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Last week I scored a BUNCH of Walla Walla Onion transplants. They were on their last leg and needed to get some TLC soon. So instead, I stuck them in the cooler until Friday, took them home and waited until Sunday to even take a look. What initially looked like a total loss turned out pretty well.
First I dumped the whole sloppy smelly mess into the left hand kitchen sink and cleaned them up, leaving the compostables in the right hand sink. After snipping and rinsing in a tub I laid them out on the counter to breathe. This part of things took the longest but I come from a background in organic produce and it was kind of fun… for a while. Once I’d culled the best ones and counted up 120 healthy, clean and ready to plant transplants, I was happy to chuck what looked like the remaining third in the compost. Yeah!
Alright! On to the bed. One of our 4 X 8 wood sided raised beds was an excellent candidate for the onions because of its deep fluffy loamy fertile soil. As opposed to the other “in the ground” albeit amended beds made with lots of local soil and better for things other than large bulbs.
So this bed grew potatoes which perished, at least above ground during our first frost this fall. First the fun part, harvesting a big ‘ol basket of varietal potatoes, rinsing and scrubbing and making home fries for brunch. Yum! So pretty too.
Next I amended the bed by leveling with a soil rake. (My favorite tool next to the breaker bar) I added some Sierra Foothills Fertilizer Mix we had on hand, sprinkled Nutri-Rich pellets, some Gaia Green and a little Oystershell Lime. No big science here, just what we had on hand, I like all these products.
I busted out the tape measure to make easy work of poking finger holes at six inch spacing in a hexagonal pattern to maximize my numbers. I really did’nt think I’d get them all in. Next I used a (veggie) plastic spoon (another good tool in the garden) to spoon in a little Down To Earth Myco-Inoculant into each hole. Up until this point it seemed like all this prep was taking up too much time and I’d never finish by sundown!
But not to worry, once I started the actual planting, I swear it only took about twenty minutes and wow! Done. Our little four by eight now has 116 transplants which left me with 4 in case any fail or whatever. Again I was impressed with the ease and speed with which the planting process went. So soon this week I’ll mulch heavily with the straw we keep around in bales, and this time next year… onions for days.