Monday, June 13, 2011

Plant a Pizza Garden

Who says a pizza has to be round?
Do your kids love pizza? My kids love pizza so much that for their 6th birthday we piled into the fabulous Fuel Pizza (a delicious local pizza place) and made pizzas with a tawdry assortment of kindergarten classmates. It was a lot of fun and quite a treat for them to see a "real" pizza kitchen - i.e. not Mom's. Since my daughter has celiac disease (no gluten!) we usually make our own pizza. It's really so easy (click here just to see how easy it is...) and you can top it with just about any fresh veggies you have on hand. Making your own pizza tastes even better when you can put your own home-grown toppings on it!

Container Gardening

This summer we have planted three large raised bed gardens(one for the boys, one for the girls, and the biggest one for mom) and a few container gardens. Raised bed gardens are very easy to maintain and can be tended by adults and children, however, nothing beats the ease of a container garden. Our largest container garden is called "The Pizza Garden" because it contains many essential pizza ingredients. I have picked up large pots for container gardens at quite an assortment of stores - Marshall's, Big Lots, end-of-season sales at local nurseries and garden shops... you don't have to pay a lot of money to find a suitable container. Be creative - do you have something non-traditional you could use? A small boat? A baby pool? A small tub?  
At the "boys' garden" ...

Whether you are new to gardening or are a seasoned pro, container gardens are so easy to plant and very easy to maintain. If you have enough room, each child could even have their own. For our "pizza garden" we planted a cherry tomato plant in the center, a small pepper plant off to one side, and fresh basil, thyme, and oregano, all around the edges. This is the second year that we have grown a pizza garden and, although very few cherry tomatoes actually make it inside because they are usually eaten by the no-wage pickers, we always can put the peppers and herbs to great use.

What you will need to plant your pizza garden: 

1 large pot
Soil suitable for container gardens
1 cherry tomato plant
1 small pepper plant
Assorted herb plants ... basil, oregano, and thyme

In less than an hour, you can have your pot filled with dirt and plants, watered and ready to grow! Have fun! It's definitely not too late to plant some veggies. Go out and give it a try. If you are even more adventurous and are interested in raised bed gardening, check out the Gardening Gals website - a Charlotte, mom-owned business - if you are here in Charlotte, they will install your raised bed garden in no time at all so you can get right to the planting!

For more information on container gardening, check out the links below...

Gardening With Kids: Information on Container Gardens
Charlotte Parent Magazine: Planting a Pizza Garden
Growing Ideas Classroom Projects: Container Gardens With Kids

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