What kid doesn’t love pizza? The gooey cheese, chunky tomato sauce, bits of oregano, parsley and basil all combined and spread onto an oven-baked flat bread. Usually on pizza nights, parents might call their local pizza restaurant and get delivery or grab a DiGiorno pizza from the fridge. But by taking this option it’s not easy to know what’s really in the food you are eating.
There is a safer solution: growing all these ingredients in your garden. For one, you won’t have to worry about pesticides and hidden chemicals in your food. The dangers of ingesting pesticides can cause damage to the nervous system and live in your kids intestines for years.
An easy way to get your kids to start gardening is by creating an organic pizza garden with herbs and veggies that are commonly found on pizza. The most commonly used pizza herbs and veggies are basil, parsley, oregano, onions, tomatoes, and peppers which we will be sticking with. So grab your little one and get ready to get messy!
Before you start growing, it’s important to find the perfect seeds. I recommend using High Mowing Organic seeds, which are 100 % organic.
It’s important to think about what soil you want to use. Stay away from soils enriched with chemicals and to opt for healthy soil and compost. I have found healthy soils and fertilizers from Worm’s Way are a great solution.
Bugs can become a problem with growing an organic garden put you can plant a few flowers that beneficial insects will love– they will help keep the pesky bugs away.
Also, pay attention to the amount of water and sunlight that your seeds will need to grow.
Basil is one of the easier herbs to grow and is relatively low-maintenance. For instructions on how to grow basil visit the link above.
For tomatoes if you can stick with organic Roma tomatoes as they tend to be ripe all at one time. This can be better for kids who tend to be impatient for results. Gardening Know How mentions that these tomatoes are easier to grow because they are resistant to funguses like fusarium and verticillium wilt.
Before planting make sure you leave two feet between each plant to allow them to grow. Make sure buy or make your own tomato cage which are made from chicken wire or concrete reinforcement wire. Prune away any non-flowering stems to help the plant focus its energy on fruit production. Once the Roma tomatoes are 6-12 inches off the ground start staking the tomatoes. Once the tomato is completely red it is ready to be picked.
The next ingredient you need for your garden is parsley, which is great on pizzas as a decorative garnish. It generally take 70 to 90 days for planting and growing parsley to take place so make sure to remind your kids to be patient with this herb. It is recommended that you plant it near a tree so it can receive 6 to 8 hours of full sun and can receive shade during the hottest times of the day. Once the plants reach 4 to 6 inches tall they are ready to be harvested.
Plant oregano in light, well-drained soil. Spacing is very important too, make sure to plant 8 to 10 inches apart. This herb needs to get lots of sunshine as the flavors will intensify when it receives a full day of sun light. Also don’t overwater oregano. Instead water only when the soil is dry to the touch. The good thing about oregano is its tick foliage provides humidity which supports peppers growth, according to The Kitchn. When it reaches eight inches tall, cut back up to 2/3 of the plant as it encourages new growth. Once harvested dehydrating is a good way to preserve oregano which can also be done by hanging up your oregano to dry.
For the last ingredient peppers it’s best to soak your seeds as the peppers will be less stressed allowing them to grow bigger according to On the Green Farms. When the seed is planted, water them with at least an inch of water once a week. Peppers generally need a minimum of 10 hours of light. Try to keep this herb farther from tomatoes as they are prone to the same diseases as peppers.
You can also make your garden look like a pizza by creating a garden in a circular shape and dividing each section into a slice of pizza. If you do this make sure the peppers and tomatoes farther apart. Show off your garden when your friends and family come to visit. Your child will be proud to show off their hard work. Also the attention given to the garden will be the best motivator to keep them continuously involved in gardening.
For additional information on organic food visit