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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3043 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2015 :  6:19:50 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I picked up some onion starters today at Wal-Mart. I'll get those in the ground tomorrow and hopefully will have some Sweet Texas and Sweet Georgia onions in about 3 months. I like to plant them too close together, then thin them for "green onions" for salads. Otherwise, we would end up harvesting them all at once and not be able to use them before they go bad. I prefer onions fresh--have never found a way to store them long-term without a root cellar, which is hard to come by in Louisiana, where the houses are pretty much built on stilts to prevent mold.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2015 :  06:07:13 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Fresh onions?? Oh my!! That would be so nice. I grew some green onions (scallions) once in a pot and they were divine. I tried again this year and had no luck at all.
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2015 :  4:29:30 PM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jnanne, I had to look these onions up, and notice they look like the yellow, and white onions we plant, in size. Come time when the onions grow to the size you want in the fall, we dug ours up, twisted their tops close to the ball, and laid them out on a hay wagon, any flat surface will do, to dry the outer skin. When the tops got crispy, we cut them off, along with any roots, then stored the tops in the fridge in a paper bag, and the rest in the fruit cellar for winter use. I separated all the small ones and used them for soups and stews whole, darned if I was going to be peeling a ton of those for anything else. I would assume, and I may be wrong, but you could also do the same with yours if you want to keep them longer. We also dehydrated the tops and crumbled them up, and placed those in jars for future use in cottage cheese, dips, etc. If you dont have a dehydrator, you can use your oven, works just as well to dry them out. Of course, nothing beats fresh out of the garden. When onion sets become available here, I plan on canning some for future use.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3043 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2015 :  2:45:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Judy--sounds like good advice, just don't have the fridge space and there's truly no such thing as a cellar in this state. The sea level is so near the surface that houses don't have basements, and most homes are built using pier and beam construction--which is basically brick or concrete legs with wide beams for a base that the house rests upon. You can bend down and see under the house, with usually about 3-4' of clearance between the dirt and the underside of the house.

I don't much care for dehydrated onions, but I do freeze some for use in soups, stews, sauces, and crock-pot dishes. Mostly, though, my husband likes fresh onion slices with his salad at supper daily. You just can't substitute that. We'll just go with what we can grow and use--then head to the grocery store the rest of the year. At least with a cool weather crop I can plant in the fall and again in January for two pickings. Just wish I had gotten some planted in October!

Jnanne
Silver certified
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2015 :  3:05:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have mostly annual hollyhocks. A lot of seedlings died. I had 1 yellow pear tomato seedling that died....a lot of geraniums died.... all of the basil died. I plan to plant more basil .... a lot more tomatoes and peppers. This time I will use the plant light. I may try more scallions too. You got me thinking about onions Jnanne!! I love fresh scallions.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2015 :  06:51:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
www.burpee.com%2fseed-starting%2fseed-starting-part-1-article10541.html&utm_campaign=EM_2015-01-21_ContentSeedStarting&utm_content=ContentSeedStarting" target="_blank">http://www.burpee.com/seed-starting/seed-starting-part-1-article10541.html?trk_msg=VJ2MNOBNMN9KB9AL75QO73M2QK&trk_contact=3QPRMNK7OUABJ9MR6BMPM9B254&espm=E16BC5FCB57745D3A5553975838EC2D5&espc=5EBBB31EC787B994A6DB32ED9B256229&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3a%2f%2fwww.burpee.com%2fseed-starting%2fseed-starting-part-1-article10541.html&utm_campaign=EM_2015-01-21_ContentSeedStarting&utm_content=ContentSeedStarting

