Today was a fantastic day to be out and about in the garden in my neck of the woods. With a sunny day and 23C, it was perfect to plant some onions and carrots.
I prepared the garden bed by turning it over and raking it level. The crop beforehand was zucchini and cucumbers, so I usually follow those with a root crop, and this year I decided to plant out and entire bed with brown onions. We had a bumper crop of onions last year, and we finished the last one that was harvested in November just last week. So buoyed by last years success, it was time to get them in. I decided to purchase seedlings instead of growing my own. Kim helped out by taking the pictures for a bit of a ‘how to’. I learnt this technique from Peter Cundall, gardening guru.
So this is how I planted them. Firstly, I dug a long furrow and piled the soil up on one side only.
Then I divided up all the individual plants and placed them about 15cm apart laying on the non piled up side.
Then all that was left to do is to backfill with the pile using the back of my hand. Don’t worry about the onions laying down, as they straighten up when they find their legs.
Then I got the urge to plant some carrots. Now onions are a great companion plant for carrots, as the onion smell deters carrot fly and aphids. I was gifted a unique packet of carrot seeds yesterday for presenting a raised gardening bed workshop at our local Bunnings Warehouse. They also gave me some other stuff, but that is for another post if I get the photos sent through.
Here is the seed packet.
This is quite a cheats method of planting carrots, but it kind of guarantees success. As you can see, there are carrot seeds placed between two layers of tissue paper. I have read on some gardening blogs that you can do this yourself with toilet paper.
Then it is as simple as using your hand to make a very shallow furrow and laying the tape into it.
The gently cover the tape to a depth of 5mm. I planted two rows in between the outer rows of onions. Now that all of these vegetables were sown and planted, I simply turned on the irrigation system and gave it a good soak. Once watered, I sprinkled some snail and slug pellets (iron chelate) around the bed, which is pet safe but lethal to the hordes of slugs I have around here after a wet winter. The carrots should be up in about 7-14 days, then about 3 weeks later I will have to thin them out. The onions will not need thinning as I have already spaced them out adequately for full growth.
Other than planting, Kim and I trimmed our live Christmas tree, which was shading two of the solar panels, and significantly reducing their output. Then we had the pleasure of chasing the chooks around to give them their fortnightly leg oiling to keep away scaly leg mite. This time we both wore old aprons to stop the hens from splashing oil on us when we dunked their legs in the olive oil!
All fun and games at the TGOG urban farm. Have you planted onions and carrots before and what sort of success rate did you have?