Container Gardening in Your Christopher Todd Backyard

+ A Recipe to Showcase Your Veggies!

March is National Nutrition Month which reminds us to eat our fruits and veggies, along with lean proteins and healthy carbs.

Lucky for us, our communities are built in areas with abundant sunshine where we can grow many of our veggies and herbs to use for healthy cooking. At Christopher Todd Communities, each of our homes offers a private backyard, perfect for container gardening. So, here are a few tips to utilize that yard and be the envy of your friends and neighbors.

Eat the rainbow! And I do not mean Skittles! Eat the kind of rainbow you can grow yourself.

Tomatoes. peppers, onions, squash, lettuce, kale, strawberries, and herbs can all do well in various containers, even in Arizona heat. You will need water and fertilizer to ensure proper growth but think of all the time and money you will save at the grocery store. Please consult with your local plant nursery to ensure you get expert advice, but here are some things that hopefully will help make this fun for you.

Be creative! Look around your home – or your parent’s/grandparent’s homes – and upcycle. Utilize a variety of vessels but do pay attention to the material. For example, metal or tin containers will get very hot in the summer which could scorch tender plants. Also know whether the pot contains lead – something you defiantly do not want. Be sure this container has a drainage hole in the bottom, or the roots will rot. You can drill it or use a hammer and nail to punch holes to create the flow. Make sure the container is large enough to support a mature root system and provide enough surface space for your veggies.

How to Water without a hose or drip system
Of course a watering can is easy, but what if you are away from home for several days and you do not have your containers on a drip system? One of my friends actually has a “plant lady” who comes to her home to water weekly. Assuming you do not have one of those you can utilize this recycling idea. Reuse a glass bottle – maybe from your sparkling water – and fill it with water. Cover the opening with your thumb, turn upside down and place into your container at a bit of an angle so that the mouth of the bottle is near the plant’s roots. The water weight distribution will keep the water from spilling out all at once and the plant will drink the water as the soil dries out.

Watch the Sunlight
Stage your containers in your yard based on what the plants need in terms of sunlight. Arizona sun can be intense in the summer so you may need to move the container to get morning sun only or position them under your tree for periodic shade.

Share the Abundance
Once your bounty has grown, invite your neighbors over for dinner. Few recipes shout springtime more than Pasta Primavera! Afterall, the word “primavera” is Italian for spring. Here is a recipe from one of my favorite Italian-born chefs from the Food Network, Giada De Laurentis, who, by the way, is opening a restaurant in Scottsdale in the new Caesars Republic hotel, called Luna by Giada.

Written By

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Martha Moyer Wagoner

Martha Moyer Wagoner is our Director of Public Relations, focusing on media relations while also fostering industry education and community goodwill. Martha loves to escape to her mountain cabin where she does her best to avoid bears.