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The Results Are In….

July 26th, 2012

All of the ‘Copra’ onions have finally be harvested. If you remember, this year I’m experimenting to see which method of growing onions works best. I started ‘Copra’ seed back in late January. Plants of the same variety were also purchased from Johnny’s Seeds. Seeds were also sowed directly in the garden in March when I transplanted the ones from the seed starting area.

As expected, the onions grown from seed started in winter produced the biggest onions. The direct seeded onions might have been bigger had I thinned them, but I completely forgot to do so until it was too late. I’m going to save the small onions to plant next spring as sets, we’ll see how that works out. It’s amazing how they were all ready to harvest at roughly the same time.

From top to bottom:

  • direct seeded in garden on March 2
  • purchased plants transplanted in the garden on April 13
  • started in late January & transplanted in the garden March 24

I always figured that starting onions from seed would produce the best onions. After reading about how onions are treated with so many pesticides, fungicides and other chemicals I have decided that all my onions will be grown from seed. The plants I purchased from Johnny’s Seeds were from Dixondale farms. After reading on their website that they recommend using fungicides every two weeks to control blight and fungus I decided I really wan’t comfortable using their plants in the garden. It’s worth it to me, to take the time to start mine so I can ensure that my onions aren’t sprayed with fungicides, pesticides and other chemicals.

Now that all the onions are harvested it’s time to store them. I’m keeping all of the types separate to see which of the above store best. I’m also trying a few different storage methods. Most will be stored in shallow wooden boxes. I did braid some, both because they’re very pretty and I figure the old-timers probably knew a little something about keeping onions all winter. Seems to me the air circulation around onion braids hung from the ceiling would be much better than for those stored in a basket or crate. I’ll let you know.

Now it’s time to harvest all the red ‘Zepellin’ onions that were planted back in April as well. I’ve never grown many red onions because I’ve found they don’t store quite as long as yellow onions. This variety promises to store well so we shall see. When it comes to cooking I’m not choosy about the color/type of onion, I like them all. As long as I have onions in the pantry I’m one happy camper.

Do you like red, white, or yellow onions best?

It’s Official – the 2012 Edible Garden

January 27th, 2012

‎”If you’ve never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden.”

~ Robert Brault

The 2012 edible garden is officially started. On Tuesday I spent some time starting the first seeds of the season.

Two flats of ‘Copra’ onions are now resting on the heating mat in the basement seed starting area (seed source: Johnny’s Selected Seeds).

Copra onions are described like this: Uniform, “rock-hard” storage onion with early maturity. These medium-sized, dark yellow-skinned storage onions have the preferred blocky round shape with thin necks that dry quickly. Firmness and skin are superior. Copra remains one of the absolute best in our yearly storage trials, staying firm and flavorful after most other varieties have sprouted. Highest in sugar (13°-14°) of the storage onions.

This variety has been recommended to me by a lot of people, so I decided to give them a go this year. I’d like to do an experiment to see which method works best for good growth and storage so I’m also planning on direct seeding some in the garden in a month or two, along with buying a few plants. Should be interesting to see which method produces the best onions (I’m kind of hoping direct seeding works best as it would be the easiest and least expensive method).

Has your 2012 gardening season officially started yet?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.