So...What's Working or Not?
Now is a great time to take stock of what worked and what to change. This week we're going to deconstruct a few issues you may have seen with some crops this summer. Be sure to keep a log of what happens in your garden so you can make adjustments each year and not make the same mistakes twice! A small journal or word document works great.
We'll also cover seed saving and share some yummy recipes. Let's get to it!
Onions and daylight
Did your onions turn out small? You may have planted them too late. In New England, we grow long-day onions that need 14-16 hours of light (sunrise to sunset) during the peak of their growing cycle to form large bulbs. They are triggered to mature when daylight starts decreasing in late June, so we want the plants to be well developed by then.
By mid-August, you’ll notice their tops falling over. You may think they need water or more fertilizer - but no! The keeling over is a sign, triggered by the shortening of the day length, that they will soon be ready to harvest.
So, the key to a larger bulb size is:
Getting your onion plants or sets in the ground very early in the season (late April or early May, once the soil has warmed to 40 degrees on Cape Cod). This lets them grow strong greens in June that will feed the bulbs come July when they are triggered to mature.
Choosing the right variety. Try Patterson for a large yellow onion or Redwing for a nice red onion that also stores well.
Learn more about choosing the right onions for your day-length here.
Avoiding Early Tomato Blight