Peering at onions

One of the reasons I get up every morning, as opposed to curling up in a ball and wishing I could disappear permanently into oblivion, is to walk around the garden and looking at the vegetables growing, and enthusiastically give any of the abundant snails flying lessons, normally into the next door plot, where there are no vegetables planted.

Possibly because of my snail-throwing sins, I sometimes have gardening accidents, as detailed in a post 44 days ago, called Fallen onions.

The fallen onions were duly cared for, and partially protected from the frost and the sun by thin olive branches woven together, and have done quite well so far, considering slugs were a problem for a while.

Foreground, near the bricks: fallen onions rising; Middle of the bed to the right: onions from seed carefully planted directly into the soil at the same time, doing slightly better.

Onion seeds planted directly into the soil 60 days ago (when I spilled the packet afterwards, thus creating ‘fallen onions’, are doing marginally better, although not all of them have survived, probably because of frost and slugs.

Onions from seeds planted directly into the vegetable bed sixty days ago

The mollycoddled onions planted first in a seed tray, and then planted out into my favourite established raised bed with the best soil, were suddenly radiant and green yesterday morning, and doing much better than any of those pictured above. Obviously, the later planting in warmer weather has something to do with it. Soil quality is a major factor, too. With the worm bin partially buried in the centre of this raised bed (into which I regularly feed weeds and leaves from the kale which serve as snail food), the worm to soil ratio is very high, and any mulching is merely to deter snails and slugs that miss out on the daily flying lessons, or to protect very young plants.

Mollycoddled onions in the raised bed; part of the worm bin can be seen top left.

I do not intend to thin these onions out, except when I cannot resist a spring onion or two when they grow a little larger. The slightly darker patches on the surface are coffee grounds, which I simply sprinklen around the base of the plants from time to time and water afterwards.

I so enjoyed the sense of vigorous life around this particular little patch that I took another photo, which has the lemon tree, still groaning under the weight of fruit despite numerous harvests, in the background. Should I mention that I pruned the lemon tree two years ago, and the extra water it got in September 2018, detailed here?

Early mollycoddling and good soil are likely to pay dividends.

By the time I have done my morning walk about the garden, the kettle whistle tells me it is time to make coffee, wake up, smell it, and get on with life.

©2019 Allison Wright

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