You can design your garden for specific purposes, like providing fresh toppings for pizza-and-a-movie night. Garlic, spring onions, peppers, broccoli, spinach, herbs like basil and oregano - even tomatoes for the sauce - are easy to grow and great on pizza. Your kids will love knowing they're eating food they helped grow. It's a great way to get your kids involved in understanding growth cycles of food.
2. Let the Kids Plan the Pizza
Get together with your children and brainstorm all the things they'd like to try on pizza. Schedule so ripening times let you gradually build home-grown ingredients - herbs first, then greens, until the end of summer when you can add tomatoes and peppers to the mix.
3. Prepare the Soil
Kids love to get their hands dirty. Let them break up soil clumps and pick rocks from the garden. When they're done, blend 3 inches of Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers and Vegetables or Miracle-Gro® Organic Choice® Garden Soil into the top 6 inches of your garden bed to boost nutrients levels. Plant seeds according to directions on the packets or containers, leaving room between plants.
First, choose a site that offers full sun. Then put in your plants according to the instructions on the seed packets or plant containers, and be sure to give them some space. Here's a rough idea for how much space to allow for each plant:
Tomato: at least 2 feet; for larger varieties, 2-1/2 feet.
Bell pepper: 12 to 15 inches.
Onions: 4 to 6 inches apart.
Basil & rosemary: 15 to 18 inches.
Thyme & oregano: 10 to 12 inches.
Remember, tomatoes need support - a cage or wooden stakes are two of the most common methods.
5. Water and Feed
In general, tomatoes need more water than the other plants, followed by basil and peppers; rosemary and thyme will need less water. To help your young plants grow vigorously be sure to feed with Miracle-Gro® LiquaFeed® Tomato, Fruits & Vegetables Plant Food every 2 weeks. To reduce the chance of foliar diseases, water in the morning, apply water to the base of tomato plants and avoid getting water on the leaves.
6. Mulch and Prevent Weeds
Set a bounty on weeds and turn the kids loose in the garden. Protect your plant from further weed growth - and help keep your soil moist - by putting down a 3-inch layer of Scotts® Nature Scapes® Advanced Color Enhanced Mulch. It will help keep weeds from popping up and help your garden retain moisture.
The moment you've been waiting for. Pick vegetables and herbs with your kids and encourage them to talk about how good fresh food tastes while you enjoy the meal. Add herbs and spices to for some zing. You can even try making pizza sauce with your own tomatoes.