Crucial onion growing update (for you, especially, Rose)

I’m giddy, Gentle Readers, simply giddy.

I don’t know how long I’ll be able to work on this space that has become so precious to me and yet not accessible to me–so I’ll make this as brief as I (even I!) can make it. We’ve had a joy-filled few weeks, in that our daughter Bethany married her beautiful man Saia, our son Andrew and lovely bride Sonia and princess-daughter Anya stayed with us for the week following, and my heirloom tomatoes started producing like crazy, among a few other things. Amidst it all, my blog was not accessible to me. At. All. That is to say, I knew that other folks were able to access it, but I couldn’t.

I wanted to write and to share and to be here, but I wasn’t able to. I was mute, internet-wise. It was weird.

My IT guy (son Timothy) and frustrated payer-of-bills and chief supporter of my blog (hubs Bryan) have put in countless hours working on the problem, but to no avail. (It has been nearly a month now since I got up to work on my blog, and I couldn’t get it to come up on my computer.) They both know who is to blame, but the companies that could help fix things–our local provider Windstream,  our hosting site Media Temple, and the company that is blocking our sites Zayo Group (they won’t even talk to us because we “aren’t their customers”)–have done nothing beyond lots of finger-pointing to the other parties involved. So far, at least. Bryan assures me (through firmly-gritted teeth) that they will fix it. Eventually.

In any case, I miss working on my blog and I miss you guys, my Gentle Readers, and I’ve been writing posts to publish when it all is fixed. And then, this morning as I’m writing, I clicked (wistfully) on my blog url, and what pops up: Right here, on my little computer. So that’s why the giddiness, and the hurry. I don’t know how long it’ll stay up for me–15 minutes? A day? Or maybe the problem is fixed and I’m back in business?

Well, in any case, I’m here for the moment and so on with the important stuff: an onion-growing update!

Welcome back, me. 🙂

Okay, Rose, this one is for you. Although the rest of you need to check it out, too! 🙂 I know that Rose is nothing if not great at sharing.

Remember my brilliant onion planting method that I wrote about early this spring, that you (snif) were a bit skeptical about?

To remind you: I planted my onion starts in little clumps of 3 to 5, rather than singly. Last year I did this, and it cut down on weeding and the onions seemed to grow just as big, so I shared it with you all. I was and am excited about this. I love to cut corners, especially if the result is just as good (or better).

My faithful, encouraging Gentle Reader Rose was not convinced, and made this comment:

“Good one! A must try…will do it too, but only if you report back and let us know how successful yours turned out! :) Deal??”

Well, this is me, reporting back. 🙂 To you, Gentle Readers, but especially to most faithful reader Rose.

Rose regularly razzes me (sweetly) about how she doesn’t even know what weeds are—because of her lovely wood chip mulch that she keeps regularly thick and deep and beautiful and refreshed. “Weeds, Amy? Whatever could you mean? Oh yes, I remember a day when I had to pull weeds . . . long ago, before I discovered wood chip mulch . . . life was so tiresome then . . . ”

I aspire to be Rose, by the way. I aspire to have Rose’s magical wood chip mulching capabilities. Not to mention a huge supply of wood chips, dumped at my place at just the proper time. That is, any time. Today. Last week!

Rose is ahead of me in the onion season, in that she has already harvested her lovely Vidalias, but these photos are especially for you, my dear. You might want to try this next year, as it really did cut down on the time it took to plant and maintain my onion patch. Or you can continue planting onions however you prefer.

It’s a free country, thank God!

I did notice that the clumps of three got a bit larger than the clumps of 4 or 5, so I’ll go with three from here on out. Here’s how the little clumps of onions looked early this spring, freshly-planted:

Here's a brave little clump of onion plants. "Us against the world," they seem to be saying.

Here’s a brave little clump of onion plants. “Us against the world,” they seem to be saying.

Here are how they look today, nearly ready to be pulled:


But wait, there’s more! In my second planting of onions, I went an even easier route. I found a bag of bulbs (the immature little onions) that I had forgotten to plant, and I simply took about 30 seconds to scatter them on a patch of fresh garden soil, and then cover them with two or three inches of (you guessed it!) fresh wood chips. And hope for the best.

(Hope for President!)

(Wood chips for Vice President!)

I had no idea if this would work, but I didn’t have time to do anything else, so I just went for it. I watered them well, and ignored them.

Well. It worked.

Take a gander. Here is a close-up of my second onion patch, planted with this even easier “scatter and cover and ignore” method. It looks crowded, but I think it is beautiful.

just getting started. . .

just getting started. . .

Because it was so easy. Cool, eh? And these onions are just getting started. I can’t wait to see how big they get. Big as a house, I’ll bet!

That’s all for today, folks. We had a wedding last week, and then we had the pleasure of having Andrew, Sonia, and Anya at our house for the week afterward. So this week is catch-up week at the ole’ weedy and prodigiously fruitful hacienda.

