorly.

With pizza herbs, growing them with children is a great way to interest the children in the world of gardening. Nothing makes a project more fun than when you get to eat the end result.

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Read more about Children's Gardens


Growing A Pizza Garden: Grow A Kid's Pizza Herb Garden - garden

Kids love pizza and an easy way to get them to love gardening is by growing a pizza garden. Everyone likes a party, what about having a Pizza Planting Party? Everyone will enjoy growing a pizza garden and it’s a great way to get children outdoors and motivated to plant and eat vegetables. A pizza garden can be any size or shape, but a round garden shaped like a pizza is the most fun. And by using a round shape, each “slice” can be used for one type of “ingredient.”

First, choose a site that offers full sun where you will mark out a circle to be the “pizza”. Most pizza plants are sun-lovers and need 6-8 hours of sunlight. No matter how large your garden space, make sure to loosen your soil and amend it with well-rotted manure or compost and a balanced organic fertilizer. To create the pizza, tie a string to a stick for a 6′-wide pizza garden, cut a string so that it’s 3′ long. (For an 8′-wide pizza garden, cut a string so that it’s 4′ long.) Attach the string to a stake in the ground where the middle of the pizza will be. Keeping the string tight, walk around in a circle and mark the ground to show the garden’s border. No matter how large your garden space, make sure to loosen your soil to at least a foot in depth, and amend it with well-rotted manure or compost, and a balanced organic fertilizer. The edge of the pizza garden can be marked with rocks placed around the perimeter, and the pizza garden can be divided into “slices” by the addition of more rocks or markers. Divide the circle into six equal wedges.

To make it even more interesting, use your imagination to plant something that looks like cheese and pepperoni. For example, round terracotta saucers can be used to look like pepperoni or straw can be scattered as mulch to look like shredded mozzarella.

It is easiest if you grow three vegetables and three herbs in your pizza garden. You can plant seeds following instructions on the seed packets or set in plants that are already started. Be sure to give them space.

HERBS

Oregano
In one wedge plant 2 or 3 oregano plants. Oregano is a perennial herb that gives pizza the characteristic taste and wonderful smell. Each oregano plant needs 10 to 12 inches of space.

Parsley
Parsley is a biennial herb that reseeds itself. Plant 2 or 3 plants in its wedge.

Basil
Basil is an annual herb. Plant 2 to 3 plants in its wedge. There are several varieties of basil. Sweet basil is a good choice for a pizza garden. Basil likes to be spaced 15 to 18 inches apart.

VEGETABLES

Onions
Onions can be planted from seeds or sets. Select red, white or yellow for your garden. You can plant up to 30 onion sets in one wedge keeping them 4-5 inches apart.

Bell Peppers
Plant 1 or 2 pepper plants in your garden. Green bell peppers are the most common, but you can plant any color sweet, bell type of pepper. The also come in yellow, orange and red. If you like hot, spicy pizza, you can grow a hot variety of pepper. Space bell peppers 12 to 15 inches apart.

Tomato
The last wedge of the pizza garden should be planted with one tomato plant. A paste tomato variety, such as Roma, is recommended. Roma has small, oblong tomatoes with a thick meaty flesh. San Marzano is another good choice for a pizza garden. Tomatoes need at least 2 feet of space larger varieties need 2-1/2 feet. It’s very easy to make your own sauce by sautéing freshly peeled tomatoes, seeded and mashed with fresh oregano, garlic and a little olive oil.

WATERING

Tomatoes need more water than the other plants. Next in need of water are the basil and peppers Onions need the least water.


You'll need good garden soil! You can use a garden plot in the yard (try a round design with each section marked off like pizza slice triangles). Don't worry if you don't have a yard – these all work great in containers! We plant tomatoes in a raised container on our side porch and keep our herbs in a little planter bin on the kitchen windowsill.

