Planting Onions from Seeds

It’s mid-way through February and it’s time to start planning our onions!  Our garden planning software suggests we plant indoors for 4-6 weeks before transferring them to our garden in mid-April.

The plan is to start them in bigger containers and then after 4 weeks, transferring them to bigger containers so their roots can expand and continue to grow.

Here are the materials we are using:  Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix (the only organic potting soil in town in mid-February!), two packages of McKenzie Organic Sturon Onion Seeds, two take-out type containers with lids, a spray bottle full of water and a  big bowl to mix the soil and water together.

Materials
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McKenzie Organic Sturon Onion Seeds
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Moisten the potting soil and mix by hand until the soil clumps together when squeezed.
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Fill the take-out containers about 3/4 full with the moistened soil and lightly pack down.
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Here, we added a full package of seeds to each take-out container and we misted them with water.    We then added about 1/2 inch of soil on top of the seeds, and we misted the top.  We then covered the container with the clear lids which will help keep the moisture in and promote germination.  Like we mentioned before, we will separate each onion into it’s own pot after 4 weeks to continue developing its root system so spacing is not an issue at the moment.

Seeds in Container

We then put our containers on our homemade heating mat and grow light system (thanks Mike!)  We will keep them in a darker room until they begin to germinate at which point, we will introduce them to the light.

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UPDATE – FEB 17, 2014

I checked up on our seeds and I found white mouldy spots on top of our soil!   Eeek!

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We did some research and found that this is a fairly common issue for those who start their own plants from seed. The good news: the fungus itself is not going to hurt our seedlings. The bad news: that fungus is a sign that our soil is too wet. Soil that is too wet can result in having the delicate roots of your seedlings rot, which will eventually result in plant death.

There are easy fixes for this problem:

1. Add vent holes to the top of the dome to decrease the humidity of our soil. (see our dome with new vent holes below)

2. Do not overwater (a.k.a. lay off the sprayer!)

3. Add air flow around your seedlings (when seedlings have germinated).  The added bonus of this options is you end up with sturdier plants!

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Source: Organic Gardening – About.com

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