I love our garden. It is a lot of fun to grow our own food in the spring and summer. One of the most frequent emails I get is from people asking me how we plant and maintain our garden. I am not claiming to be an expert on any of this, but I did take some pictures when we planted out onion crop back in January. I tried to break it down for you, step by step.
First things first, keep the dogs out of the garden. Sure, they will pout, but they really just get too involved (and thus, in the way).
Decide where you want to plant your crop. Till that spot in your garden. You want the soil to be nice and loose.
We have a hand tiller that looks like this. You twist it, and it breaks up the soil.
Next, we mix gardening soil (organic) with compost in a wheelbarrow. We shovel that soil into the tilled area and mix it in with the existing soil. Note: If you are trying to keep an organic garden, it is important to use only organic products.
We are using store bought onion bunches. They look like this.
The tricky part is separating the onions from each other. This is easier to do bare handed (rather than with gloves). Be gentle to avoid tearing the roots. You will find several onion seedlings in each bunch.
Your separated onion bunches will look like this.
Then take the garden spade and use it to make straight rows in the dirt. This is for mapping out where you will plant your onions.
The next part is very scientific. You take you finger and poke holes into the ground for planting your seedlings. Your soil should be very loose from the tilling and mixing with the fresh compost/garden soil mixture.
Your rows should look something like this. We find that it is easiest if you plot out where you want everything to go and the exact spacing before you actually plant anything in the ground.
Gently place each seedling into the hole. Fill the hole back in with the loose dirt.
Once we finished planting all of our onions, we had rows that looked like this.
The next thing you really should do is fertilize.
Again, in keeping with the spirit of an organic garden, we use organic fertilizer.
The last step is always watering what you just planted until it is saturated.
Then the waiting begins. Make sure you water several times a week (we have ours on a drip system). The onions should be ready around July (and into August). You can tell when they are ready because the green stalks turn brown and fall over. They will not all be ready at the same time.
I hope you found this guide helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions. If you like this kind of post, I would be happy to try a few more gardening how-to's.