Seeds! We prefer growing from seeds so the kids can really follow the entire process. True Leaf Market has all the seeds you'll need for a pizza garden.

When growing from seeds, you'll likely want to start them inside – try this True Leaf Market Seed Starting Set.

All plants need water! Make sure you check daily – this is a great job for the kids!

Your tomatoes will need cages or a way to stake them.

Grab some kid-friendly gardening tools. When the kids have tools that are their size, they'll want to use them!


Ideas for Growing a Pizza Garden

If you’re interested in growing a vegetable garden but have limited time or space, a theme garden might be a perfect solution. A theme garden is a simplified garden where you grow vegetables and/or herbs related to a particular theme. You can grow your garden in a small garden patch, a raised bed, or even in containers on your patio.

One of my favorite ideas for a theme garden is a pizza garden. And while this is a fun project to share with kids, it’s really a fun project for anyone. You get to grow a little of your own food, while also getting creative and reaping the health benefits of fresh air and sunshine.

Here are some tips and ideas for getting started with your pizza garden:

Where to Plant

If you have a yard, the simplest way to grow your pizza garden is to choose a sunny part of the yard and create a vegetable patch in the ground. If digging up the yard isn’t your thing, another way to plant your garden is in one or two raised beds. And while raised beds cost a little bit of money up front to build or to buy, they are a good option if you are looking to keep weeding to a minimum and your yard tidy. If you want to build your own raised bed garden, check out these plans by Ana White, or this collection of plans by Morning Chores:

And if you don’t have a yard, or prefer to plant your garden on a porch or patio, you’ll need to purchase or build some large planters or other containers that are suitable for your space. When planting in the ground, add in some good-quality compost. For raised beds and containers, you will want to use a good quality potting mix for soil.

When to Plant

To determine the best time to sow your seeds indoors, or when to plant seedlings outside in your garden, you’ll need to figure out your hardiness zone and the first and last frost dates for your area. I use this garden planning tool to determine all of my planting dates, but you could also set up a worksheet like this one by Preparedness Mama to calculate your planting schedule.

What to Plant

If you want to grow tomatoes for making pizza sauce, paste tomatoes (also called plum tomatoes) are a good option. They have more flesh and fewer seeds and juice, so they cook down easily into a rich sauce. My favorite varieties are Amish Paste Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, and San Marzano Tomatoes.

If you want tomatoes to top your pizza, a cherry or grape tomato variety is a good choice. They can be used fresh on your pizza, but are also delicious when they are roasted or oven-dried.

Keep in mind that tomato plants can get very large, so you will want to support them will a with stakes or a sturdy cage. If you are limited to growing your tomatoes in a container, stick with the smaller bush or determinate tomato varieties.

Fresh Herbs

You can read more here about why I love growing herbs. They are low maintenance, easy-to-grow, and beautiful. They are also perfect for growing in a container on a patio or on a sunny windowsill. Grow whatever herbs you like for your pizza. Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Parsley, and Rosemary are my favorites.

Peppers are delicious as a pizza topping and also are easy to grow. If you enjoy peppers, you may want to include a few plants in your garden. Good choices are bell peppers and sweet or hot banana peppers. Other good options are Italian pepper varieties like Jimmy Nardello, Marconi, and pepperoncini. If you include peppers in your pizza garden, be sure to keep them in a spot where the soil is warm because pepper plants thrive in the heat.

Mushrooms aren’t essential to a pizza garden but can be an interesting addition to it. And although mushrooms don’t often come to mind when thinking about growing vegetables, it is actually something that can be done at home. Around here, we grow our mushrooms on a log in our yard, but the easiest way to start is with a kit. Oyster mushrooms are one of the easiest to grow and make a very good pizza topping. And while mushrooms aren’t always easy to grow successfully, it makes for a fun and educational activity.

Garlic and Onions

Like mushrooms, garlic and onions aren’t a necessary part of a pizza garden, but they do make a nice addition to it. And while growing onions or garlic is not as challenging growing as mushrooms, it’s not quite as straightforward as growing tomatoes or peppers.

