1440 onions

This post is Part 19 of 24 in Stories: Starting seeds

1440 onions

I’m sure I’ve taken this photo before, but somehow, it’s still new—the first transplants of the season! This is the look of 1,440 onions, starting out. These are 72-cell plug sheets, and the plan is to multi-plant four onions in each spot. Do a little multiplication—5 trays, 72 cells, 4 onions per—and the results are clear. Whether things will turn out exactly like this, perfect bushels of Red Globe red and Utah sweet Spanish, is anybody’s guess, but I’m quite confident we will get…something! :)

All the usual tools and methods for this tiny farm are back for another run. There are still at least a couple of years left on the roll of donated food-grade plastic wrap that I use (and re-use for the season) to hold moisture and increase heat, just until the tiny seedlings emerge. To check temperatures in this new seedling room, on the lowest shelf of the light rack, where it’s coldest, is one of the minimum/maximum digital recording thermometers. And of course, there are the trusty, home-built light racks themselves, with an assortment of T-12 and T-8 fixtures and Cool White fluorescent tubes, providing the bare minimum of heat and light to get things started.

I’m always up for trying new approaches and new gear, but a lot of the time, if it gets the job done and you’re already having fun, what more could you need?!

8 thoughts on “1440 onions”

  1. Mike,
    Thanks for the blog post! very exciting to see the season get rolling. Will also be looking for updates through the season on the cluster planting of the onions, a technique I want to try next year as we are not planting onions from seeds this year.

  2. looks great! we’re growing zone 5 also, and after my husband found your blog last year, you’ve inspired us to do more and do it better! keep up the great work, and keep those posts coming…

  3. Gosh, I’m glad to see your spring posts start up!
    I just did the same thing – 6 trays of onions, yahoo! But I only did 4-5 seeds for the bunching varieties and 2 for the bulbing ones. The disadvantage is that it means a lot more trays, but I wasn’t sure if the spanish varieties would be crowded?

  4. Pingback: Seeds still work! : My Blog
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    Avoid exhaust fumes when biking to work, notes spoof-tailpipe creator
    Washington, DC – May 19, 2010 — Biking to work can be invigorating and healthy, but for many it could be harmful.
    A ride along a busy street means increased exposure to vehicle exhaust and its long list of pathogens, including carbon monoxide, soot, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, benzene and formaldehyde, which can cause asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
    Riders may want to choose a route with little car and truck traffic, notes a clean-air activist who created a fake exhaust pipe accessory to draw attention to the dangers of car exhaust.

    His spoof “Monoxitube” campaign challenges every driver to “Face Your Exhaust.” The Monoxitube is a 25-foot tube that hypothetically attaches to the exhaust pipe of a car or truck, wraps around the vehicle and slides into the driver’s side window, sending the exhaust straight into the driver’s seat, instead of towards bicyclists.
    Clean-air proponent Dave Doctor got the idea for the spoof one morning during his walk to work along busy roads. “I wanted to remind drivers about the toxicity of car exhaust. The Monoxitube idea makes that point in a vivid way,” said Doctor. “No one would drive with the exhaust going into the car. So why is it acceptable to send carbon monoxide and soot out the back of the car and into the air where it will be inhaled by bicyclists and pedestrians?”
    The product’s website suggests more than 15 ways drivers can protect themselves and others from car exhaust. Ideas range from telecommuting or taking a bus to creating pedestrian malls free of car exhaust.
    To help bicyclists, the site suggests purchasing vehicles designed with tailpipes on the left side, since bicyclists ride to the right. For example, most truck exhaust pipes point to the right.
    If you’re participating in Bike to Work Day, try a road less traveled to avoid vehicle exhaust. It might take more time, but your heart and lungs will thank you.
    Monoxitube Spoof
    Dave Doctor
    Arlington, VA


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