I am watching this...you never know when you can learn something. There is nothing better than seeing a seed sprout and grow into a plant.
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2015 :  11:54:04 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Sorry you lost so many seedlings. Did you use your plant grow light? I know my son lost several plants last spring, before he researched the use of the lights. He finally put the 4' grow lamps on pullies to raise, and lower as the plants required the need for more or less light, or moved plants to other light sections depending on the amount of light each required if he had quite a few, and turned them off at night in some cases, and on in others. EVERY night he was down in the basement tending those plants, and again in the morning before heading off to work. I give you a lot of credit for playing with seeds, known and unknown species, and Im sure it gives you a LOT of satisfaction when they flourish.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2015 :  10:47:47 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I planted a whole tray...6 cells in each section.... cherry tomato, yellow pear tomato, cherokee purple tomato, jalapenos, cubanelle pepps, hungarian wax pepps, california (sweet) pepps, roma tomatoes, basil, parsley and last but not least.... salsa tomatoes. One of the cherry tomato seeds sprouted already!! I put the plant gro on the tray all day and til 9 PM. I love that thing!!!! Going to plant scallion seeds, green bouquet basil, purple cleome, and white hollyhocks.
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2015 :  04:03:26 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Your enthusiasm sounds just like Kurt when he planted and watched the developing plants grow. It seems everyday they seem to grow so quickly with the grow lights. did you plant your sees directly into the trays, or purchase some of those coconut pots that you can remove from the tray,and plant directly into the soil when theyre ready? Thats what we did. We had trays of small, medium sized coconut pots enabling the plants to grow longer without being suffocated or cramped. Since youre growing your plants inside, I would think those type of containers would be great just having to place one in a larger clay or whatever type pot you plan on using.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2015 :  05:27:59 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Judy, how far away from the trays is the light supposed to be? I have a pole lamp and the plant gro light bulb in 2 sockets right over the trays. The light is approx. 5-7" from the trays. I guess I will get another pole lamp for the second tray.

It is magical to watch the seeds sprout!! They are so darn cute. So far I have a cherry tomato sprout, yellow pear tomato and a lot of salsas. I just turned the tray around.

