Gardening for the pantry...
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14-05-2017, 02:33 PM
Gardening for the pantry...
I spent two hours this beautiful Mothers Day afternoon pulling grass out of and "massaging" my perennial garlic and onion beds. I planted them this Fall and the result was not as good as I had hoped, but perhaps our fluctuating Spring weather is partly to blame.

Most years the weather fluctuates in agreement with the garden, but some years, you can just kiss your peas goodbye and hope a late frost didn't burn your strawberry blooms. We had a late freeze this year, among other oddball weather.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has experience with perennial garlic and onion beds?

The Egyptian onion bed had only three surviving bulbs, but strong plants, and the potato onions only two...and they are sort of pitiful.

The garlics came up great, but have not done so well and seem dry, which is rather impossible considering the wet weather we have had this Spring.

Heavy sigh... Any suggestions or commiserations?

-Jeanne

"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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14-05-2017, 04:42 PM
RE: Gardening for the pantry...
(14-05-2017 02:33 PM)Jeanne Wrote:  I spent two hours this beautiful Mothers Day afternoon pulling grass out of and "massaging" my perennial garlic and onion beds. I planted them this Fall and the result was not as good as I had hoped, but perhaps our fluctuating Spring weather is partly to blame.

Most years the weather fluctuates in agreement with the garden, but some years, you can just kiss your peas goodbye and hope a late frost didn't burn your strawberry blooms. We had a late freeze this year, among other oddball weather.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has experience with perennial garlic and onion beds?

The Egyptian onion bed had only three surviving bulbs, but strong plants, and the potato onions only two...and they are sort of pitiful.

The garlics came up great, but have not done so well and seem dry, which is rather impossible considering the wet weather we have had this Spring.

Heavy sigh... Any suggestions or commiserations?

-Jeanne

I have had both onions and garlic recover and be ready the following fall/spring. (I plant some in the fall and some in the spring).

Your dead onions, what were they like? mushy? Dry? Just not growing?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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15-05-2017, 04:58 AM
RE: Gardening for the pantry...
Hi Dom.

I am hoping that the ones growing will spread/multiply. I found no evidence of the bulbs when I massaged the dirt. Earlier this Spring...I didn't find mushy bulbs, so I guess maybe they just dried up. They were fairly small bulbs. Garlic were large bulbs.

They are in full sun and on a slight slope with loose but dark soil that grows hops well....and grasses. This is my first try at perennials. I have never had good luck keeping annual onions, although they grow well. I thought to establish these beds might be the answer.

-Jeanne

"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
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15-05-2017, 07:05 AM
RE: Gardening for the pantry...
(15-05-2017 04:58 AM)Jeanne Wrote:  Hi Dom.

I am hoping that the ones growing will spread/multiply. I found no evidence of the bulbs when I massaged the dirt. Earlier this Spring...I didn't find mushy bulbs, so I guess maybe they just dried up. They were fairly small bulbs. Garlic were large bulbs.

They are in full sun and on a slight slope with loose but dark soil that grows hops well....and grasses. This is my first try at perennials. I have never had good luck keeping annual onions, although they grow well. I thought to establish these beds might be the answer.

-Jeanne

I have one perennial garlic plant - it just decided to stick around and make lots of little bulbs. I have, however, been too lazy to separate and replant them, so I mostly use the greens like garlic chives.

Sounds like you will have to wait for small bulbs to form, transplant and wait for next year's results.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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15-05-2017, 07:11 AM
RE: Gardening for the pantry...
I didn't have luck w/ onions. Little buggers.

I now just plant scallions everywhere. In between lettuce, peas, cucumber, carrots. Everywhere I can stick the seeds. lol
They fit the 'onion' bill, and they are easy enough to plant.

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

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31-05-2017, 05:48 AM
RE: Gardening for the pantry...
Well...after two weeks of clouds, mist and rain, the garlic is rotting. I am hoping that the larger ones will survive. The few onions that made it are doing okay.

It's at times like these that I marvel at our ancestors' ability to survive when their gardens fail. Last year we had near total failure of our green beans, peas, limas, squash and strawberries. Tomatoes got hit hard by blight, as did the pumpkins and squash. Sweet corn only did okay. The new apples all fell off when a terrible wind came up and it sounded like hail from them hitting the ground. The potatoes did poor and the best melon crop we had grown just melted when nearly ripe with a hot summer storm that dropped 5 inches on us. The sweet potatoes did just fine and we are still eating them. I did little canning last year.

Our kids remarked upon the tenacity of those who lived when they depended upon what they grew. Kudos to them for making it.

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31-05-2017, 06:09 AM
RE: Gardening for the pantry...
(31-05-2017 05:48 AM)Jeanne Wrote:  Well...after two weeks of clouds, mist and rain, the garlic is rotting. I am hoping that the larger ones will survive. The few onions that made it are doing okay.

It's at times like these that I marvel at our ancestors' ability to survive when their gardens fail. Last year we had near total failure of our green beans, peas, limas, squash and strawberries. Tomatoes got hit hard by blight, as did the pumpkins and squash. Sweet corn only did okay. The new apples all fell off when a terrible wind came up and it sounded like hail from them hitting the ground. The potatoes did poor and the best melon crop we had grown just melted when nearly ripe with a hot summer storm that dropped 5 inches on us. The sweet potatoes did just fine and we are still eating them. I did little canning last year.

Our kids remarked upon the tenacity of those who lived when they depended upon what they grew. Kudos to them for making it.

Looks like you need either a drainage ditch or to plant on mounds. Trees are often cyclical - one or two years of nothing, then a cycle of abundance. I always plant several varieties of the same thing, hedging my bets.

The "ditch" doesn't have to be much, just to create a little bit of a flow with direction. After that it tends to make it's own way. Are you sure you are planting varieties for your zone? You may want to find a local Master Gardener to help you. There is the climate, and then there is your micro climate.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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31-05-2017, 06:34 AM (This post was last modified: 31-05-2017 06:42 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Gardening for the pantry...
We start everything, (including bulbs) inside, in fairly shallow peat containers. You can buy a "block" of "starting" (mix) at Menards or a plant store, that "pops up" when the water is added. Very young roots like this a lot. When they actually have a root system, you just move them out to in-ground. Outside is too "variable" for very young plants. Now we get almost 100% germination / results from anything we plant, (even difficult to manage seeds). Unless you have a pH meter, you're shooting in the dark. Young plants only grow in the pH they like.

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31-05-2017, 07:06 AM
RE: Gardening for the pantry...
I think about that, too. My gardening is done mostly for hobby, it's not our sole means of nutrition. I would be so stressed out if we relied on it for our only food.

I have a few questions for you:

- are you growing in raised beds or containers?

- what kind of soil are you using?

- what zone are you and do you follow a gardening schedule?

- are you direct sowing or do you transplant?

- are you rotating crops? especially your tomatoes.

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

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