People often complain that their onions never get very big in Flagstaff. In general, larger onions are usually obtained when growing onions from seeds rather than sets. Here is an old “trick” that will help you get bigger onions from planting sets in a short season area.
When planting the bulbs, place them shallowly in the soil, just barely under the soil surface and space them at least three inches apart. As the plants grow, gradually pull the soil back from the bulbs so that by August, at least 2/3 of the bulb is above ground. It looks odd, but do it. In a long growing season the tops of the onions will eventually fall over and die back, and this is when the bulbs really start to enlarge. In a short season area such as Flagstaff there isn’t enough time for this to happen, so you must help them out.
Around September 1st ( I remember because it is Coconino County Fair time) go out into the garden and literally walk all over your onion plants and stomp them down. Do not cut the tops off, just leave the mashed mess as is. (Your shoes will smell of onions.) Now the bulbs will enlarge quickly and be ready to harvest around Halloween.
You will be amazed at how this little “trick” (who some think is an “old wives tale”) will help you grow beautiful large onions.
The month of June is almost over, and I’ve been hard at work in the greenhouse!
June 7 – Today I transplanted the cucumber and cantaloupe seedlings, putting all of the cucumbers in the outdoor garden and as well as two of the cantaloupe seedlings. One of the cantaloupe seedlings went in the main bed in the greenhouse. The outdoor garden and greenhouse plants are growing nicely. The orchard is also looking healthy at this point. In fact, we started picking apricots today—both Sweetheart and Blenheim Royal. Very delicious!!
June 14 – Picked lots of beets and some carrots in the greenhouse. The beets had gotten pretty big. The carrots were medium size.
June 15 – Today was harvest day for the nectarines from the tree behind the greenhouse. I picked 3 plastic grocery bags full as well as a bag of Sweetheart apricots from the orchard.
June 18 – Today I picked the first eggplant from the greenhouse – “Hansel” variety.
June 22 – I harvested the first zucchini and yellow summer squash from the outside garden as well as the Santa Rosa plums from the tree behind the greenhouse.
June 24 – First harvest of green beans from the outside garden and first “Stupice” tomato from the greenhouse.
You may have noticed the lack of content on the blog. Please be patient as we revamp Tomato Jim. We’ll be back and posting soon!