Planting onions-part deux

I started planting onions last week, with the help of my son. Today was round two of the onion planting.

On Friday I picked up some onion “starts” from my local seed supply store. They look like very small green onions:

The two varieties I chose this year are:

  • Big Daddy- I’ve done this variety for 3 years now. Huge bulbs, stores pretty well.
  • Dulce Grande- This one is new to me this year. I wanted Copra, but the store didn’t get any this year. I still have at least 30 Copras stored in my garage from last summer that still look and taste fabulous. But I’ll have to settle for Dulce Grande this year. Its a big bulb, and supposed to store somewhat well.

To get started, I take off the rubber band and sort the onions starts by size, so I focus my attention on planting the biggest, sturdiest ones first. The “leftovers” will get planted in a less prime spot, maybe even closer together than they should be. I’m not counting on every single one of the starts in each bundle to give me a huge bulb. That would be way too much for us to eat in a year, even with all the canning we do.

I only had about 30 minutes before dinnertime to get these planted today, so I quickly made rows about 6-8 inches apart with my hoe. Then I laid the onions out on top of the soil along the rows in about 6 inch spacing, and tried to stagger them a bit to give them a little bit more elbow room. (Sorry I didn’t take the time to take a picture at this step.)

Once I had all my rows laid out, I went back and put each start into the ground and covered them up with soil. They are planted about 1-2 inches deep. The seed supply store said that they only need to be deep enough to stand up on their own, but I put them in a smidge deeper than that. They are going to push their way up later no matter how deep I plant them now anyway, because they are going to get HUGE. I had one Bag Daddy onion last year that was the same size as my newborn daughter’s head and weighed in at 1.25 pounds.

The finished onion bed, getting watered by my little helper:

You might have noticed that there is a bare patch in the middle of the left side. I plan to put a summer squash in there later.

Its always difficult for me to decide where to plant my onions, because they are tall and skinny and would be easy to use a filler in little spots here and there around the garden. But I don’t know for sure right now exactly where everything will be planted, so I usually end up taking more room than I need to and planting them in a huge block of rows.

I still have a couple dozen of the Dulce Grande starts that are of decent size, which I will probably toss in the ground tomorrow if I get another spare 30 minutes.

I’m glad I remembered to check on my spinach and lettuce seeds while I was doing the onions today, because they needed some water. I saw a couple little green things pushing their way up out of the soil, but I didn’t have a minute to take a picture for you yet.

My lettuce, spinach, kale and broccoli are ready to go in the ground, and tomorrow hopefully will be the day I can make that happen. They are terribly cramped in their little plastic cells and can’t wait to spread out in some fresh soil.

We are on Spring Break this week, but there are so many things that we want to do as a family that I won’t get to spend as much time in the garden as I would. Hopefully I can get one or two things checked off my garden To Do list, though.


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