Spring is Not here. But it is coming.
Under the snow the plants are beginning to wake up. As the days get longer and lighter, buds grow, getting ready to be leaves and flowers. Inside our greenhouses, heated mostly by the Colorado sun, seeds are sprouting or getting ready to sprout, and last year’s plants are really growing. In here it Is Spring.
We’ll be opening Harlequin’s Gardens on Thursday, March 3 – just over a week away!
Will we have plants to sell? Well, yes, and no, not yet.
We are expecting our bundles of onion plants in the first week.
- Patterson (yellow storage)
- Redwing (red storage)
- Walla Walla (sweet)
These are all ‘Long-Day’ onions, appropriate for our latitude. They should be planted as early as possible (yes, they are okay with freezing temperatures) so that they can amass as much solar energy and nutrition as possible by Summer Solstice, which signals the onion plant to store its energy by building a bulb. The longer the growing period prior to the Solstice, the larger the bulb produced.
Onions are shallow-rooted and thrive with regular watering, full sun and rich, fertile soil and as little weed competition as possible. Elliot Coleman notes that onions should not be planted where brassica (Cabbage-family) crops were growing the previous year. Eve’s personal experience bears this out.
This year we’re happy to start the year with an excellent supply of vegetable, herb and flower seeds from our local Botanical Interests Seed Company. Over these many years we have found the viability of their seeds reliable and their selection of varieties diverse and appropriate for our Front Range conditions. We select as many certified organic varieties as possible.
In addition, our rack of heirloom-variety seeds from the non-profit Seed Savers Exchange expands our offerings with time-tested varieties saved from obscurity or complete loss by SSE’s heroic efforts. These are seeds you will not find in the big commercial catalogs, many are certified organic, and they are all open-pollinated so you can save seeds yourself.
Another local favorite is BBB Seeds, and we are again stocking their individual wildflower varieties, as well as their Wildflower Mixes, formulated for specific pollinators and environmental conditions. These seeds are perfect for broadcast-sowing with meadow grass seeds, which we also carry.