Onions and potatoes go in

Planting onions

A satisfying planting day: all of the onion sets (around 2,500) and 300 lbs (136kg) of potatoes are in.

For the onions, Raechelle (first day in the field), Lynn, Jamie (a new CSA member), Shannon (here for a month), and I made quick work of the onions: Stuttgarter yellow cooking and yellow Spanish.

It’s amazing how much fun people working together in a garden can be, there’s a positive, happy, energy that I think comes from sharing time in the dirt (maybe that’s just the tiny farming romantic in me, but I think not… :). Plus, potentially tedious tasks are done in no time!

For an encore, Shannon and I polished off the potatoes, finishing just as the sun set and another chilly evening set in. This year, I used the furrower attachment on the Horse walking rototiller to plow what turned out to be excellent trenches, in ground that had been tilled up about a week ago. Varieties are Yukon Gold, Chieftan (red), and Kennebec. In this batch, all varieties were about chicken egg-sized, so, no need to cut ’em into pieces. In-row spacing is 12″ (30cm), between row is 24″ (60cm), with a bit wider path every two rows. We covered them by hand-raking. In all, 40 x 50′ (15m) rows, which is about 2000 plants.

Every year, I’ve tried a different potato approach. Last year, I made much shallower trenches with a hoe. As far as set-up, this time around was the best yet.

The onions are in a bit later than usual, I’ve had them done as early as mid-April, but no worries, and potatoes are around the usual timing. I grow a relatively small quantity of both of these crops, they always sell out, and they feel like a good fit for CSA and farmers’ market from the middle of summer on, so having them at the absolutely earliest date isn’t that important at this stage. And what would tiny farming be without lots of room to improve?! :)

5 thoughts on “Onions and potatoes go in”

  1. Wow! That’s a lot of potatoes and onions! For once I’m a bit ahead of you since I put my onions in in early April and my potatoes about 12 days ago. No appearance from the potatoes or the asparagus yet – how long are they supposed to take anyway? I’m an impatient gardener…

  2. Did you cover the potatoes by hand too or did you use a harrow? That is a lot of work by hand but looked like fun.

  3. Well if you’re just getting yours in the ground I’m going to stop worrying about mine. I’m still looking for enough containers.
    I just picked up your website from a blogreader and I’m really enjoying it.  Very nicely designed. Good information.   I find myself coming back all week to see how its going.

  4. It’s good to try out new approaches. I hope your hard work pays off. Not so risky with the fifty spuds I put in. Perhaps I can get my wife to help next time? That’s quite a lot of potatoes to come out.

  5. Laura: Potatoes around here take a couple of weeks to push up some leaves, maybe a little less if conditions are great. I don’t know asparagus, ’cause I’ve never grown it…

    Micah: Covered by hand, with rakes! I used a wide landscaping rake, about three times the width of a regular rake, so it didn’t take THAT long… ;)

    Tamara: I’ve been really off on the daily posts, about a week behind, but I’m catching up. I’m happy you’re enjoying it!

    Adrian: Help is GOOD! :)


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