|My onions failed to form bulbs. Were they a long-day variety?|
So what happened?
Well, I was distracted this fall with my #floweredshirttour for my third book, The Art of Maintaining a Florida Native Landscape—35 events in 11 weeks from September 1 to November 15th. Instead of taking the time to order my short-day onion plants, I just bought a package of onion sets, which I'd used before, with reasonable success. See my post, The skinny on onions, back when I was just figuring out what to do in Florida. The information I found at the time said that only short-day onions, which is what we need in Florida because we grow onions through the winter, were available as sets.
But when I looked at these onions at the end of June, none of them had formed a bulb or had begun to go into dormancy. I admit that I did not spend very much time babying them in the fall and then in early March, my husband and I were out of town for almost 2 months, so it's possible that they only needed more irrigation and better weeding. But wouldn't that situation just resulted in smaller onions?
Is the information I found about sets just another old gardener's tale? I think so. I believe that these onions are long-day onions because none of them formed a bulb. See my post: Recipe for failure: Long-day onions in Florida.
On the other hand, my garlic, which was a soft-neck variety, which we need in Florida, also failed, so maybe it was the lack of care. At any rate, I pulled up all the garlic and all the onions the other day.
|The whole, pitiful harvest after cleaning.|
When faced with a failed crop, make soup!
|A delicious cold soup for a hot day...|
I made a version of my rogue onion soup, but with no celery because I had soooo many onions to use up. It's sad when a whole harvest can be used up in one batch of soup, but this supplied us with 7 large servings (3 dinners and a lunch for one). But, as usual it was really good and so good for us.
|I'm loving my rangy marigolds this year—there is so much more biomass.|
Marigolds condition the soil
Some of my tall marigolds had leaned into the path through our edible garden, so I trimmed it back and used those trimmings as a green layer in my working compost pile. The leaves of marigold contain a chemical that repels root knot nematodes, so including them in the compost will help condition my whole garden. Read my post Results: the nematode experiment.
|Life on a stick...|
Life on a stick
The other day I noticed this dead twig, which was totally covered with various lichens and a small ball moss.
Mother Nature is so efficient in finding places to inhabit.
I've been reposting my articles from the team blog Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens that has gone dark. Our new space is for archiving only (no comments), but at least they are available. Here's my post there, From lawn to woods, a retrospective. From there, you can go the the blog home to see all the articles that have been posted so far.
I hope you are enjoying your summer.
Green Gardening Matters!