Breaking Ground

If you’ve read my last two beekeeping posts, then I’m sure that you’re aware of our recent weather situation (mainly, that it’s been cold, windy, and all around miserable). The picture of the thermometer on the right was taken last week, long before it snowed! Luckily for us, though, we had a little taste of Spring weather this weekend. This meant that we had to capitalize on this fleeting opportunity to get into the garden as quickly as we could!

Although I don’t have too much time tonight (thanks to a paper on “The Yellow Wallpaper” that has yet to write itself), I thought I’d break my recent schoolwork-induced writing fast and quickly let you all know where the Scholar’s Garden stands!

As the last frost date draws near (here in central PA it’s May 4), we’ve been scrambling to prepare the land for this year’s garden. With the warm weather and stink bugs fast approaching (the first one of those six-legged pests was spotted outside today), it was decided that this weekend we would break ground and establish the plot. Because I’ve been stuck inside working on scholarly assignments, my dad was kind enough to begin the de-grassing process in the yard. Before too long, the garden took shape, and, now, all that’s left is to fill it in with dirt, fertilize the area, and perform a soil sample or two!

With the main garden in as much order as possible, I turned my attention (and Garden Weasel) to the smaller plot which is already home to the garlic plants I mentioned in “The Equinox.” It was decided that all of the Alliums (plants in the onion/garlic family) grown this year would be placed in this spot. So, in an attempt to get a jump on the rapidly-nearing planting season, I started the rest of our leeks in the terrarium and attempted to plant our red onion sets. “Attempted” being the key word there.

As it turns out, leaving your onion sets in a plastic container tends to build up quite a bit of moisture, which, in turn, seems to turn your once-vibrant onions into the perfect hiding spot for lovely blue/green mold. Since we’re not trying to cultivate mold this year (colorful as it may be), we were forced to purchase a second bag of onions; and, eventually, place them into the ground. From what I’ve heard, you’re supposed to plant onion sets about eight weeks before the final frost date, but, as I only learned this bit of knowledge yesterday, four weeks before the final frost will have to do! Even though we encountered a few, minor setbacks in the onion-planting process, our baby alliums are, at long last, safely nestled next to their adolescent cousins.

Sadly, I must be off to ponder the inner workings of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” but I’ll leave you with a very handy, succinct guide to growing onions entitled, “How to Plant Onions!”

As always, happy gardening!

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Nice post! You’re lucky your last frost date is early in May. Ours is later in the month. I plant onions all around the perimeter of my flower/vegetable garden–for us to eat as scallions and onions AND to repel rabbits. As the seed heads form, I pinch them off and sprinkle them in the bare spots between other onions. I pick some onions during the summer and leave some in the ground. Some stay green all winter and come back!

    Reply

  2. Sorry to hear about the moldy onion sets–and your paper. Hope the latter, at least, is shaping up well. I hadn’t come across “The Yellow Wallpaper” before–in some ways it reminds me eerily of the movie “Gaslight” (1944, Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman). In the movie, the woman is being purposefully driven mad by a cruel, greedy husband–almost better than being mad by someone kind, who’s sure he knows what’s best for you better than you do, and by a whole culture that thinks the same. Brr. Read some Jerome K. Jerome as an antidote!

    Btw, your bee-keeping plans look incredible!

    Reply

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