Thursday, April 26, 2012

Simple Lives Thursday ~ Clipping the Onions

This is the first time that I have participated in Simple Lives Thursday hosted by Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa. I just stumbled upon this blog this morning and knew that I had to participate. Our family tries to live simply and it is our family motto.

So today, I wanted to share about our journey of growing onions from tiny seeds. We are growing some Organic Rossa Di Milano Onions from seed. We purchased our seeds from The Cottage Gardener way back when the snow was still flying. Before I go on, I want to mention that we have never grown onions from tiny seeds before. I have always bought them as little bulbs and planted them with success. So this is total uncharted territory for us.

We planted the seeds in little peat pellets on March 21st.

I have read that you should provide heat from under the seed tray to improve and encourage germination. Well, I don't have a heating mat and figured that I would have to do without. You should provide overhead lighting, which I also did not have and did without. We had a germination rate of about 80% and this is good enough for us considering the lack of heat and artificial lighting.

From there, we watch our little seedlings grow and clipped them back as soon as they got longer than four inches. We read about clipping the seedlings here. You clip them back so that the concentration is spent on root growth and not on the green growth. I think that we have clipped them back about three to four times so far. Our last frost date is still about a month away, so I set them out on nice days and bring them in and nurture them.

This morning, my gardening son, Owen reminded me that the onions needed to be clipped. I have always clipped the onions and hadn't let him do it yet. I explained to him what I was doing the last few times and this morning, he asked if he could do it. We are also participating in the 2nd Annual HSV Garden Challenge, so I thought I should let him try clipping the onions.

He did a great job. When the onions develop a third stem, we will transplant them into bigger pots. Please come back and see how our onions and the rest of the garden are coming along. If you are visiting us today for the first time, please check out our other gardening posts. We live in suburban Calgary, Alberta Canada. We are zone 3 gardeners, trying to produce some of our own food and live simply.

Don't forget to go to Diana's blog and see how others are taking part in Simple Lives Thursday .

God Bless friends,

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