Hollyhocks ("outhouse")are doing great..they have 3 leaves on the plants and are about 2" tall now. Cleome has 2 sets of leaves and is about 1" tall. A 4 o' clock seed sprouted in the same cup with 3 hollyhocks. so cute........
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2015 :  1:16:58 PM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
McBarb, Our grow lights are 4' long in set in a large florescent type ceiling contraption with mirrored coating on the underside, with 2 light tubes to each. and they are set at about 12-15" above the plants. As the plants grow, then the lights are raised accordingly to growth, or moved to another light section if they require more, or less light. I dont have a lot to do with them, and since my son knew absolutely nothing about gardening, Im sure he did a lot of research online to find out all he could before he got started. Of course, he had a few small pots that started later than others, also some that didnt come up at all that had to be replanted. Hes got 6 grow lamps in 4' sections on the shop work bench, and is just itching to start planting his seeds. Hes been working on his garden planting spreadsheet so hell be ready. Theres an old well on the farm that hasnt been used for a long time, and hes hoping to use that for watering this year. He bought a submersible pump, and will be dropping that in the well when the weather warms. Hell use a big generator to run it so it wont get added on his grandma's electric bill. Last year, he depended on rain water coming off the shed roof, and the shed was also catching the water off the walnut trees nearby, that caused us to lose a lot of veggies (Big Boy, Better Girl, and Roma tomatoes/jalapenos/sweet corn and even some of the string beans).
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2015 :  07:49:07 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think I need to take the seedlings (once they are up) and keep them about 12" from the bulb. Last time I lost a lot of seedlings cuz I burned them up. Live and learn.......
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2015 :  08:33:08 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
McBarb, I was wrong about the distance of gro-light to trays, plus he added some info. When using the gro-light on fully filled trays, the gro-light should be large enough to cover the whole tray, if not, the soil wont be evenly heated to promote growth, causing some seeds to not sprout, or die.If using a partially filled tray its wise to cut off the empty areas. I told him you have a bulb type lamp, I hope I understood you correctly. If thats the case, the bulb type is only good for a couple of small pots. Also, he added that using the tray, or just a couple of pots, the light should be set 2" above the plant as they grow, and adjusted as the plants grow to maintain the same distance. I asked him about the 12" setting and he informed me that he had some plants he didnt want to grow as fast, so he set the lighting higher, and shut them off at night. Hope this info helps.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2015 :  1:33:51 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Judy, thanks for the info. Some scallions came up. I think last time I planted them in old dirt. Hmmmmm, fresh green onions!! My cubanelle pepps, sweet pepps and jalapenos came up too!! I wish I could post pics here.
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2015 :  11:56:02 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I envy you McBarb! Fresh anything this time of the year sounds scrumptious. Kurt planted green pepper plants and jalapeno peppers today. I have to to tell you about these neat little pods he purchased. Theyre about 1/2" thick and in a circle about the size of a half dollar. You pour warm water slowly over the "pellets". After they expand drain the excess water from the tray. Plant 1-2 seeds to each pellet and press seed into the coco material. These pellets expand upwards, and include peat moss and fertilizer for growth. When the plants grow they can then be transplanted to pots, or outdoors. Theyre made by Planters Pride and come with a covered tray, or a box of 50.Theyre called 50 plantable coconut coir Pellets. He got them at the local home improvement store. Kurt is quite impressed with them, so we shall see how they work. He likes the fact hes not having to use soil,or making a mess. Theyre for all flowers and vegetables.Now that seed planting is on the way, I have hope for spring!
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2015 :  12:05:23 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
What type of seeds does he use? Park, Burpee, Hart, Gurney, Burgess seeds? Where do you get supplies? I may buy a greenhouse for the yard and lock the doors. So mnay vegies were stolen last year.. really?!
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2015 :  12:14:32 PM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
This year he ordered everything except the potatoes and onions from Burpee. He was quite shocked to see the difference between store bought which included many broken seeds, and Burpee's immaculate all in one piece seeds. He received a pamplet the other day that offers 75% off, wouldnt you know, after hes already ordered all the seeds, but now he is going to order two peach trees. There is nothing like home canned peaches! My other son, is trying to find a georgia peach grower to get a few crates shipped his way for canning when the time comes. I gave my last 2 qts to him when he came to visit over xmas.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2015 :  1:15:55 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I get Burpee seeds at the Walmart's. Burpee is so expensive and they do not always grow. I am looking for other seed companies. I found Hart seeds out of Connecticut. Their hollyhock seeds always grow and Burpee does not. I also like their peppers...cubanelle peppers are Hart seeds. I found them at the hardware store here in town. I also try the cheapo seeds...America and Plantation are ok. I am growing their jalapenos and beefsteak tomatoes this year. Plantation seeds are sold at DG and F$.

Judy, if you have problems with plants or seedlings, you can email Burpee customer service. I sent them photos of my geraniums and she told me what to do for them.
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JudyK
Star Contributor

Eau Claire, WI. 54703-1729
USA
1349 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2015 :  04:11:23 AM  Send JudyK an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Yikes! That isnt good to hear, especially when he spent over $150 on seed, and that was on their half off sale/free shipping. You are absolutely right about their prices being high, but Burpee was highly recommended by another farmer friend of his thats had fantastic luck using their vegetable seed. If it proves to be as you say, youll hear about it.
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MCBarb
Star Contributor

USA
1633 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2015 :  12:37:07 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Save seed packs just in case, as they will want to know upc codes etc. The only trouble I had was with their hollyhocks...they do not germinate and do not grow at all. I gave up. They sent me 2 packs of replacement seeds and they do not grow either (and I soaked the seeds) !!

I have had great luck with their salsa tomatoes, cherry tomato, roma tomato and Cherokee purple. Peppers are ok too.... especially jalapenos. I grew Burpee jalapenos last summer in a pot and at one time ....the plant had over 20 peppers on it.
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