Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bridging the Gap

2009 was a banner year for The Corner Yard.

2009 was the first year for The Corner Yard, so I don't suppose I should be surprised having nothing to compare it to. We did have that small container garden that didn't produce a single cucumber or zucchini and the handful of little yellow pear tomatoes can't hold a candle to what we grew this year. Ok, so we went from six pots to 204 sqft. Hold the *duh* factor. I'm giddy and I'll spin the tale as I like, so...2009 was a banner year for The Corner Yard. ;)

I harvested 136 lbs. Which, honestly, from 204 sqft isn't a lot, but I didn't add the other corner yard or the side yards until well into the summer growing season and everything I planted in the other corner yard failed, so I can only imagine next year will be better.

Here is the last harvest from the 2009 garden...harvested in 2010.

I pulled all of the remaining broccoli regardless of how it looked since it didn't seem to be growing anymore, and after the week of 20 and below temperatures, I figured I was lucky it looked as good as it did. We'll be enjoying them tonight!

The only things left in that garden are the onions, garlic and the rosemary bush that keeps hanging on. Even though I counted this broccoli in with the 2009 harvests, I'm thinking of counting the garlic and onions in with 2010 since they were planted with the intent to harvest in 2010.

In other good news, I came home today to find two seed packs from Dan at Urban Veggie Garden Blog. He sent along two varieties of tomato seeds, one Black Cherry and the other Cherokee Purple.
I've never tried to start tomatoes from seed before. I'm excited to give it a shot, but nervous as well. We don't have a single window with a northern or southern exposure, and the windows that get eastern exposure are shielded with a porch awning and the western light is blocked by the woods out back. The basement light set up is too cold to support tomato seeds, but I'm thinking I may be able to smooth talk one of the teachers with a window in my school or my neighbor into renting me space on a ledge in exchange for seedlings. I really, really have my fingers crossed that I can get these to work.
Thank you, Dan!! You've helped to sustain my neurosis until planting time.

The morning comes early. Sweet seed starting dreams!


  1. The broccoli look great. I could really go for some right now! I think your harvest for 2009 was really good. That is about what I harvested from my 167 sqf. I wish it was more but with blight and cool weather that's all I got.

    Good luck with the tomato seedlings, I am sure they will grow well. Just start them 4-6 weeks before your outdoor planting time and don't over water.

  2. Ribbit, my best seedlings were grown in an old picnic cooler, with an 18" single fluorescent light suspended from the top by two shoestrings. I propped the lid open slightly for air circulation, and kept the light on 14-16 hours a day. I have another idea for you, but I don't know where I got it so I can't give the source, I'll email you the directions in a PDF file.

  3. I'm up for the challenge, Dan! Thanks. I wouldn't have had the guts to buy my own seeds. Thank you.

    Sweet, Granny!

  4. Your first year for the "Corner Yard"??? You did fantastic! Congrats on those saved seed tomatoes, it's like gold from a friend! Remember, those cheap shop lights from a big box store work well, no need for expensive grow lights! How close they are is key, as things in a windowsill can get leggy sometimes. Sounds like fun, you will be addicted in no time. I was so glad to put away all my seed starting mess last year and was sick of it, but doncha know I have forgotten all about it and am looking forward to it again!

  5. The broccoli looks amazing! I'm sure 2010 will be an even more productive year for you. I got started late in the game in 2009 as well.

    My seeds from Dan arrived as well. I'm so excited to grow his fennel. They looked so great last fall.

    I predict that a year from now, you will have a full on shelf in your kitchen with grow lights and seedlings.

  6. Yup, Erin. First year. I had some containers the summer before last, but they were laughable. Not a single cucumber or squash and only one half size zucchini. My goal was to grow one cucumber this past summer. I did it!

    Dan's a very considerate man. The community couldn't be what it is without people like him.

  7. That's great looking broccoli. Oh, Cherokee Purple is a treat! Enjoy starting your own -- I like that part a lot. Time to start planning next year's garden!

  8. How awesome that Dan sent those to you. That broccoli is enviable. I wish my broccoli turned out that well. I tried unsuccessfully three times to grow it. FIrst time it dried out in the summer sun on my porch because I neglected to check it one day. The second time I tried it again inside my sunroom and...again..neglect. Then I tried to just plant it straight in the ground this fall and it didn't even come up! Here's looking toward 2010 for brassica success!

  9. Km, It's worth the hassle of planting it out over and over again. We're in the exact same area and it can be done. Try some transplants from the store in mid-late February!

    Stefaneener...I'm suited up and ready for the challenge. Got my Rocky theme song playing in the background.

  10. Ribbit try soil blocks and an upside down plastic shoe box for a humidity chamber. Try it once and you will be hooked. John

  11. Will do, John! I haven't had much luck getting the ones I started the other day to sprout. I'll give them a while longer, scrap it and try again.

    Actually, I wonder if I put what I have now in a humidity chamber if it would work as well.....

  12. Ha! I was just about to email you, and see if you wanted a few of my Black Cherry seeds. I remembered you wanted to try some. Oh well....

  13. Hey! Not dead, just busy with life and crafting. =)
    I've been thinking about you and how cold it's been down there. What crazy weather. Good to see it's not damping your spirits in any way.

    Your broccoli looks lovely and tomatoes are pretty easy to grow from seed. I bought store tomatoes today... a part of me dreads eating them because I know what a REAL tomato tastes like! lol... well, it's winter and I'm ready for some beautiful garden vegg already. ::sigh:: Is it spring yet?!

  14. JJ! Store tomatoes!? Say it isn't so.

    I think the cold weather has broken. We were up to the 50's today and everyone was outside. It was beautiful.

  15. I was weak! I want a tomato on my burger. What can say? I hope I don't gag on it. lol

    PS: Yay for warmer weather!

  16. I am the lucky recipient of some Cherokee Purple Tomatoes from Dan as well - really looking forward to growing them out this year.

    You did magnificently with your garden - good production per square foot by any measure. You should be right proud of yourself. And that broccoli is beautiful. Well done Ribbit!