The Saturation of Washington/The Onion Saga, Part 1

I feel like those one of those kids in the beginning of the Cat in the Hat. Staring out at the rain, wishing it would stop so I could play.

It’s been raining here for weeks now and there is no sign of it stopping soon. The ground is saturated through and through. There’s water on the roadways, landslides all over the hill slopes, the rivers are flooding, not even my garden is properly draining there is so much rain! I’ve always wondered why the ditches off of the farmland out here are so deep. Now I know, the 3+ foot deep ravines are filled to the brim!

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What is a girl with a green thumb to do? I have an itch and need to scratch it…. Onions! I’ll play with onions. I have never really had good luck with onions but I love them so I’m determined to figure it out. Last summer I was dropping a friend off at her mothers who had a lovely vegetable garden of her own. I noticed her wheelbarrow full of gorgeous, fat Walla Walla sweets and had to know her secret. She told me she uses a bulb fertilizer since essentially onions are bulbs. She also got starts not sets or seeds around this time.

Starts: small sprouts produced from seed

Sets: Box of small dry onion bulbs that grew the year before

Onion sets can be stored until the planting area is ready.

Last year I used sets. Most of them bolted which I recently learned they are prone to do. Bolting is when the onion flowers. Once an onion flowers the bulb stops growing so you end up with very small onions (about the size of shallots). Although these are great for cooking, they’re not at all what I’m trying to achieve.

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I have often seen starts at the store around this time but then they disappear very quickly. So last week when I saw them, I grabbed them. My plan was to put them straight in the ground but it is so friking saturated right now, I’m afraid they’d drown. Not to mention I still need to till and add a truck load (literally) of compost to the veggie garden before I would even feel comfortable planting anything in it. So I decided to plant them in little peat pots and let them hang out on the window sill until the weather improved and my garden dries up a bit. So far they seem happy; I really hope this is the year I get my big Walla Walla sweets.

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The experiment continues…

In other news, the crocus and daffodils are beginning to bloom, yay!

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One thought on “The Saturation of Washington/The Onion Saga, Part 1

  1. Pingback: The Onion Saga, Part 2 | The Ramblings of an Aspiring Small Town Girl

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