Starting the Onion Seeds

Last September two kinds of garlic were planted at Faire Garden. The bulbs were ordered from Seed Savers Exchange. Tochliavri, aka Red Torch, shown above, was the most requested garlic at the Seed Savers Yearbook. Seems like a good selling point, don’t you agree?

Inchilium Red, above, was found growing on the Colville Indian reservation in Inchelium, WA. It was rated best tasting garlic by the Rodale Institute in 1990. Both are softneck garlic, the type recommended for the south. Good taste, what better reason to choose these two beauties?

Onion seeds were ordered last fall from Johnny’s Seeds. Good info on the specifics of how to start these seeds has been hard to come by. That is, until this post on Garden Rant,, titled, Sustainable Gardening News, January 08. This contains a link for Stuart’s 21 Skills which contains a link on the list of 21 things, for how to grow onions from seed. How timely!

The hybrid onion, mini red, red marble, shown above, is a small, flat, red cipollini with a thin neck.

Hybrid onion Redwing, above is billed as a uniform large onion with deep red color. Looks good.

Reading the seeds catalogs’ how to’ sections inspired a purchase of chicken grit as a topping on the seed starting mix to prevent damping off and other diseases that plague tiny seedlings.

Usually vermiculite is used as a topping and has worked well in the past. To see which works best, the grit or the vermiculite, each of the onion seed types was planted using one or the other. Redwing is in the vermiculite. Red marble uses the grit. We hope they both do well.

Here is the garlic bed. The two varieties are planted on each side of the fence. I can’t wait to rate them in the Faire Garden taste test.

Also planted along the former green bean fence are sweet peas. These went in last October. More than half were lost to rabbits, cold, slugs, etc. The survivors still have some obstacles to overcome before bloom time. Maybe we will get to cut some of the fragrant flowers to bring inside.

The baby onions will be placed in this t0 be renovated bed. The area from the green fence post to the end of the gold mops chamaecyparis hedge is being made level with the help of a concrete block wall. There was some arugula planted here but it will be sacrificed for the better good of the veggie patch consumers.
Dreaming of an abundant harvest of onions and garlic,

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11 Responses to Starting the Onion Seeds

  1. chickenpoet says:

    I hope you grow enough to share, specifically the garlic.

    From the last pic, I can’t wait until my chamaecyparis is that big.Much Love.

  2. Frances says:

    chickenpoet….The sharing can begin if there is a harvest. You never can tell, but it looks good so far. When the order is placed for next years crop, you may want to participate. I think your chamae will be even larger than those gold mops in the pic. Is yours Crippsii?

  3. kate says:

    I hope you have a good onion and garlic harvest. There isn’t anything quite so delicious as garden-grown garlic. I love it!

  4. Stuart says:

    Your Inchilium Red sounds delightful, Frances. Voted “Best Tasting Garlic” hey!

    We’ve got to get customs to relax their quarantine laws in this country. I would love to try growing these.

    Can’t wait to see your harvest when it’s matured.

  5. Frances says:

    kate…thanks. I have grown garlic before, just from the grocery. This should be way better!

    Stuart…welcome and thanks for visiting. We are hoping to taste what others deemed ‘best’ for ourselves.

  6. Nicole says:

    I am sure that will be a harvest to enjoy. I never got my onions or garlic to harvest, but I enjoy garlic greens year round.

  7. Frances says:

    nicole…thanks. I have never tried garlic greens, they will have to be tried.

  8. Bonnie says:

    I planted sweet pea too! I can’t wait- it’s my first time planting them and I am looking forward to their fragrance.

  9. chuck b. says:

    I’m trying to get the top-setting perennial onions to establish in my garden so I don’t have to plant them anymore.

  10. Frances says:

    Bonnie…I hope your sweet pea crop gives you lots of those great flowers. When we lived outside of Houston, sweet peas were planted in November and were fantastic the next spring. It is more of a struggle up here in TN for them to survive the winter, but it gets hot too fast for them if planted in the spring. So far, so good.

    chuck b….I will check that out, never heard of such a thing before, thanks.

  11. chickenpoet says:

    It is a “Slender Golden Hinoki; chamaecyparis obtusa: gracilis aurea”.

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