Archive for March, 2016

Garlic Flags in the Straw

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016
Garlic in the Straw

Garlic in the Straw

It looks as though about all of the 100 plus cloves I planted last October have sprouted and are showing their flags through the protective straw.

Garlic Flags

Garlic Flags

Garlic flags are a sure sign of spring. I‘m impressed by the strength of the leaves that push up through the wet and still icy straw blanket.

A Late Start For Onions

Monday, March 21st, 2016
Onion Flats

Onion Flats

I finally got my onion seeds into flats, yesterday. I had purposely held off planting because Judy and I were on the road for nearly two weeks. I didn’t want to enlist anyone to look after my newly sprouted seedlings. I normally target late January or early February to plant onion seeds, but I’m pretty sure my late March start will work out fine.

The flats from bottom to top contain: Copra yellow onion – 500 seeds; Red Wing red onion – 500 seeds; Candy – white onion – 250 seeds; Lancelot leek – 250 seeds.

I’ve grown Copra and Red Wing onions and Lancelot leeks before with good success. The Candy onion was recommended to me by Bruce Frazier, of Dixondale Farms, when I questioned him about the best northern variety for big and sweet white onions. The popular Vidalia types don’t do well in northern latitudes.

I planted my seeds into a mix of commercial growing medium blended with a little potting soil and compost, all screened through a ¼” screen.

The soil in the flats is sprayed with water to start the wetting and I’ll cover the tops with cardboard sheets to slow down evaporation. I’ve moved them all to the heat mat and grow light table in the basement.  If all goes well, I’ll have plenty of onions to set out when it warms up outside.

Here are two previous posts that cover my onion starting method in more detail, but I’ve opened up my seed spacing to 1/2″, not the one centimeter indicated in the older post.:

http://blog.cobrahead.com/2015/02/17/starting-onions-indoors/

http://blog.cobrahead.com/2009/02/11/onion-obsession/