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?
One onion from two punnets of seedlings.
Best and freshest onion I ever tasted though!
wow Gavin, I am very impressed with how neat you are with your planting….I think I may just try that carrot tape with toilet paper….hmmm, you have me thinking now…..love your post…love your blog, keep up the good work.
Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock says
I do love seed tape! Especially for carrots! You are so neat.
We did toilet-paper-tomato-seed tape (kinda) one year… NO idea whether they came up because 50 other things came up too from the compost we put in lol
it was basically just favourite seed saved onto a long length of loo paper and hung down the side of the fridge between the fridge and cupboard, to try. Looked a charm lol
Good luck with those onions and carrots 🙂
Another good slug repellent is crushed egg shells. Just wash them, break them up, and scatter them around your veggies. Slugs don’t like them because they’re all sharp and pointy, and the shells make a nice slow release fertilizer too.
Awesome. I am planting carrots tomorrow! This is a first for me, so I hope they come up!
Another Green Gavin from Melbourne here, I love your seed tape/tissue idea and used it myself this weekend. http://www.flickr.com/photos/andersondotcom/5671905127/
Thanks for your great blog and inspiration.
@ frogdancer, better luck next time
@ nellymary, I am a bit of a neatness freek. However I found that by spacing the seedling like this you get really big onions!
@ Mrs Bok, this is the first year I have used the seed tape, so fingers crossed.
@ Kristy, cheers. I find the same little gifts from nature when I mix my compost into the garden beds. Nice tip about the loo paper.
@ TechChik. thanks for the tip. I use eggshells to deter cabbage moths as well.
@ SherryGreens, best of luck with your carrots.
@ Gavin, nice photos. Do you have a blog?
I use the same carrot seed tape & have had loads. I am onto my fourth sow already. They are very tasty carrots & I get many comments from people as to where did I buy my carrots from?! (Pity they don’t want to grow their own, as they are missing out). I just sowed my onions seeds (from Diggers) into punnets today so I am crossing my fingers for success & also planted out my organic garlic (also from Diggers). I have to say your planting out is much neater than mine (I do have a 3 year old helping me out!!). Keep up the excellent blog. Rebecca
Cheers Rebecca. I am looking forward to them popping through the soil. Should be any time now.