Onions can be grown from seeds or onion sets (small bulbs). Onions form bulbs in response to the length of daylight hours, and so are classified as long-day and short-day types. Long-day varieties are better for more northerly climates (zone 6 and below) which have relatively long summer days. Short-day varieties are more suited for southern climates where the hours of summer daylight don’t differ much from winter day length. Plant onions in the spring or fall, depending on your location and the variety. Harvest mature onions in the late summer/early fall, or harvest earlier as spring onions or scallions.

To grow garlic, you will need to plan ahead because, in most areas of the United States, garlic is planted in the fall. Choose a hardneck variety if you live in an area with cold winters or a softneck variety if you have more mild winters. Garlic is grown from the individual cloves from a bulb of garlic, but I suggest not using supermarket garlic for planting because there is no way of knowing if it will be a suitable variety for your area.

To find out more about when to plant onions or garlic, and which varieties grow best in your area, contact your local county extension office.

If you plant a pizza garden, I want to hear all about it! Do you have any tips to share? Let me know about your garden adventures in the comments below.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase.*


Step 5: Water Your Pizza Garden

Water the Plants

Water the plants and check back frequently to make sure that the plants receive adequate moisture.

Water the plants and check back frequently to make sure that the plants receive adequate moisture. Tomatoes need more water than the other plants, followed by basil and peppers rosemary and thyme will need less water. To reduce the chance of foliar diseases, water the base of tomato plants and avoid getting water on the leaves, especially if you're watering in the evening.


Herb-Themed Gardens

There is nothing more rewarding than creating your own herb garden. Herbs have many uses—from culinary to medicinal—and are surprisingly easy to care for. At SummerWinds Nursery, our experts can show you how to grow herbs in your own yard or home. Selecting which herbs to plant can be overwhelming. One way to alleviate this is to create a theme-based herb garden. If you like to cook try growing basil or growing garlic in a culinary or kitchen themed herb garden. You can also try growing rosemary in a Mediterranean themed garden or growing parsley in an herb garden to attract beneficial insects.

When selecting a theme for your herb garden, think about your daily life. What are your favorite foods or activities? Are you passionate about cooking? Then maybe growing basil or growing garlic in a culinary themed garden
is right for you. If you like meditation and serene settings, perhaps growing more fragrant and flowering herbs such as lavender, sage and thyme would be best for you. Whatever your passion, the experts at SummerWinds Nursery can teach you how to grow herbs that will fit your lifestyle.

Some of the most popular themes for an herb garden are:

Medicinal

If you love using plants and other natural remedies, then a medicinal herb garden is for you! Plants such as aloe vera, horehound and purple coneflower are popular choices.

Culinary

Whatever your culinary taste, there's an herb garden to compliment your kitchen. For a pizza lover, try growing garlic or growing basil. If you love to grill, try growing rosemary, dill or thyme. If you love the spicy flavors of the southwest try adding chili peppers to your herb garden.

Wildlife

If you appreciate the beauty of nature and want to encourage wildlife in your yard, planting herbs such as yarrow, desert-willow or bee-balm will attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

Aromatherapeutic

Tea

For more information on selecting herbs or how to grow herbs in your garden, stop by your local SummerWinds Nursery today and let our Trusted Garden Advisors help you design an herb garden to suit your needs.

We pride ourselves on the having the highest quality plants and most knowledgeable staff.

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Additional Resources:

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  • Companion Planting
  • Pest & Weed Controls
  • Container Gardening
  • Raised Garden Beds
  • Cool Season Vegetables
  • Soils, Amendments & Fertilizers
  • Grow Your Own Tasty Garden
  • Tomatoes
  • Herbs
  • Warm Season Vegetables
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Watch the video: Making Pizza with Fresh Herbs from my Garden!


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