2011 – Onions Planted

I planted about 40 yellow onions in between the rains.
I had a few no-shows in the greenhouse so I replaced them with basil and oregano seeds. Since they take 80 to 90 days to fully grow, I may buy a couple of plants for theĀ interim.
Most of the seedlings are 3 to 4 inches tall.
There was frost last night as the low was 34 degrees; almost a record. Dad always told me to plant tomatoes the 15th of May; I’d cheat and plant May 1st…until a few years ago temperatures were well below 32 on May 3rd and 4th. Lesson learned.

2 thoughts to “2011 – Onions Planted”

  1. Hi Doug,

    I stumbled across your website this morning and as a fellow Illinois gardener, I was very excited about the wealth of information that you provide.

    I have a few questions for you – if you have the time.

    1. We are not using any pesticides or chemical fertilizers in our garden. Do you have any advice on insect control? Primarily, I’m seeing a lot of ants.
    2. Currently, we are using compost tea as a fertilizer. Do you know of any other organic fertilizers we can use?
    3. How do you preserve your harvest? We have a large garden (by our standards anyways). It’s about 75 by 90. We’ve planted tomatoes, chili peppers, okra, radishes, carrots, dry beans, green beans, peas, sweet corn, sun flowers, turnips, zucchini, melons, potatoes, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, squash, kholrabi, rutabaga, shallots, and various herbs as well. Do you have any advice on how to preserve all the harvest?

    All of our seeds are heirloom organics, and we will be drying out and storing the seed for next years garden. Any advice would be helpful.

    Thank You,

    Steven Menna

  2. Hi Steve,
    1. We do not use pesticides, either. I’ve seen ants in our gardens but I generally ignore them. If you can find their nest, boiling water works wonders. I’ve seen soap-based spray-ons at the store though I haven’t used them.
    2. We use 10-10-10 fertilizer for most applications because I found organic fertilizers to have too much variance in the contents. It pays to use a quality fertilizer because most of the nutrients get to their target.
    We use compost as an addendum. Compost tea looks interesting but I have no idea how much nitrogen, potash, and phosphate would be in it unless it was sent away to a chem lab.
    3. We use canning (tomatoes, green beans), freezing using freezer bags (zucchini, squash though they are watery), and drying (herbs, chile peppers) to preserve. Onions, shallots, and potatoes are kept in a cellar. I’ll make salsa and chile paste and can those. I have not kept seeds, though that is a good idea.
    Though we grow pumpkin and I make pies and yogurt supplements out of them, canning would make sense. I planted four pumpkin vines this year.

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