Saturday, May 5, 2012
Onions And Muck
The pond muck sloshed onto the soil turned in easily. Three passes with the stone fork combined with some rain mixed the muck and the soil. I was surprised to find bits of broken stone in the muck. Colored an unusual blue, these stones stand out in the path. The color may be the result of time buried in the muck or we may have found pieces of locally quarried bluestone. Muck color is the more likely cause since we have never found any bluestone here. We will watch to see if the color is permanent. My fingers were temporarily muck stained when the onions were all planted. All this playing in the muck did bring back feeling like a boy playing at pond's edge.
An inverted wire cage provides a grid to quickly mark the planting holes. We use 6 X 6 inch spacing to allow access for weeding. The cages protect the young plants from deer foot prints. When first planted, something pulls the plants from the ground. We suspect nest building birds but have never seen them in action. Cages solve both problems.
These Dixondale Farms onion plants work great for us. Shipping when promised allowed us to prepare the bed and plant the day they were delivered. With a little help from the weather, we should grow almost an entire year's supply of onions.
Generous numbers of plants formed each sales unit. The overflow were planted in an adjacent bed. Row spacing stayed at 6 inches while the distance between the plants dropped to four inches. A comparison will be made at harvest to see if there is a down side to the closer spacing. For now all of the onion plants are in the ground.
Working the soil this time of year frequently unearths overwintering hummingbird moth, Hemaris thysbe pupa. Resenting disturbance, they whip their pointed end wildly about. We carefully cover them with soil since we delight in finding the flying stage feeding on Monarda flowers.