okay dad, this one’s for you!
Last year, we bought a new house with a great yard (albeit minimal direct sunlight on any given patch), and I didn’t want to commit to an in-ground garden, so I tried a container garden. It was total crap. I got like four tomatoes, and the little urchin-furry-nuisance-rabies-carrying-public-health-disaster-rodent squirrel community got the rest. Which was still only three or four.
The problem was not enough sunlight. My tomatoes were all leggy and then they sagged under their own weight and the tomato stakes weren’t doing much to help, and all of my dreams of thrusting a giant four pound tomato up over my head in a paroxysm of triumphant glee went right down the compost pile.
The moral of the story is that tomatoes actually really do need about 6-8 hours of sunlight. They’re not joshing ya. If you only get four hours, you’ll get a tomato. It’ll just be sad, and not big, and it will be the ONLY ONE. It’ll be a massive waste of time and a lesson in extreme disappointment.
So. I fretted about this problem all winter long. The whole reason I wanted to put the garden in the backyard is because it’s sort of a little bit kind of trashy to put a vegetable garden in the front yard, and let’s face it, I don’t want to bend over in my front yard if I don’t have to. Nobody wants that. Nobody. At least, nobody whose not creepy. People put expensive fences up for a reason.
But the only place that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight is the very front part of my front yard. So. Option A – trashy front yard garden. Option B- Buy expensive organic produce from Whole Foods all summer long (drool). Both me and Evan are cheap, and really, who am I kidding, there was no contest. We’re doing it. Trashin’ it up. Heck yeah. Theres a reason we live in Durham and not Chapel Hill.
So. We’re making it bigger and better this year. 10 by 4. That’s forty square feet of raised bed delight. Here’s a picture of my little seeds starting in an old turkey roasting pan. Soon, they will transform into tasty nubbins that will go into my belly. yummy.