Seed catalogue companies mostly send out their magazines in December. This is the period when most gardeners have the time to sit and look through the colorful pages.
Much information is given about varieties, how to plant and space, "keeping" properties and sizes of harvest. I have found that these helpful hints are fairly accurate and I tend to return to these catalogues when I have questions.
I get catalogues from many sources including: Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Seeds of Change, Fedco, Territorial Seed Company, Pinetree Garden Seeds & Accessories, John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds, Totally Tomatoes, R.H. Schumway’s, Irish Eyes Garden Seeds, Burgess Seed & Plant Co., Maine Potato Lady, and Vermont Bean Seed Company. It’s quite nice to have so many options as many varieties can only be found in a few catalogues. Prices also vary widely. I believe that most of these sources could be found through internet searches.
This year, I will be planting my onions on Feb. 2nd or 3rd. These two days (as well as March 1st –after 12:33 PM EST, the 2nd and the 3rd –before 4:11 PM EST) are the best astrologically. The Moon is waning and in the very fertile sign of Scorpio. I love the variety, Copra, as they are very good keepers. You can refer to my former blog to see how to plant onions inside.
I always harvest my onions the second week of August. By this time, the greens are falling down and most of their energy has gone into the bulb. Here is a picture when they are almost ready...
I carefully lay them down on sheets in the Sun giving all of them space enough for the light to shine on them. They will need to be “sunned” for 7 sunny days before they are ready to hang in the pantry. These onions are just about ready.
Every night, I put them into baskets and take them into the house. This prevents the dew from getting them wet. As I put them into the baskets, I gently pull on the greens (if they still have them) until they all look like the onions in the store.
Once they are ready for storage, I sort through them, removing any damaged ones, “paper”-less ones or ones that I have dropped. These go into the kitchen for immediate use. The rest last all winter long and into the spring (they usually start to sprout sometime in May). If any sprout sooner, remove them from the bag right away. Otherwise, they can cause spoilage of the onions around them.
For southern gardeners, it will soon be time to start your plants inside or out. Check with your local extension service or garden centers for exact dates. Again, for February, the best days for planting below-ground crops are the 2nd & 3rd. The best days for planting above-ground crops are 11th, 12th, 20th, 21st & 22nd (before 5:12 PM EST). Happy planting!
Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens.
Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer! A personally autographed copy of her book, Love Signs, is available in the Almanac.com General Store. You can also find an ebook version on Amazon.com for $2.99.
Celeste is a great speaker for garden groups and civic groups. She is also offer a gardening “Apprentice with Celeste." Email her for details via AlmanacEditors@yankeepub.com