Is this the start of something wonderful?

It is always questionable as to when to start the growing season.  But today is as good a time as any.  Today is the shortest day and the thing to do on the shortest day is to plant onions.   I know it is an old wives’ tale to be taken with a grain of salt as the planting window is wide open from April to August.  But I like the tradition of it, so why not?!

Onion seedlings
After starting out in the greenhouse the onion seedlings had been hardened off outside. It would seem I have way more than I need so I may need to find them some good homes.
Weed free bed
I started with a weed free bed, that had a mustard cover crop that was chopped, dropped and buried with compost and a scattering of blood and bone and some marvelous Dynamic Lifter, long enough ago that it had all rotted down nicely so was a rich soil to grow a hungry crop for the 6 months it will be in there for.

So, the new growing season starts today with the first crop of the new season going in.  Having said that, the garlic went in in April, to get a jump on the rust, but that that doesn’t count because I was planting other autumn crops then, and technically they are part of last season, well in my mind anyway.

Tomato seedling
The onions are in the old tomato bed and the weather is so mild this winter, there was a hopeful tomato seedling growing among the few weeds I needed to pull out to prepare the bed.
String lines
I’m not a perfectionist in the garden but with a long 5m bed it is good to use string lines or it can get quite wobbly!

I love the new season start.  It is full of hope.  Hope this will be the spring without the stormy conditions, the one without the high humidity in the summer, the one where the pests and diseases stay away.  The one with the most abundant harvest of perfect crops.   There is always hope this will be that magical season where everything lines up perfectly.

Laying out the onion seedlings
The seedlings had already been transplanted once before from the seed raising mix into a potting mix so they could continue to grow strong without checking their growth. I took the opportunity to pot 7 of them into each pot as that is how many I can plant in a 1m row. This makes them so much easier to plant out.
Soaking in seaweed tonic
Soaking the seedlings in seaweed tonic not only helps to avoid transplant shock but it is also easy to tease the roots apart under the water with very little damage.

This isn’t the first time I grew onions.  If I look back, I think I may have been doing it since 2008!  It hasn’t always been easy.  I remember the season where the garden got so snarled up with weeds it was easier to dig everything out and then replant the young onions, hoping I didn’t do too much damage.  And then there was the harvest where the entire crop that was supposed to be a whole year’s supply that was enough to fill two jam jars as pickled onions!   Then there are the whoppers I’ve been growing lately.  I don’t really want whoppers – I’ll take them, but I’d much rather have them a normal size please.  This is what I’m hoping for this season.

onion seedling planting depth
After watering in with seaweed tonic to reduce transplant shock and settle the soil around the roots, the seedling should be where it was in the seed tray, barely below the soil as onions grow their fat bulbs on the top of the soil.
Onion bed planted
And in no time at all 168 onion seedlings were planted. Before we know it they will be all plump and ready for harvest and the days will be warm again.

I had a little notification on my blog this week from the good people at WordPress congratulating me on blogging with them for 10 years!    That seems like such a long time ago, but at the same time it was only yesterday.  Ten years ago, my boys were 5 and 7 and loved helping in the garden.  Now they are teens preparing for life beyond my nest and any help in the garden needs to be paid for…  in cash!

Note taking
Even with grubby fingers, write down as much information as you need to so that next season you don’t need to figure anything out so all you need to do is just plant.
Other onion crops
While I was at it I also planted shallots, elephant garlic, leeks and red onions in the onion overflow bed.

Over the years I would have talked about planting my onions 10 times, and my tomatoes, and my potatoes and all the things.  There are only so many ways you can say this without repeating yourself, or even worse boring everyone – including me!  But going forward on all the shortest days to come, I will be out there in whatever weather the season decides to dish out – today was perfectly sunny, and I will plant my onions, because that is what I do.

The sun rising over the garden on this shortest day of the year
The sun rising over the garden on this shortest day of the year

Come again soon – it is what I do, but I will also look for other exciting green fingered things to do too.

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

8 thoughts on “Is this the start of something wonderful?

  1. GREAT JOB! Your garden is looking mighty fine. I got a late start because of lingering cool temperatures and so much rain in May. I also have a volunteer tomato, probably from a Black Krim judging from where it is. My peas did terrible because they just wouldn’t come up. Most of them sprouted then rotted… I think it rained after I planted them and got covered up more. I had to replant some of the sweet corn, even though I put 2-3 seeds per spot. Gardening is enjoyable, rewarding, and sometimes challenging. There is always something to learn even though we are seasoned pros.

    Congratulations on 10 years of blogging. I remember when you wrote your first post and you were so hopeful of things to come. You have definitely come a long way and I always enjoy your posts and videos (whenever I manage to read and watch them). Sometimes (well, usually), I am so busy with my own site I fail miserably reading others posts. I hope all the best for you and I know you will continue to do well. Take care ALWAYS!

    1. Thanks for your kind words. I remember your comments from the early days. Thanks for sticking around all these years. Black Krim is one of my favourite tomatoes! I hope you end up having a successful and abundant harvest. Cheers Sarah : o)

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