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Garden Review and Planning – Onions

February 19, 2010

onion sprouts

The onion sprouts are doing well. I did a bit of an experiment. It was too early to plant anything else, so I planted some onion seeds from last year, also. Many seeds should remain viable for a couple of years or longer, but onion seeds aren’t supposed to last. Some of them did germinate, but it’s easy to see which variety is fresh. So, I’ll have to save seeds from onion plants or purchase new ones each year. I didn’t plant many last year, and didn’t really pay them much attention, but they did well. They thrived into fall and survived snow and freezes.

A few good reasons to grow them:

  • Onions make good companions for many plants, repelling aphids, weevils, and several other pests, maybe even slugs. They also give roses some protection from black spot and mildew. Though, they inhibit the growth of beans and peas.
  • Onions don’t take up much space in the garden. They can be tucked in here and there as companions. They can be planted densely and the thinnings used as scallions.
  • Onions survived longer than any other veggies in my garden. Erecting a cold frame or tunnel over them could keep them going even longer.

My limitation with onions is how much space I have to start them indoors. They did stay small for quite a while, last year. Though, that may be due to my inexperience starting seeds and lack of proper nutrients. This year, I have vermicompost to make a liquid fertilizer with, and which has been added to the growing medium. Since the onions thrive much later in the season, I might be able to start more when everything else is planted outside and then grow them in a cold frame. When I pulled them up last year, the roots didn’t seem to take up much space. Perhaps they’ll even do well in containers.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2010 11:42 am

    You forgot – they taste delicious, lol!

    • Kate permalink*
      February 19, 2010 12:24 pm

      That’s absolutely true! Everything is better fresh from the garden. 🙂

  2. February 25, 2010 6:33 pm

    I am way too impatient to plant onions by seed… usually do plugs. But good for you! They look great…

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