Gardening Tip for Transplanting Onions

Views: 12360 | Last Update: 2009-04-29
Onions can be transplanted in large clumps to save time for the backyard gardener. Learn to use hoop houses for transplanting onions from an organic farmer in this free gardening video. View Video Transcript

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Daniel Botkin

Video Transcript

So growing greens like this is a lot of work. So the backyard permaculturist is always looking for short cuts. Anything that can reduce the amount of labor on a given day. Here's a great short cut for you. We've grown these onions and leaks nice and early. What do we have here, Spanish onions, we grew them maybe a hundred or two hundred seeds in a tiny little pot. You can see from the color of the leaves that they've exhausted their nutrients. You can see from the root ball that they've exhausted their space. Now we could prick them apart like we did the Swiss Chard and the celery but that's a lot of work and I might not have time to do that all today. So a second option is this, we're going to take the whole root ball and we're going to give it a new home, right inside of this pot, tucking it in with fresh nutrients and a new zone for root development. This allows the plants to develop further without me having to spend an hour or whatever it would take to peel them apart and when they develop they will still be separable later on. I can still peel them apart for transplant. The optimum size for an onion transplant is like a pencil. So if I were to put these little bitty onions out into the garden or the Hoophouse now, they would languish in the cold wet soil but just by chucking them into a new pot like that, I can give them a new life and maybe a month or more of time. I basically bought time in this manner and they can sit here and develop just like that. They don't need a lot of space as long as they have some more nutrients and as long as they have a nice warm Hoophouse to develop in. One other thing I might do before I send these off to the shelf is give them a little clipping. Now you might say that's a cruel thing to do to these poor little onions and yet clipping the tips will stimulate the roots and stimulate the stems and get them on their way towards their pencil width, which I'm looking for before I want to transplant them.