Sunday, April 8, 2012

Onion Planting & More

This weekend I planted onions. Lots and lots of onions. I started these from seed in early February, and hardened them off over the last week. On Saturday my mom and I got 160 Sweet Spanish Onions planted in less than an hour just minutes before Easter dinner. Today I planted another 48 Yellow of Parma and 48 Redwing. I'm using square foot gardening spacing, which recommends 16 per square foot for onions; all those onions fit in 16 square feet of garden space. I must say, I felt like I was planting a field of grass one blade at a time. I also planted 72 leeks in eight square feet.

I ended up having to till my soil prior to planting, which I didn't want to do. The top was so dry, using a pitchfork was just giving me giant balls of dirt. The tiller made quick work of it, and I (well, Mom) raked three bags of compost and a couple pounds of bone meal into the bed.

While I was planting onions, Aaron put together our two small green houses so they'll be ready to receive plants when I run out of room in the basement.

After Easter dinner I was feeling a little antsy, so I decided to pot up my tomato plants. I have 56 plants in pots now, with plans to use only 25-30 in my garden and hanging planters. Looks like my family and friends will receive tomatoes as gifts this year.

This afternoon I prepared the other half of my early planting bed, and Mom planted six square feet of Carnival Carrots. While she planted carrots, I worked on a second sowing of peas, arugula, lettuce, spinach, and radishes. I need to get more carrots, turnips, beets, and radishes into the early bed. I made some seed mats for carrots tonight (thanks for the idea, Granny!), and hope to get them in the garden sometime this week - next weekend at the latest.

Aaron's hops are coming along wonderfully, and his third-year crowns are spreading along the fence. Once they grow up the twine a bit, I'll be planting zinnias in between the crowns.

In other garden news, the garlic is a smashing success, and the chives my neighbor threw over the back fence last year have come back with gusto. Now I just have to figure out where I'm going to construct my perennial herb bed so I can move them to their final resting place.

And, I had a pleasant surprise this weekend. My rhubarb plant is coming up in the front of the house. I thought for sure I had managed to kill it last year, but it's coming back. I'm not sure I'll be able to harvest anything from it this year (I planted it last year), but at least I know it's there.