DUCKS for THEE in 2023

meadow

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The pvc pipe is a great idea!

Did you already start your leeks? I salvaged shallots yesterday and got them started in some 2" pots to at least allow root development until I can get them into the garden (missed the proper timing). Am hoping to get leeks and seed shallots started this morning, BUT trying to decide what to start them in. Plastic cups or large yogurt containers, or more shallow flats. What are you using (or what DID you use)?
 

ducks4you

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I am seeing a lot of articles about WINTER SOWING.
Here is a good one re: starting onions outside:
"My favorite method: Planting onion seeds via winter sowing
If you want to skip the hassle of grow lights, heating mats, and other seed-starting equipment, growing onion seeds via winter sowing is the way to go. It works like a charm and is super easy. All you need is a packet of onion seeds, a plastic lidded container, and some potting soil formulated for seed starting. I start planting onion seeds via winter sowing anytime between early December and mid-February.
starting_onion_seeds.jpg


Containers planted with onion seeds should be left outdoors in a sheltered, shady site.​

When the temperatures and day length are just right, your onion seeds will start to sprout inside the container. At that time, you need to start monitoring the moisture level inside the container, watering your seedlings when necessary. Open the lid on warm days and close it at night. If you get a hard freeze in the spring, after the seedlings have germinated, toss a blanket or towel over the container at night for added insulation.
As soon as your garden soil can be worked in the early spring, transplant your onion seedlings out into the garden (that’s usually mid-March in my Pennsylvania garden)."
 

Dahlia

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I should add, I need a car to drive 10 miles to their house and feed their 2 "chonks" (slightly overweight cats) while they are away this weekend.
It was 42 degrees and lovely yesterday and by 8PM it was cold and very windy.
Your weather sounds like ours! The winds are predicted to hit 45 knots today!!
 

Phaedra

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By the way, for perennial natives...
I have some concerns about this milk jar method after some consideration.

Basically, the container is for seed germination, and the seedlings have to be pricked out afterward.

1. It's a waste of putting so much potting soil.
2. There might be some warm days that the seeds might germinate, and
2.1 seedlings root quickly - difficult to prick out and easily damage the roots.
2.2 seedlings become leggy as the light isn't enough (semi-transparent jar + winter)
2.3 the freezing days follow - seedlings can't make it.

When there is a greenhouse, using milk jars might be helpful as it's a kind of double protection. However, this method will also result in unpredictable issues.
 

ducks4you

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The first article says to monitor your onion seeds. IF they sprout, cover them with towels, etc. to keep them from freezing, then pull the cover as it gets warmer.
I have old onion seeds and I'm gonna try it with them.
Panelist on this week's Mid American Gardener suggested starting native flower seeds in a Sunny location, and to also check on them.
Natives can handle your freeze thaw cycles.
 

Phaedra

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The first article says to monitor your onion seeds. IF they sprout, cover them with towels, etc. to keep them from freezing, then pull the cover as it gets warmer.
I have old onion seeds and I'm gonna try it with them.
Panelist on this week's Mid American Gardener suggested starting native flower seeds in a Sunny location, and to also check on them.
Natives can handle your freeze thaw cycles.
For onions, I also prefer growing from seeds than sets. :)
 

meadow

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We grew a red onion last year that I absolutely adore. I'm so tempted to save seed, but have heard that it requires quite a number of plants to keep the seed healthy and prevent decline. Trying to decide if I want to bother planting so many... but there are not many sources of seed. (it was supposed to be a red spring onion but it formed modest-sized bulbs, no doubt due to neglect and my forgetting to check on it. it was so sweet and good in sandwiches, and salads too! Apache, at Territorial Seed)

Have any of you saved your own onion seed before?
 
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