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Thread: Be putting out onions & garlic sets soon

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Default Be putting out onions & garlic sets soon

    About time for onion & garlic to go in.
    I might need to lay down some planks to get into the garden, top 1-2'' is gooey.
    Found some at Wallmrt.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Do you think its an issue with the colder temps at night?
    Are you in raised beds or having any plastic on top?

    I'm asking 'cause I want to do the same but don't know....
    Bk

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    Interesting.

    An onion "set" is a bulb, but some people call onion seedlings "sets". You can buy seedlings from sead companies, and if you do that, I would not plant them yet. If in fact you are planting the bulbs, you should probably get them in the soil as soon as the soil is thawed. My best luck with onions has been to start them from seed in January or February and keep trimming the greenery until I can transplant. Either way, onions are pretty cold hardy. April is early, but in MatSu I don't see a reason not to transplant in early May. In Fairbanks we would transplant as soon as the top foot of soil was thawed.

    As for Garlic, I've never heard of the cloves being called "sets", but if that's what you are referring to, I agree that you should get them in the ground early. I plant my garlic bulbs in late October. I've never tried planting in the spring. Conventional wisdom is that it won't work well, but who knows. Have you done this in the past?

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Have been planting the bulb for onions for a few years now as soon as the soil is thawed.
    Now I get onions twice as big as I used to get
    & we get green onions for salads much sooner.

    Old John plants them early now too, with good success.

    Yes
    I have raised beds
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    Mudbuddy,
    Thanks for the info, pic is great too!
    Nice cukes in the greenhouse on other thread. I'd say you know what your doing allright.

    Next 2 questions if you will.
    I'm looking for raspberry starts....got any or lead me in the right direction to a variety that does well?
    Last, got any strawberry advice? We have a patch that initially produced lots of big berries, the last couple years have been very tiny, like the wild variety size, and mostly runners, hardly any berries anymore. What we do get is rather white and barely turns red then its done. They came from Lowes as starts naybe 6 or 7 years ago.
    Thanks.
    Bk

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    Someone on here should have raspberries they'd be glad to give you for free if you come dig out the ones running out of the bed. My neighbors and friends come by each spring and dig up canes getting away from me. Domestic strawberries have a life of about 3 seasons. If you don't want to buy more, save some runners to start a new patch and get rid of the mother plants.


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    How do you grow onions from seed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon3464 View Post
    How do you grow onions from seed?
    You have to start them from seed in flats in January/February. I use the 128 plant per flat trays, as they don't need much room for roots. Trim the tops as they grow, and they don't need a ton of artificial light. Transplant them as soon as the soil is thawed.

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    how do you keep root maggots from destroying them. That is what I want to know. Pesky critters. I bought a mosquito net tent (for putting over a camp cot) thinking I would try it this year.
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    I've had no problems with root maggots on onions, only radish, turnip, etc. but if you get remay row cover over them early before the flies lay their eggs you've got a chance. Pull the row cover after the flies are dead in late June or so.


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    Nematodes. I do know that from my experience with radishes. You can buy them at local nurseries or online. My experience is with a sponge that you soak in water and then use the water on your plants that need the protection. It's nothing short of amazing.

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Thanks Ripper!

    Next question. We have always planted bulbs when the danger of frost is past. From this thread, I see we could be planting them sooner. (raised beds) But how do you keep the greens from falling over? or do you even worry about it? Trim the greens throughout the summer?
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    I use the smaller one for salads.
    The larger ones ; the ones I'll pull in the fall I bend/push/step on the tops over
    smaller greens & it makes the onion bulb get larger.
    + I keep any seed sprouts pinched out.

    Have a few left over thru winter, they're starting to sprout. :
    DSCF4873.JPG

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    Juli:

    It wasn't mentioned, and you may be aware of this, but if you don't use chemicals you need to rotate your crops to avoid root maggots long term. I also haven't had a lot of problem with them on onions, but a three year crop rotation schedule is highly recommended.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuliW View Post
    how do you keep root maggots from destroying them. That is what I want to know. Pesky critters. I bought a mosquito net tent (for putting over a camp cot) thinking I would try it this year.
    JuliW, I've always fought the root maggots in my onions with nematodes. Great Northern Garden sells them, for $21 you get a little sponge allegedly full of millions.. with instructions on what to do with them. Others swear by the use of row covers to keep the flies away.. The problems I have with the nematodes are… sometimes I put them on too early (It's too cold), sometimes I'm a little late.. Either way I usually get a few good onions. It's always a gamble.

