Preparing a bed for onions.

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Preparing a bed for onions.

Post  siri on Thu May 08, 2008 12:01 pm

I have just rotary hoed a bed that had very little in the way of weeds. I have 3 packets of onion seeds and I'm thinking of hilling this bed up into 3 raised beds, and planting the seeds tomorrow. Is there anything I should be putting in there before I plant the seeds?
I would like to simply broadcast the seeds, but if weeds come up i will have a major chore finding the onions!
I should mention that this bed has been limed (last June) and fed with super and potassium sulphate in late August last year. The soil texture looks good - nice and crumbly but not powdery.
Cheers, Jan

siri
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Re: Preparing a bed for onions.

Post  Raymondo on Thu May 08, 2008 1:30 pm

The super's not good for onions, too much nitrogen, but it was a while ago so much of it will have been used or simply gone off into the atmosphere. Unless your soil is alkaline, I would lime again before planting. Onions love the stuff. I wouldn't broadcaat the seed if you think weeds may be a problem. Make furrows and sow into them. At least you'll know where they're meant to be.

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Re: Preparing a bed for onions.

Post  Blossom on Thu May 08, 2008 6:41 pm

I sometimes plant in punnets then shake them out, shake off the soil and lay them on the 'uphill' side of a drill made with my finger. This way I can space them. Then I run my finger on the other side of the drill just to cover the roots. Within a couple of days they are standing upright even though they were planted lying down. Other times I direct drill - making the same finger drill on a raised mound, sow the seeds thinly, then run my finger lightly over one side to barely cover the seed and give a side dressing of lime between the mounds. I prefer them in rows because it gives me a change to use the hollows for the lime and also to water as onions don't like top watering.

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Re: Preparing a bed for onions.

Post  siri on Fri May 09, 2008 3:27 am

That was my next question - water them in or not?
I used to always plant them out from punnets that I purchased. I'm not good at rearing stuff in punnets myself. I neglect things.
These days you are lucky to get more than 2 doz seedlings to a punnet. I doubt there is much cost in the seed. All the cost would be in the materials, growing and marketing, so selling them with 20 or 30 instead of 100 is just a rip off, and 4 times the plastic waste.
I can afford them but I refuse on principal to buy them. So seeds it is.
I have some sand so I might mix the seed with sand and run it out nice and thin.
Cheers, Jan

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Re: Preparing a bed for onions.

Post  Blossom on Fri May 09, 2008 4:19 am

I tend to avoid watering in seeds but plant into damp soil but if its dry, then by all means give them a gentle watering.

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Re: Preparing a bed for onions.

Post  Betty on Fri May 09, 2008 5:42 am

Well, there are two things I didn't know about onions, that they like lime and that they don't like top watering. No wonder I have little success. LOL. What sort of Lime should we use?

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Re: Preparing a bed for onions.

Post  siri on Fri May 09, 2008 6:41 am

The mineral, not the fruit juice - LOLOLOL - Oh! I'm sorry Betty. That was very naughty.
I usually just by what they call "Garden Lime" from Bunnings. I do the irises with it every year - heavily.
Cheers, Jan

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Re: Preparing a bed for onions.

Post  Betty on Fri May 09, 2008 10:50 am

Good one, Jan. ROTFL. Reason I asked is that I didn't know if Dolomite is lime. I have Dolomite here but no lime, And for the iris, do you just sprinkle it or does it have to be dug in? We don't have a Bunnings but Coles sell Amgrow Organix and there is Lime there.

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Re: Preparing a bed for onions.

Post  Blossom on Fri May 09, 2008 11:03 am

Dolomite is lime with a bit of extra magnesium. I use dolomite because our higher rainfall tends to leach the trace elements out of the soil.

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Re: Preparing a bed for onions.

Post  Betty on Fri May 09, 2008 2:55 pm

Lime for me then. Our average annual rainfall is only 17 inches and we haven't had that much for quite a few years. Thanks.

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Re: Preparing a bed for onions.

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