Sunday, April 25, 2010

Onion news...

Yesterday and the day before with the help of wonderful members we got all of our onions in the ground. Each onion bed is about 110 feet long and has 4 rows, with onions spaced about 4" to 6" apart. So that means each bed has somewhere around 1000 onions in it.

We have 2 beds of a Spanish onion (Big Daddy), 2 beds of a sweet red (Mars), 4 beds of a yellow storage onion (First Edition), and 3 beds of a white sweet (these last we planted from sets as an experiment!) In addition, we have in two beds of leeks (about 1500 total) and a bed of high density leeks and onions, for baby leeks, spring onions, and torpedo style onions (the only ones we started from seed ourselves.)

All of that (about 14,000 onions by our math if things are perfect (which they never all) joins the 4-1/2 rows of garlic and 1/2 row of shallots we put in that field last fall to give us a full quarter acre of Alluims.

A quarter acre may not seem like a lot, but we are already trying to figure out how we will cure all of these onions, I don't think 11,000 onions will fit easily into our hoophouse. If each onion is only 4 ounces (which is small) that is about 86 bushels of onions (2,750 pounds.)

The scary thing is that next year, we will probably be doubling our onions!

Planting is just the beginning of the work, onions need a lot of TLC, especially weeding to keep them happy and healthy. They also need regular fertilizer application (folair feeding with fish powder and side dressing with corn gluten.) Thrips are the major pest of onions, and midlews (powdery and downy) are a huge issue.

Wish us luck as our onion season starts!

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