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.