Jackpine Radical Gardening

New Greenhouse Doors, Onions

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      This small greenhouse is on the side of my house. Previously, the windows on the front were two large framed windows. One window for the top half, a second for the bottom half.  However, I thought these doors would be more interesting, so I had some carpenters come in and replace the large panes last week. The other side is similar to this, but it opens for me to put the plants in. There are numerous plants in there tonight because it’s so cold. They will come out by the weekend because it’s returning to 70 degrees. Climate change; ya’ gotta’ love 70 in November.

      There is a glass, waist-high shelf. On that shelf, I have Grow Lights hanging overhead. I have an automatic timer and I can grow lettuce throughout the winter.

      In addition, the shelf serves as a hangout for house cats who want to keep an eye on the squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and foxes who come around.

      Here’s a shot of celery, dill, and lettuce under the lights. Photo is from last year. I haven’t yet put in the lettuce for this year, since it’s still good growing weather for lettuces here.

      On the bottom shelf, I put containers of bulbs I’m forcing for spring:  hyacinth, tulips, dwarf iris, etc., plus shallots.

      I’ve been planting onions in my outside raised beds. Last year I planted onions and leeks. Also garlic and shallots.  By spring I had very large leeks. The onions were a mixed bag:  most were good even after a freeze but some had gone soft. I periodically dug out many of them as scallions and used them throughout the winter.

      This is a bed I planted last week.  I covered the onion sets with garden soil, compost, and a thick layer of straw:


      The onions I ordered are Stuttgarter sets.  Here’s a pic of how they came in:

      By ordering so many, I was able to get them for 3.4 cents per onion set as opposed to 11.4 cents per onion set in the small bags. Also, they were of substantially better quality than the kind bought in the stores. In my experience, I’ve thrown out about 20% of the onions in the small bags from places like Home Depot or Wal-Mart; with these, I haven’t thrown out a single one. Cost was about $40 with shipping.  $33 for 10 lbs.

      In addition, I have started over 100 leek seedlings which I will be putting in this weekend. Right now they are in planting cells. I also have garlic to put in.

      Here’s some good info about planting onions. Link is to Mother Jones.



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