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Newbie onion lessons learned

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Newbie onion lessons learned

Post  edfhinton on 4/6/2013, 12:30 pm

So today has been a good learning experience for me as a newbie. When I planted my onion and green onion seeds, I planted 4 per cell in small cell packs for the onions, and apparently my dexterity was off with the green onions and had planted 4 to 6 seeds per small cell of those. The fact that they almost all germinated meant lots of seedlings, which I wanted, but didn't expect to get. That was the first weekend of March. My beds won't be ready for two more weeks, and the seedlings were looking crowded, so I decided this morning to pot them up into 4" pots with moistened Mel's Mix. Well they weren't pot bound - yet - but they were definitely getting very tangled roots that were in som cases 2 to 3 times as long as the cell depth of the cell packs. But several hours and about 175 seedlings later, I have learned a few things:

1) Don't plant 4 of something per 1" cell if I want to keep more than 1 or 2 from each cell. It is too painstaking for my liking just to have used less cells. (But I am thankful for the swishing in water posts, that at least made untangling the roots fairly easy once I could carefully get them out of the cells.)

2) Don't plant my onions so far in advance of the beds being ready. That should not be a problem after this year, because the beds will already exist. I should have probably waited a couple extra weeks, and then I would not have felt compelled to pot up at all. They could have gone right into the beds when they are in place in another 2 weeks.

3) Make myself a better work area. I was on the floor i front of my grow stands and then finally succumbd to bringing everything upstairs to the dining room.

Thankfully, my wife and I did it together, and that was satisfying. Now time to wait and see how well they respond with the help of the Mel's Mix to the trauma.

By the way, I am using the pre-mixed Mel's Mix delivered from Home Depot. I love the texture and look of it for the most part, but it does contain some pretty good sized sticks (some 1/8 inch thick up to 1.5 inches long in some cases. Not too many of those, but I didn't expect any sticks that big. At least it is obvious it does use coarse vermiculite.)

-Ed
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edfhinton

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Re: Newbie onion lessons learned

Post  cheyannarach on 4/8/2013, 11:48 am

Always more fun to do things as a family! Glad you got it taken care of, that water swooshing is a good tip!
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