I’ve got plenty of things to say about the wedding and the aftermath, but I’m too distracted and busy to write many of them down right now. But in a week or two, when the dust clears, when the weeds are tamed a bit, I’ll have some photos and some wedding chatter to share.

If my blog stays up, that is. 🙁

‘Til then . . . ttfn! I love you guys!


14 thoughts on “Crucial onion growing update (for you, especially, Rose)

  1. Rajat

    Excellent post. Never heard of a ‘Farming Blog’ before, but you have brought it up well. Even I await to see them get bigger in size. Regards 🙂 🙂

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I know! My fingers are crossed, too, Jillian!! (I found out that my son Timothy worked a lot of hours to fix things for me, so none of it was random! Thanks Timothy, you’re awesome!)

  2. Francene Stanley

    I feel for you, Amy, marooned away from the internet. But you usually take a break around this time so you can work in your garden, so maybe nothing’s lost.
    Great to see the onions growing (not yet as big as the house) in wood chips. What an easy method. Even I could do that. hehe.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      You’re so sweet Francene. I think it was probably a blessing in disguise, that I couldn’t access my blog, because I had lots to do with the wedding and having company, and I could just throw myself into it that way, without so many distractions. I hope you are doing well!!

  3. Rose

    Ok, Ok UNCLE…you Win!!! I’m in deep doo doo now…I must say, they are purdy! Is that a weed I see in that second to the last pic? 😉 All kiddin’ aside, I will definitely try this…you have me convinced! Anything that will save time. It only makes since that there would be less weeding. I think that you will find that the onions in the MULCH will do the BEST out of all! Paul Gautschi did the same thing with his carrots. He just threw them out onto his garden and they all grew moving each other aside because of the soft dirt. Looks like you have some nice compost where they are scattered. As far as weeds, I have noticed the longer I keep mulch down, the less weeds I get. Paul was right! Don’t tell anyone this but I garden with my neighbor (huge garden) and she had to MOW the weeds last weekend. Yes, mow! The weeds were up to our waist. I was afraid to go in to get my eggplants, thinking, snakes. Soooo there you have it…yes, we do have weeds. My neighbor was not convinced totally on the BTE gardening but I think she may be now. I kept woodchips on the outside of the garden and she tilled the inside. Guess where the weeds were? Yup!
    Sorry to hear about the internet mess. It sounds like they’re doing the old “pass the buck”. Really though, I think you wanted to take a vacation from blogging (Tell the truth!). Blessing to you and your garden!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Rose, You are so sweet to take my teasing with such good nature. I know you’re right about the mulch and so forth–the parts of my garden now that are not productive are full of weeds, and have very little mulch. The astounding thing to me is how much mulch you need to keep the weed pressure down. It’s more than I ever think it will be! No worries, I’m still gonna work on this–accumulating more and more mulch. It’s key to having a big garden that produces all season long, because there just aren’t enough hours in the day to pull all those weeds. 🙁

      1. cookinmom

        Oh, so agreed when it comes to keeping the mulch down! You being a home school mom with a large garden is enough in itself (let alone a blog). I must say that I have concentrated on only ONE bed at a time, to always have much on it, and it seems to work knowing that I can go directly to it and plant not worrying about the bed to be cleared of weeds before planting. Put that sign out in the front yard!!! 🙂 Enjoy your harvest this year!!

        1. cookinmom

          One more thing…I found that when I put the mulch down THINLY, the weeds say “thank you, thank you, for feeding me! So, I always make sure it’s 4 inches so that those rascals can’t peek out! Yes it’s a pain to plant deep in the mulch but the good thing about this is the mulch does break down eventually and after 1 1/2-2 yrs., where there aren’t any more weeds! The first year is always the hardest! Will try to send pics. Can you share secrets about starting seedlings?

          1. dramamamafive Post author

            ah-ha. So 4″ is the magic amount, eh, Rose? I’ll work on that for the spring mulching season! Starting seedlings? What kind of secrets would you like? I’m happy to share anything I do with you, dear Rose.

  4. gene

    Amy – Can’t remember if I showed you this, but Matt and I planted a bunch of stuff this year 3-4 seeds per 2″ soil block; 5 seeds for radishes, carrots and onions. We did beets, turnips, carrots, onions and various combinations of greens – mizuna, arugula, bok choi, kale, etc. We are really focusing on baby veg this year and harvested beets and turnips when they were golf ball size, carrots when they were index finger size, etc. Worked extremely well – and quick to harvest – but I don’t know how they would have developed had we left them to “mature.” Sixty days from sowing to harvest – which means that we can easily get 3 crops per season. (I’m sowing/transplanting the third crop of several veggies and greens right now.)

    Did I mention that Matt is even more of an “intensive farming” nut than I am?

    Glad you’re part of the blogosphere again, although I still have at least a half dozen vomiting chickens that I haven’t read in my “Amy” folder.

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