The Wannabe Gardener

I have always enjoyed gardening no matter how big or small the plot was and even considered patio pots as my garden. I do however consider myself a wannabe gardener. The wannabe comes from the fact that a green thumb emerges often but not often enough to say I am a great gardener.

A perfect example would be my last trip to the nursery when I was buying my seed potatoes and a conversation came up the owner about growing potatoes and onions. My onions are always the size of a quarter no matter if I follow the rule of a trench three inches deep and fill it in as the onions grow, fertilizer on the side, etc. Sometimes I just stick the sets about half inch into the soil as well which is what I had read to do on the package. Still onions the size of a quarter, if I was lucky.

Well my garden friend, Kathy, and nursery owner said all I needed to do was basically set them on top of the soil so the little roots were kissing the soil. As the roots grow, they will develop deeper into the soil, the onions would get bigger and rounder on top the ground. Apparently they really more or less like to grow up from the soil not into the soil. Then she mentioned they were like potatoes and needed lots of water–just the opposite of what I thought. Oh and there was also the mention of too much nitrogen in the soil making the tops grow and not the bulb. So, she told me, if there is too much nitrogen it can be balanced off with some bone meal sprinkled on the surface to help neutralize the unbalance.

This all might explain the reason my onions were always puny, I top dressed with manure–it was composted and good, planted them to China–China is nice (I’ve been there), and didn’t water them much at all–into conservation of water.

It is safe to say I am going to try Kathy’s way this year and see if they grow to at least silver dollar size (just kidding, I want full size onions and I want to overwinter them). This fall the results will be in and I will share them with you.

If any of you have any secrets on growing the best onions, we are all happy to hear them in the comments below.

Until then, keep playing in the dirt.





  1. Tom Moseley says:

    I’m growing cactus. Rain total in my yard since February is .01 inches of rain. Actually, the cactus is withering, too.

  2. Grasshoppers! they are decimating my lettuce! Well, were. I broke down and used sevin while i wait for my grasshopper parasites to arrive. I hope i don’t kill all my lady bugs. i guess i will order some more. The praying mantisses haven’t hatched yet, so they should be ok. I haven’t seen the green lacewings come out yet either. I thinned my lettuce the other day and got 2 bags of baby lettuce to eat. Same with spinach. little tomatoes are starting to come out too.

  3. Water! mine do better with plenty of water. Lettuce and spinach also need lots of water. I guess up there where it rains all of the time, that is not an issue. I use the soaker hoses and am still playing with different types of mulch. I like hay, but am trying old newspaper around the plants this year. Weed cloth didn’t work for me because the weeds just lifted it up as they grew. I’ll send some pictures later.

Speak Your Mind