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Friday, February 15, 2008

Gentlepeople Start Your Gardens

Yesterday we started our 2008 growing season by planting onions and leeks in 6" to 10" pots.

We planted 2 kinds of leeks-Lincoln and King Sieg. Lincoln we have been growing for years. It is a very nice slender leek that comes in early (for a leek). King Sieg we grew for the first time last year and really liked it. This is a huge fat leek with great flavor. We still have most of a bed left from the 2007 season in a hoop house that is doing terrif.

We also started a ton of onions (okay, not a ton yet but if all goes well all those seeds should become 2000 pounds of allium goodness). We are doing several heirloom onions including Boulder Belt Sweet (from Walla Walla seeds), Ailsa Craig (another sweet onion), Red Weathersfield (not a good storage onion as almost all from last year have sprouted. But we had seed and lots of it so they are being sowed again this year. they are a popular seller, I believe because they are a weird shape and an heirloom) and some red onion seed Eugene saved in 2006. And we are doing many hybrid onions including Copra, my favorite yellow cooking onion. Great storage onion with fantastic flavor. This will be the 10th season we have grown these. Last year I was going to drop this variety because it was a Semenis variety and Semenis was bought out by Monsanto but Johnny's Selected Seeds found a non Monsanto breeder of Copra onions and is getting the seed from that source so all is good with me and my Copra onions (I really did not want to drop this variety but I also did not want to give any money knowingly to Monsatan so it was a major issue with me last year). Other hybrids include Varsity, a yellow onion we trialed last year and than forgot exactly where they were planted so I am trying them again this year. I believe they are the huge yellow onions that are storing better than the copra and taste almost as good. This year I will do a far better job of writing down the location of the Varsity onions. We also will be growing Mercury red onion (a very nice red onion that replaced another Monsatan/Semenis var we were using called Mars. We grew Mercury for the first time last year and liked it. And like the Red Weathersfield we had a lot of seed from last year.).

We should have started the leeks and onions earlier but we did not for two reasons. One, we did not have all our seeds until early this month and two we use a biodynamic planting calendar called the Stella Natura and it indicated that Feb 14th would be the best day to plant roots of the entire month and we have learned from using this calendar that if you can wait to hit a most auspicious moment it will pay off greatly. Thus we waited for the great root time to plant root seeds. We will likely have better germination and less damping off and other fungal diseases than if we had planted a week earlier.

Next we will start lettuce and brassicas (broccoli, kale, cabbages).

Here's too a great 2008 growing season everyone. Cheers!

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