Gardening in Southwest Washington State. Aiming for good food, sustainability, diversity, ecological balance. Learning from tradition, science, experience, and experimentation. Growing fruits, vegetables, trees, and flowers. Growing from seeds, cuttings, divisions, and grafting. Puttering meditation.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Raised Bed. Fall planting onions, garlic, garlic chives
Half full. More trips around the area for mole hills. Several wheel barrows full. Piled in a layer of soil, then a layer of compost, then turned over, then watered, then repeated this routine for more layers until about 2 inches below the upper edge. Raked smooth.
The Starts I brought from home. It was a strange feeling - like getting starts from a friend or neighbor or relative, except they came from me.
Inchellium Red, from containers this year. I separated about 40 cloves, and wound up planting 35 of them. Should be enough, with a few heads to repeat next year if fate allows.
The separated cloves. These are very big.
Heads from Egyptian Walking Onions, sets ready to separate and plant. Most will be for scallions. I'll try to pull scallions to separate plants about 6 inches or a foot apart to repeat this cycle, too. Also for some fresh onions.
Garlic chives. I dug these from around the yard, where seedlings had taken root and grown. One batch is a rescue from my late parents' yard. I remember, I planted them as a boy, thinking they looked nice and not knowing they were edible. They persisted and reseeded, annoying my Dad but he was never able to get rid of them. I'm glad. Now I have this memory plant from my boyhood. It has smaller, more delicate leaves compared to the plants I've been growing. Those came from a seed packet from north China, most likely a commercial variety. They are about 4 generations of saved and replanted seeds, or self-sown. By mixing they 2 types together, maybe the next generation of seedlings will be in between. A little more hefty than my boyhood plants, a little more tender than the Chinese plants. I'm into genetic diversity, regardless.
All arranged. The garlic is about a foot apart, 7 X 5 = 35 cloves. The White Potato Onions are arranged similarly, except 7 X 6 = 42 plants. The Egyptian Walking Onions are in 3 narrowly spaced rows of about 15 per row, thinking most will be used for scallions. The garlic chives are in bunches, making a single wide row about 6 inches wide. They look kind of sad, but I think they will do OK, grow new roots, and generate nice plants for the Spring. I cut off the flower heads, but left the leaves, so they can photosynthesize during the fall and make roots and store energy for next Spring's crop.
All done. Doesn't look like much, but when the garlic and onions germinate, they'll make a nice neat garden bed. The blue tub was what I used last fall for the same purpose - multiple tubs. I planted it with more Egyptian Walking Onions, thinking they will grow faster in dark colored plastic container = warmer in the sun, and give scallions this fall. Experiment.