Getting kids to eat their veggies is not always easy. By getting them involved in the growing, caring for, and reaping of the benefits of their work, you may cultivate a life long love of gardening.
Every kid knows what a pizza is, and you would be hard pressed to find one who doesn’t like it. Growing a pizza garden may be just the perfect way to introduce your kids to gardening.
You don’t need a large garden plot to grow your pizza garden. All of the plants you need can easily be grown in containers or a small area.
Basil is an annual plant that grows well in containers and is a great choice for your pizza garden.
Oregano is an herb that can be dried and added to your homemade pizza sauce or fresh on your pizza.
Tomatoes come in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes. They are a perfect choice for the pizza garden. If you lack space, there are a number of compact varieties that can be easily grown in containers.
Add a little color to your pizza by planting a rainbow of bell peppers. Your pizza will look great and taste great too!
Spinach is great on veggie pizza as well as in a salad.
Requirements for your pizza garden
- Good garden soil, either in an existing garden, or a purchased garden soil. (not potting soil)
- Organic all purpose vegetable fertilizer, or compost
- Plants. I prefer plants instead of seeds. Children are impatient, and with plants they can see immediate results. Tomatoes, onions, basil, oregano, spinach and peppers are good choices and all belong on a good pizza. They require the same light requirements, full sun.
- Water. Plants in containers will require extra water. Check daily, they could need watering every day. If you have a small space there are many compact varieties of tomato and pepper that are available for containers, and can be placed on the deck or patio in the sun.
- Mulch to keep weeds at a minimum and conserve water.
- Tomato cage or a way to stake your tomatoes.
- Child friendly garden tools. Tools that match your child’s size encourage participation in planting and maintaining the garden. Include child size gloves, hoe, shovel.
Allow your child to accompany you to the garden store or nursery to pick out their plants. Have an employee talk to your child about varieties, planting, and care of their plants.
After planting, create a garden journal with your child, taking pictures of the plants as they grow, find recipes for pizza dough, sauce etc, and place in the journal. After the harvest, learn how to preserve some of your garden’s bounty for winter use, and lastly take a picture of your child eating that delicious pizza they grew themself.
Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
3 large, very ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 6oz can of tomato paste
dried crushed red pepper flakes to tast
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
chopped fresh herbs to taste (basil, oregano)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, stir in onion, and bell pepper and cook until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes and garlic, and cook until juice begins to thicken. Stir in tomato paste, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in fresh herbs during the last few minutes of cooking.
Makes about 2 cups. Freezes well.
Here’s a few items that you may want to purchase to get started on your pizza garden. As an affiliate of Amazon, I may be compensated for any purchase you make through these links.