It’s been a long time since I have had a guest post here on Creative K Kids.
Rachel Elizabeth who writes for WikiLawns asked if she could write a post for me. Since I am mainly doing recipe posts, thoughtful (inspirational) posts, and a Pinterest party, I asked if she could do a post I could use on Tasty Tuesdays.
Although this is not a recipe, it is a very useful post if you would like to grow your own herbs for your recipes. I haven’t grown my herbs, and this was a very informative post for me to read.
I also like how there is advice for growing indoor and outdoor herb gardens. If you live in a cold climate, you can still have herbs all winter. For myself, I might want to have an indoor herb garden during our summer as we are above 90 degrees every day.
If you would like to submit a recipe guest post (non-alcoholic) or a kid’s craft guest post, you can fill out this form for my consideration. Thank you.
Homemade pizza is a special treat. Nutritious herbs are not only healthy but they’re also tasty. If you’re looking for a fun and creative project to do with kids, growing fresh herbs to enhance homemade pizza is the perfect way to taste your hard work.
When it comes to pizza, we all have own favorite ingredients. But when you grow the herbs yourself with the help of children and grandchildren, it’s even better! Grow these herbs in your garden, or right in your kitchen, then try them on pizza.
Pizza Herbs to Grow
- Basil: You can begin to harvest this herb when it reaches a height of 6 inches. Place leaves on top of your homemade pizza or mince them and then sprinkle on top. Mix the basil with mozzarella and tomatoes for a special kick.
- Chives: Chives are perennials, so it’s the herb that keeps on giving. It adds some zing to your pizza, but it’s not as strong as bulb onions and scallions. Cut chive plants about a half-inch from the soil and store them in the freezer. Chop finely. Add chives to pizza, butter, oils, baked potatoes, and salad dressings.
- Oregano: What’s a pizza without oregano? Harvest the plants when they reach 4-6 inches tall. Store oregano leaves in plastic bags and place them in the freezer. You can also put them in airtight containers.
- Parsley: Harvest parsley when the leaves begin to curl; early morning is best. Parsley tastes good when it’s fresh, but you can freeze it until you’re ready to use it. Drying parsley is not a good idea because the herb will lose some of its flavor.
- Sage: A perennial plant, you can harvest sage all year long. Drape bunches of this herb upside down to dry and then remove the leaves. Mince sage leaves and sprinkle them on top of pizza or mix them in the sauce.
- Thyme: Another perennial plant, thyme grows best in well-drained soil and lots of sunshine. Mince the leaves and add it to pizza, pasta, omelets, fish, poultry, soups, and vegetables.
Location and Space
Herbs are easy to grow, as long as you have sunshine, well-draining soil, water, and some fertilizer or natural compost. You can grow herbs in pots or containers, but plant roots need to spread, so it’s best to have a dedicated space.
The pizza-perfect herb garden starts with the right location. Depending on the climate where you live, you’ll need to plant the herbs in an area that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. Hot summers — where temperatures climb above 90 degrees for several days in a row — can be a problem, so shade trees nearby are a plus.
When planning an outdoor herb garden, you’ll want to know how much space each type of plant needs to grow to its full potential. For example, parsley, dill, cilantro, and chives need a square foot of space. Basils, tarragon, sage, and thyme plants should be set 2 feet apart. Oregano, marjoram, sage, rosemary, and mint need 3 to 4 feet of space between them.
Container Gardening for Herbs
If you prefer to grow an herb garden in your kitchen, choose a south-facing window for direct sunlight; you’ll need at least 6 to 8 hours of it per day. If there aren’t any windowsills in your kitchen, you can buy suction cup shelves at your local home improvement store. You’ll also need potting soil, plant fertilizer, and a watering can. One thing to keep in mind: Herbs often need to be cut back or transplanted because they can outgrow their pots. Basil, for example, can grow to more than 2 ½ feet high.
Herbs need watering as soon as the soil is dry to the touch. That means you have to monitor these plants carefully, especially in hot weather. Overwatering plants will drown and rot the roots. This is a chore your children can handle. Teach them how to feel the soil to see if it’s dry.
Cut off about a third of the branches when the plant reaches at least 6 inches tall. Snip branches close to a leaf intersection so that perennials can regrow. Some herbs — parsley, for instance — grow new foliage from their centers. When this happens, the older branches must be removed so that the newer, tiny ones can emerge.
Want to grow more ingredients for your homemade pizza? Try your hand at peppers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and if you’re in the right climate for olives, they add a special tang to the mix. You can even grow strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries for a dessert pizza. Chocolate chips, however, are a little more complicated.
Guest author: Darcy Phillips is a gardener extraordinaire who loves cooking with her freshly picked produce. She’s also cultivating the next generation of gardeners by teaching her six grandchildren the basics of gardening.
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