Although the soil was a bit wetter than I would have liked, I planted them anyway. I figured it was better than waiting another 10 days. This coming week is supposed to be sunny and very warm with high temperatures hovering about 65-68F. That should dry the soil out nicely.
I went out to the garden early this morning to turn the dirt and let it dry out a bit before planting later in the afternoon. As usual, the morning was beautiful as the sun was just coming up...another beautiful hill country sunrise.
My garden beds are rectangular (9' x 5') and so I plant my onions in rows, spacing each row about 6 inches apart. What I did was create 4-inch deep furrows midway between the rows and spread a band of my favorite, well balanced organic fertilizer, Medina Growin Green Organic Fertilizer, in the bottom of each furrow--about 1 1/2 cups per row--then covered the row with soil. This makes the fertilizer easily accessible to the roots of each plant as they grow. I will continue to fertilize the bulbs every 2-3 weeks.
The care of onion sets is pretty straight forward:
- weed early and often
- don't overwater
- when the tips of the the foliage start to turn yellow, leave off watering. This is a sign that the bulbs are maturing
- Fertilize young plants but stop fertilizing about 5-7 weeks before the expected harvest date
- pull young green onions if you want to use them for scallions
- watch for the plant tops to start to die back--a sure sign the bulbs are enlarging
- store in cold dry place
As an aside, I was a bit upset when I opened up the onions set and discovered how few bulbs there were in this set. I usually order my onion sets from Dixondale Farms in Dimmit County here in South Texas. They are the gurus in onions transplants. However by the time I got around to ordering my sets, Dixondale was sold out. So I bought my transplants from a local nursery and was *very* disappointed in the number of onions in the set. I barely had enough to plant 3 rows! Not happy...but another lesson learned...order onion sets early! I asked my wonderful husband to pick up another bundle of sets while I'm gone and I'll just do a succession planting when I get back...it always works out!
Anyhoow...I'm so excited about being able to plant and harvest my own onions. I grew onions about 3 years ago but I didn't get my sets in the ground early enough the past two years. I was determined to plant onions this year to use in my Texas kitchen garden!