Onions in the Trenches

Last year we tried this method of growing onions. We dug trenches where we planted the onions and as the plant grew taller and taller, we filled in the trenches. This caused the plant to continue growing which created a larger bulb. For us that meant a Normal sized onion.

It’s a little challenging if they start to grow outside their space which is what is currently happening. We should be covering them with more soil but small aisle ways between the rows won’t allow enough space. This is also causing the onions to flower. They stop growing when they flower. We will continue cutting off flowers and treating them as though they will continue to grow. Worst case scenario is we are just storing small onions in the ground until we can use them.

I burnt a lot of last year’s onions in the sun after harvest and previous years they didn’t grow to size. Crossing fingers we grow good onions for sale rather a loss for the 4th year in a row.

First Row Planted 2020 Early

It’s March 2020 on the high plains dessert and we finally planted our first row of the season! We expect to have another snow or two but are well prepared with our covered tunnel that will keep the plants up to 20 degrees higher than the outside. Planting has started early!

We are working from home due to the Covid 19 Pandemic so we have an extra 1-2 hours during the day to work on the garden. In addition, being home, we are able to monitor the weather. While working away from home we would take less risk in exposure to extreme heat, cold or hail by adjusting the tunnel covers prudently. Working from home we can leave tunnels wide open, closing it at the perfect time during a weather episode. The plants get more sun and light rain than they would if we had over protected them.

Lettuce and Spinach is the first planting. We are succession planting so that when the initial planting starts to bolt from the heat, there will still be a younger planting that is still crisp and green. The bolted plants are pulled out and reseeded for another young crop. We currently have 3 sections of lettuce and spinach at different growth sizes.

The goal is to see how long we can grow lettuce before the heat causes seedlings to bolt too early.

The Farmers Tramp Stamp

This happens every year! It’s my first day out in the garden, and even though I have a long tailed shirt on, the wind blows the tail up or I bend over too much. This is what I call the Farmers Tramp Stamp and It’s painful!

You’d think I’d learn year over year, but it’s not something you remember when you are wearing protective gardening clothes. You assume it’s taken care of!

Why does the man of the house not have this issue? He has a better memory! He continuously reminds me to wear my hat, etc. He’s also the first one to catch the sunburn and gets me back in the house. He really looks out for me. 🙂

So I made it through my first day slightly burned. I think I’ll put a reminder in my phone to pop up every year at this time so I don’t forget to add extra sunscreen to my lower back my first day out!

Garden Plan 2020

We finally have the final Garden Plan for the 2020 season!

This picture is our West Plot. We have reduced the number of rows and combined items within the rows to take advantage of companion planting such as Basil between the Tomatoes which is known to deter pests.

We will have a bigger variety of vegetables with a number of herbs and flowers mixed in to assist in pest control and theoretically increase yields. For instance, Radishes among Cucumbers is said to increase Cucumber yields. Dill by Broccoli deters Cabbage Beetle and Cilantro is peppered in the lettuce and other rows and considered a yield increaser.

We’ve also decided to try our hand at going vertical. Hog panels will be lining the Cucumber section so we can hopefully pull the cucumbers hanging from the panel instead of stepping over piles of vines on the ground. This should reduce plant damage and result in cleaner Cucumbers.

We are also going vertical with Luffa. We successfully grew a Luffa last year in our test plot so are undertaking tall arched hog panels that will be high enough to walk under! A little fun having squash hanging overhead.

The East Plot was the Pumpkin patch last year which will be expanded with multiple squash types and 2 rows to test our ability to grow Watermelon and Cantelope. We will also add Sunflowers to this area which are considered a good cover crop.

We can’t wait to start!