O.K. North Texans, I know it’s cold out, but not nearly as cold as it was. It feels absolutely balmy to me, after making it through that cold spell. It also felt good not to have to chip ice out of the animal’s water crocks this morning. The sunshine on my face felt amazing!
Take this break in the weather to plant your onions. You can get onion sets at your local plant nursery or feed store. If you don’t want to leave your house, you can even order them online. I try to link my planting dates to holidays so that it is easier to remember. I try to get my onions in the ground by Martin Luther King Jr. day every year. If you have never read my newbie gardener onion seed vs sets story you really should. It is a tab bit humiliating, but gives me a good laugh looking back. I hope it gives you a good laugh too: http://bloomwhereyourplanted.com/time-to-plant-onions-in-north-texas/
Space your onions 4″ apart. If you want to you can make a planting grid out of a pizza box like I did. This is also my secret planting tool for kids! You will notice that I don’t plant in rows like my grandfather did. While he raised his earth in hills with trenches on either side, I raised mine up in a 4 x 8 gardening bed. Why the difference? My Grandfather John didn’t garden in Dallas Texas! While our clay soil is pretty nutrient dense, it doesn’t lend well to raking into rows. Root crops like onions love a good fluffy raised bed mix, because they can spread out to their hearts content. I always say:
“I wonder how many plows the settlers broke in this clay soil before they decided to invest in a few head of cattle instead!”
Remember when you are planing your garden that, when it comes to onions the magic/bulb happens at the end. What this means to a gardener is, that I will be wanting to plant a lot of things right after the last possible Spring freeze date on April 14th, but I won’t be harvesting those beautiful onion bulbs until late May. So leave plenty of room in your garden for those early Spring crops like tomatoes(remember when it comes to tomatoes-PPP–Plant early and be Prepared to Protect; see my article here for successful North Texas tomatoes)
After I harvest my onion bed I will follow with a crop of sweet potatoes in late May because they LOVE the heat. Also the local rabbits don’t seem to like onion so I am free to plant outside my front yard garden fence. I will plant my onions in what I call my sweet potato pit right in my front yard. In Winter it serves as my onion pit. I also managed to squeeze in a crop of broccolli and cauliflower in there before the freeze.
Have fun getting out in the garden again. If you are reading this from a snow bound Northern state, then you have my condolences. Comfort yourself in the fact that it will get REALLY hot here this Summer and we will be inside fanning ourselves and wishing we were you!
This post was shared on the Simple Homestead Blog Hop