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    I have had a lot of problem with onion maggots. Tried nematodes with some success, but it didn't completely solve the problem. going to try a combination or row covers and nematodes this year.
    And by the way crop rotation will not stop the root maggots, as the fly's just move to the next bed, but it is a good idea in general to deter diseases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerDan View Post
    Juli:

    It wasn't mentioned, and you may be aware of this, but if you don't use chemicals you need to rotate your crops to avoid root maggots long term. I also haven't had a lot of problem with them on onions, but a three year crop rotation schedule is highly recommended.
    HikerDan, does your 3 yr crop rotation plan mean that every 3 yrs you change the location of certain (or all) types of vegetables ?? FWIW I have always rotated all my vegetables on a yearly basis..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    HikerDan, does your 3 yr crop rotation plan mean that every 3 yrs you change the location of certain (or all) types of vegetables ??
    \

    No. I basically classify my main crops as follows:
    1) Cole Crops
    2) Potatoes and other nightshades (Peppers, Tomatoes)
    3) Carrots
    4) Legumes

    My garden gets divided into 5 zones and any of the above only is allowed in a given zone once every three years. So, if I grow tomatoes in my 2nd sunniest zone in 2015, I can't grow tomatoes, potatoes or peppers in that zone again until 2018. It can get a little complicated because I don't have enough space and I have prime conditions at some sites that I am always tempted to over-utilize. For example, I have a sunny fence that gives me good pole bean and snap pea production, and all my other locations for growing vertically have poor exposure and don't produce. So, I cheat, and grow in the prime location 2 out of 3 years. It hasn't burned me yet, but it makes me nervous.

    crops that don't worry about rotating include zucchini, herbs, swiss chard, cucumbers and winter squash. I don't know if my lack of concern with those crops is valid or not, but I've not had a problem.

    I do want to emphasize one aspect of rotation.

    YOU MUST ROTATE POTATOES; and
    YOU MUST ROTATE COLE CROPS, with the possible exception of Kale.

    If you don't, you will have disease and pest outbreaks. Perhaps the rest of the plants don't need rotation. I don't know. But, from multiple examples of personal experience and second hand information I know that Potatoes and Cole Crops must be rotated.

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    Member Ripper's Avatar
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    HikerDan-
    Thanks for the useful info. One question I have for you is rotating potatoes vs having desireable pH. I have not rotated my potatoes in the 5 years I've been planting them and I haven't had any problems.....yet. The reason I haven't rotated them is due to pH. The rest of the garden is limed to pH 6.7, while the potato patch is an acidic 5.7 to reduce the chance of scab. I can't rotate my other crops into that low pH, so I rotate them amongst themselves similar to how you do it, but I don't rotate the spuds. So, what do you do with your pH? Do you plant the potatoes at a more neutral pH the rest of the veggies do well in? Do you get scab? Thanks!


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    Quote Originally Posted by big_dog60 View Post
    I have had a lot of problem with onion maggots. Tried nematodes with some success, but it didn't completely solve the problem. going to try a combination or row covers and nematodes this year..
    Some people have success with growing marigolds to repel root maggots. You might try that with onions. There are large marigolds and smaller marigolds that look a little like Daisies. I would get the small marigolds.

    Quote Originally Posted by big_dog60 View Post
    And by the way crop rotation will not stop the root maggots, as the fly's just move to the next bed, but it is a good idea in general to deter diseases.
    I disagree with this. Root maggots emerge in pupal stage in late May and June which is when your plants are most susceptible. They emerge in the soil where eggs were layed last year, which tends to be where you had cole crops and maybe onions last year. Yes they move around as adults, but it's not the adults that do the most damage to your crops.

    Also, don't leave root structures in the soil in the fall. When you harvest your broccoli or cabbage, pull up the entire root structure and put it in a compost pile away from your garden. If you leave the stem and root structure in the garden, that structure will host root maggots in the fall and winter

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