I think we can safely say that Spring is here. It is still muddy outside and some days are still on the cool side, but the trees are starting to wake up and grow new leaves and everything is blooming. It was a long Winter so I am more than happy for a change.
In the past week I’ve planted just about everything. It is the perfect weather (50F-70F) for cool season vegetables, but this year I am also trying to start Summer vegetables early in one of my hoop houses that I built over the raised beds to protect the Fall crops for Winter harvest. It’s basically like a small green house. I know that the temperature in there is high enough for the plants to grow, however I am not sure the soil is warm enough for the seeds to germinate. So this is just an experiment, we’ll see how it works.
Anyway, one of the things I am trying to grow again this year are onions. I say “trying” because it didn’t work so well last year. I direct seeded in the beginning of April and at the end of the season I ended up with onion sets like the one in the picture above instead of a nice, big yellow onion. I am guessing that the reason was my soil. Onions love loose, well-drained, rich soil. My soil was none of the above since I just purchased it and got a truck full of fill dirt instead of the top quality soil I paid for. I mixed it with compost but I believe it just wasn’t enough.
So I kept the sets in my house all Winter in a dark, cool and dry cabinet and waited for Spring to sow them. I did some research and found out that some recommend planting onions in the Fall and let them overwinter in the garden (in NC zone 7B) just like we do with garlic.
Here is my garlic. It was planted in the middle of November and was uncovered all Winter. It really started growing fast a few weeks ago when the weather warmed a bit. Maybe this Fall I will try to do the same with onions.
How to Plant Onion Sets:
Here they are all planted. The soil was still moist from a rainy day we had a couple of days before I planted so I didn’t water them after I planted. It has been only a couple of days and they already started growing and now have green tops. They should take about 90 days to reach maturity.
I am hoping they will do well this year. I use a lot of onions in my cooking. My small garden won’t be able to supply all I need but even just some of it will be great.
Do you grow onions? Do you start from seed or do you plant sets? Are you planting in Spring or Fall?