I can't grow onions, but I'm planting them again today

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog onion plants 0403This bunch of onion plants are going in the garden today. Wish me luck! Photo by Doug Oster

Onions are one of those crops which can be planted as soon as the soil can be worked.

My garden is still too wet, so I'm dumping a load of compost on a bed and planting in that.

I have a terrible track record for growing onions although the garlic does great. My wife gets a laugh out of the golf ball sized onions I harvest every year.

My guess is I just don't have enough sun. I've prepared one of my sunnier beds and will cross my fingers again this season.

There are many different ways to start onions. Some gardeners start seeds inside, then plant the tiny seedlings in the garden. Others will use sets sold just about everywhere this time of the year. They look like tiny onions.

My radio partner Jessica Walliser has done a lot of research about planting sets and says it's actually best to choose the smaller sized bulbs, they will make the biggest onions. Sets are onions started last season and pulled at a certain size. The bigger ones have used more energy to get that size and won't make the largest onions.

I'm starting with plants this year. I got them from Chapon's Greenhouse. What luck I've had with onions is from starting with plants.

I'll planting them in good compost, the right distance apart, they will be mulched with straw in a sunny spot and will keep them watered and fertilized.

If it doens't work this year, I'll do the same thing I do every year...try again next season.

We all need a little dose of humility and the garden can be just the place to get it.


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