Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > September 2015 > BONNiE'S GARDEN--Onions and Garlic

BONNiE'S GARDEN--Onions and Garlic

Are you one of those people who thinks almost anything tastes better with onions or garlic?  I am.  We just got onion and garlic sets in for fall planting, so I’m planting mine this week.   By the way, never plant garlic from the grocery store.  It may have been treated with a sprouting inhibitor.

For both onions and garlic, pick a sunny spot with well-draining soil—garlic and onions really hate wet feet. If you don’t have well-draining soil, plant them in a raised bed or amend your soil with brown sand. Because I tend to have fairly acidic soil, I usually add a little lime to bring the pH up.  Onions and garlic prefer a neutral pH so if your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, it can slow down the growth.

Both onions and garlic like fertile soil, so before planting work in some Bulbtone or other organic fertilizer and some Greensand.  I love Greensand.  It’s basically marine minerals and a great source of micro-nutrients. Feed in the spring around the middle or end of March and again a month or so after that.  In the spring, dont use a high-nitrogen fertilizer as that may inhibit bulb formation.

Plant onion sets about one to one and a half inches deep and about four inches apart (if you’re planting for green onions, you can go an inch apart).  For garlic, separate head into individual cloves and plant them like onions, spacing four to six inches apart.  Keep the area well-weeded as they hate competing for nutrients.

For green onions, harvest when the top is at least as big around as a pencil.  For slicers, harvest when the leaves start to flop over.  Harvest garlic when the bottom third of the leaves have browned but the stalks still have at least five or six good leaves at the top.  Don’t harvest by grasping the stalk, unless you dig around the sides to loosen the soil first.

To store, onions and garlic need to be “cured.”  Don’t wash the bulbs, simply wipe off the dirt.  Spread the bulbs in a single layer on a clean dry surface in a shed or garage.  Let dry for two to three weeks on until the top necks are completely dry and the outer skin is papery and crisp.  Garlic may take a little longer to dry than onions.

You can get addicted to having fresh green onions in your garden.  Every time I wanted to add some to a salad or to top a dish or sprinkle on potatoes, I’d go grab a few.  By the time I was ready to harvest slicers, there weren’t any left!  Maybe you should plant more onions than you think you need….
 
Posted: 9/28/2015 by Bonnie Pega | with 1 comment(s)
Filed under: Bonnie's, Garden, Garlic, Onions
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