Yesterday I planted Onions and more Garlic.

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I built a 5 row template to plant onions 4" apart, 4" between rows, 7 onions per row. I was only able to buy 2 bundles of onion plants 75 plants per bundle. So I bought sets too but was only able to get 2 bags of sets. This year sets are very large only 60 sets per 1 lb bag, last year 150 sets per 1 lb bag. I planted 150 candy onion plants and 126 candy onion sets = 276 onions. Template made onion spacing so perfect the onion bed has 8' of unused space. It only took 30 minutes to plant onions. Either I plant more onions or plant something different to fill in the space. I can not plant anything tall that will shade onions. I can't plant melons of sweet potatoes either. I also replanted garlic -2°f killed my garlic. Online says garlic is good down to 0°f and another place claims garlic is good down to 5°f. In the past 5°f never killed garlic. Template works good for garlic spacing too. Our weather is crazy 76°f Feb 28. Last week was 81°f and in the 70s last week and 65 all week before that. Murfreesboro TN. USA. Onion plants always grow 3" diameter onions. Set grow 2¼ tp 2½" diameter onions. I fertilize first 6 weeks with 21.0-0 fertilizer then switch to 0-20-20 fertilizer for that next 6 weeks. First 6 weeks the goal is to get 10 leaves = 10 onion rings then next 6 weeks goal is to grow large bulbs. I am not growing anymore 4" sweet onions shelf life is only 1 month. This is not a raised bed, boards act like a levee to hold in water. I want water to soak in, not run out in the walk area into other rows.


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Very neat. I usually use two planks. One has what I am planting on it, the second is what I kneel on. Then I simply plant along the front edge of the one with the material on and move backwards in stages.
 
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I also replanted garlic -2°f killed my garlic. Online says garlic is good down to 0°f and another place claims garlic is good down to 5°f. In the past 5°f never killed garlic.
I've overwintered onions in the soil down to around 10F with no problems but started some in a windowsill planter and it got down to 20F or so and it killed every onion. I think it depends on the root system and if the root freezes all the way down, the onion or garlic is kilt.
 
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I had the same with broad beans this year, the book says hardy down to minus ten and I have overwintered before through some rotten weather, this year a bit of snow and slightly below freezing killed the lot. I am replanting in pots indoors, but only getting about 20% germination for some reason. Going to have to get some more, had a bumper crop the year before last and put them in the freezer, but coming to the end of them now.
 

Meadowlark

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My theory about overwintering onions is that they are most vulnerable to winter kill early in the planting cycle when they are establishing root systems and when the cold snap has a long duration. My data covers several decades of overwintering onions.

I always plant my onion plants as early as they are available, usually in early November after being dug down in the Rio Grande valley.

In all the decades of doing this, my most significant loss of onions was this past December cold snap in which we got that unfortunate combination of events (long duration and early in planting cycle) and lost over 30% of the plants (100% lost that were in soil treated by molasses but that's another rabbit trail). That freeze had several days of below freezing weather (long duration) including lows of 11 deg. F and 14 deg. F on back-to-back nights. Those onion plants had been planted in soil in late Nov. just weeks ahead of the cold snap.

By contrast the February cold snap here in 2021 that took out the Texas power grid provided colder low temps of about 8 deg F but was of relatively short duration. My onions survived that with no problem at all including lows of 8 deg. F. That cold snap, although severe lasted only a few days and temps quickly rebounded. No damage to onions which had been in the ground since November.

Moral of the story.... if overwintering onions, plant them early and hope they don't get hit before they establish a viable root system.
 
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Going to have to get some more, had a bumper crop the year before last and put them in the freezer, but coming to the end of them now.
And then the missus cleared the freezer out and fond a lot more, I'll stick with the dozen plants I have and stop worrying.
 

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