Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Seeds orders, Chitting & Onion set planting

Checked the mail box today to find that my seed order & seed potatoes arrived. I like when things come in two's, it's double the excitement.

I ordered the seeds from seedmart on eBay and they had surprisingly fast shipping. I ordered the following:
  • Sport Peppers - used on Chicago style hot dogs, seeded this evening
  • Cilantro - seeded this evening
  • Red Celery - fall crop
  • China Rose Winter Radish - fall crop
  • Florence Fennel - fall crop
  • California Poppy - seeded this evening
The potato order is from Eagle Creek Seed Potatoes. They are located north west of use in Alberta, Canada. I was happy to find a Canadian company selling such a good mix of potato varieties as I can not order from the big suppliers to the south due to customs. They sell what they call a 'foursum' which is great for a small scale gardening like myself that does not need pounds of seed. I ordered Banana Fingerling which has a heavy set of yellow fleshed potatoes and Netted Gem Russet which are your typical long russet potato. They are both late season potatoes which are what you need to increase yield in your potato bin. I will also plant some red fingerling potatoes that I grew last year in a container.

Being that I still have many things to finish before I can actually plant the bin I am chitting the potatoes in a cool window. Chitting is a good way to get a head start on your potato season without planting your potatoes outdoors. Simply place your seed potatoes in an egg carton, eye's facing up and keep them in a cool bright spot, 10c(50f) is best. Then in 3-6 weeks the potatoes will form short buds and are ready to be planted out. Chitting is also a good way to get a head start on the season with out the concern of frost damage.

The Red Fingerlings I found tucked away in the basement from last fall. They have sprouted fairly long buds so I put them in a plastic bag with a little damp potting soil and placed them in the fridge. That should slow them down until it is time to plant.

I also spent a few minutes this evening planting my onion sets. I figured I would do it after Mondays heavy rain and during Tuesday & Wednesday light rain. I planted a little over 14' in a few rows around the garden. I have about 1/2lb of sets left so I will store them in the fridge and planting them here and there once the garden is in to fill in spaces.

Here they are being planted in some of my well rotted compost
at the packages recommended spacing, 3" apart & 1/2" deep.
They seem a little close so I may take every other one out or thin
as green onions later. How do you space your onion sets?

One of the two straight rows I planted

I planted two of these squares to go around what will be the Romanesco
Broccoli in the middle of May. That is the Kohlrabi in the middle.
Looks pretty good I must say.


  1. Well I did seedling onions, but I spaced them at 4" all around. I'll let you know in August if it was too close. Both Mel Bartholomew and John Jeavons say 4" so I figured I'd listen. And don't get me started about potatoes. I figured I'd be able to just buy them locally, but so far the only ones I've found are early season red potatoes. I was hoping for some late season storage ones.

  2. I really like the way you're using the onions to mark out spaces and rows. Clever! I think I'll try that.

  3. I wouldn't sweat long spud buds. I don't live in Idaho, but they have a tendency to not be finicky. I am just using chitlins from the store. Best of luck on your planting endeavors.

  4. I plant mine at 3", but deeper. I push them down into the soil until the tip is even with the surface. Maybe that's why I never get ginormous onions.

  5. I did the same thing that granny does, and the bulbs aren't getting any bigger. I'll know next year, though! Good luck...

  6. Daphne - I have seeded ones as well but I have not planted them out yet, I should soon. I am going to block plant them in groups of four, 12" apart.

    Sande - This is the first time I have edged plants with onions. I think it will look pretty nice once everything fills in. Should be a good bug repellent as well.

    Red - I have always plant store potatoes as well. I had to order seed this year though to get the late season varieties for the bin.

    Granny - I have read about planting onions deep and it shouldn't affect size. If they are planted below the surface they will grow round bulbs and if they are planted higher they will grow flatter bulbs. It will be interesting to see if this actual happens.

    EG - Your sets are probably long season type so they will not bulb until there is 14-16 hours of day light. You should plant short season onions next year and they will bulb up much faster.

  7. Fun to get the packages in the mail with garden treasures enclosed!

    I plant onions from 4 to 6 inches apart. 4" if I am planning to use thinnings for green onions - 6" if I am intending to just leave that patch alone until the crop matures and is ready for harvet.

    I always enjoy planting onion sets. They are so easy to plant and reliably take off at a fast pace.

  8. It's like Christmas when seeds arrive isn't it? I plant onion sets just as you do, just nestled in rather than planted below the surface.

  9. Yeah! They finally arrived. I have never heard of chitting. Good information!

  10. KitsapFG - I will thin every other one as green onions once they start growing.

    Vegetable Heaven - Thanks for the onion feedback.

    Tina - I had not heard of chitting either until this year. It sounds like a good technique.

  11. Hi Dan! Oh I miss getting seeds in the mail :-) I've ordered from seedmart on ebay too and had very fsat shipments from them.

    Can't wait to see your potato bins!

  12. Bravo man! I'm so happy you did a bin, or simply are planting taters. Chitting is great, but letting them get foot-long sprouts is over the top. Both work by the way, hehe. I too am glad you found a semi-local source!

    Great find on ebay seeds, ebay's hit and miss, glad you got a home run (sorry, was at a ball game tonight, hehe).

  13. Judy - I swear this is my last seed order, I hope at least. I can't wait to get the bin going, I really need to get things done.

    Sinfonian - A few of the potatoes from last fall are almost a foot long, I should really get them planted this weekend. I use to buy and sell a lot on ebay previously. I rarely use it now, certainly not many deals on it anymore. I can buy from company a, b or c for the same price ebay offers anymore.