Onions In

Last week I prepared the bed for onions, but the weather this week was difficult: cool and windy. There were even snow showers yesterday. Today was the first sunny warm day this week. Of course it was the one day I had to be at work. Tomorrow its supposed to rain. So when I got home, I headed out to the garden. (Thanks to my wonderful husband who made dinner).

Last year I had trouble mulching around the onions. I let it go to long and then it was hard to do and I think I knocked the tops over some of them. So this year I decided I’d try mulching the bed first and planting the onions into the mulch. This sounded like a good idea. So I covered the bed with straw.

Then I proceeded to plant my onions. It would have helped if I had remembered to rake the bed a little more flat before I spread the straw out. It also would have been easier if I was planting solid onion sets. But I started my onions from seed this year. Here are the leeks on the left and Varsity Yellow onions in the middle.

It was hard to drag my lines into the domed bed through the straw. I ended up clearing the three grooves where I was planting the onions and then sprinkling the straw back around. The onion seedlings had to be pushed in with one finger. However, I worried that if I cover them too much with the straw they won’t get light to grow and take off. So some of the straw is pushed down into the paths to be added back later.

I can’t tell you how many onions I planted. I really don’t know. I seeded one pot of green onions and planted one short row of those. I seeded two pots of Red Marble onions and planted about one third of the bed with those. I was aiming for 100 red onions. I seeded two pots of leeks, maybe about 40 of those. And I wanted more than 300 Varisty Yellow Storage onions, so I heavily seeded 6 pots. These did not germinate as well as the Red Marble, so I think I probably got closer to 200. The largest section of the bed is planted with these.

Here’s my finished bed. Can’t you see that I planted it full of onions and leeks? You can’t?

You’ll have to look closer.

Here’s to hoping this brainwave about mulching beforehand is a success and not a failure. Right now it gets so-so marks for the ease of planting, even though it’s not a fair comparison to last year since I planted onion sets. Only time will tell the outcome.

This entry was posted in Garden, leeks, onions, planting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Onions In

  1. Robin says:

    That is a tedious job planting that many tiny onion seedlings. I have never mulched my onions. Is it supposed to be helpful? Maybe I should mulch mine.

  2. Marcia says:

    It’s a good thing that the sun is staying up later so it was light to take on that project. I’m not sure why you’re mulching the onions. What is that supposed to do for them?

  3. GrafixMuse says:

    I am sure the onions and leeks will find their way out of the straw easily. I planted some onion seedlings this week and mulched them with pine straw. It is such a tedious process that I have broken it up into several days. The mulch should help keep down the weeds and conserve moisture though. So it will be worth it.

  4. Emily says:

    Robin & Marcia,

    I mulched the onions to prevent weeds and keep in moisture. Its difficult to keep a 25 foot bed of onions weeded.

    GrafixMuse, I’m glad to hear you think they’ll find their way out of the mulch.

    Today’s showers ended up being snow showers, not rain for most of the morning. But thankfully, it wasn’t cool enough for it to accumulate.

  5. Daphne says:

    I haven’t mulched my onions at all and I should. For some reason mine are struggling since I transplanted them. I haven’t any idea why. I might just have to go out and give them some liquid fertilizer to perk them up.

  6. I feel your pain — to me, onions and leeks started from seed are so difficult to get into the ground …I struggle with them every year and yet, they are two vegs I want most of all!

  7. John says:

    Hey Emily. Looks great! I am about to go through this same process on 8 6’x60′ beds. I wanted to do some research first. Wish me luck?

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