Onions

Yesterday I got serious about planting my seedling onions. It’s a hard job, not to be done standing at a long handle or some noisy machine. I spread some good loam on a patch of garden, cut small trenches with a trowel, untangled the roots of the seedlings crowded in a flat, and laid the seedlings gently in the trough before covering them. This is all done in a humbling kneeling position which is hard for me with my big belly and too much weight… Finally, I hoisted myself up and watered the patch with a garden hose. I will finish this task today, if I don’t die first.

There are rewards for this effort: salad greens, tender baby onions, and big fat storage onions full of pungency and a sharp green odor. I love onions, sliced, diced and cooked in soups and pizzas. I love them raw, cooked and dehydrated. The weather is cooperating, with occasional showers, moderate temperatures and some clouds after setting the tender plants out. This gives the roots time to adjust to the change and pump life-giving water and nutrients towards the bulbs and leaves. It’s all good.

I had enough planting later in the day and took out the new rototiller to give an infestation of dandelions for a spin. It was fun… Next on my radar: planting a few more tomatoes, beans and corn and a Hell of lot of flowers. With luck these will be visible from space. Oh, yes, I’m also going to plant a few square metres of grains: wheat, oats, barley and millet, just for fun. Next year I will be able to produce my own birdseed.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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46 Responses to Onions

  1. After 10 days I see that the wheat, oats and barley have emerged. The millet is still shy. I guess my soil is a bit cool… Most of the onion seedlings have survived but don’t appear to be thriving. Time will tell. Squash, pumpkin, radish and lettuce all seem ambitious as are a few tomatoes.

  2. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson
    I could add gypsum, sand, or compost to do the same thing. proper made compost normally does not have the draw down effect because the draw down was dealt with while it was in the composting process. Even using rain damaged hay and the like does not have the draw down of wood and will get the same effects. Early bed development I really do look at hay a lot.

    Grece
    Here is a simple biology lesson for everyone. Wood, typically is comprised of approximately 50% carbon, 42% oxygen, 6% hydrogen, 1% nitrogen, and 1% other elements (mainly calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and manganese) by weight. To say that these elements “consume” nitrogen, would be a new chemical reaction for the annuals of Stoichiometry.
    Idiot

    Wood is Cellulose to be converted to a form that plants can use biology of bacteria has to consume it. This consumes quite a bit of nitrogen. Now particular grasses contain Cellulose and also contain higher nitrogen content. 1% nitrogen is way short you need about 5% nitrogen or you will get draw down in nitrogen level by the bacteria breaking down the Cellulose. The broken down Cellulose long term does the soil good.

    By consume I mean release nitrogen back to atmosphere so out of soil.

    Grece
    Wood, when it comes in contact with soil, activates mechanisms in certain bacteria which then consume nitrogen as food so they can decompose the wood. This reaction only takes places very nearby to the wood, namely 5-10mm at best.
    Wish this was all the problem. If the wood is dug in Area of effect increases. Also the bacteria only goes out 5-10mm at best fungi after the by products can moving nitrogen in from over a 2 metre circle around the wood chip. So your draw down area can be quite huge most make the mistake of only looking at the bacteria range missing that fungi will work with that bacteria in the same way ants protect particular pests because they are a food source. Yes the fungi can reach up through the complete thickness of wood chip you put on resulting in your contact area being a lot larger than you are expecting by the 5-10mm range.

    Wood chip application is something that can appear to go fine many times but then due to fungi being present take a massive turn for the worst. Now of course in early crop bed development when the nitrogen levels are not that well developed risk of this is way higher.

    Grece
    By looking at the soil in a forest floor, dead wood fall, leaves, dead undergrowth are all present and yet new growth is always present, even next to dead wood you will find nitrogen needy ferns growing. If it were, these plants should not be there, or at least not thriving as they do.
    Grece you mention the difference here but you don’t notice it. Leaves what is grass mostly leaf. Leaves have a higher nitrogen content than wood. Nitrogen needy ferns are getting there nitrogen due to the leaves in the mix.

    So understand what is going on in the forest floor is important. When a plant grows over it life time is drop more mass in leaves that it does in wood. So what is your starting application none other than leaves and simplest form of leaves you can get your hands on is hay.

    Jesus Petey, you just contradicted yourself!
    No Grece you are just clueless. Of course nature has to be able to recycle stuff.

    Have you ever heard of forest die back. Where holes magically appear in a rain forest. For a long time this was not understood it can simple be too much wood has fall in a area in combination with a fungi and nitrogen draw down killing everything in an area and of course this comes a cascading problem at times where more items die so fall over providing more wood of course this stops where there is enough nitrogen so that fatal draw down does not happen. Wood need to be handled careful. High nitrogen Grass that is leaf material does not need to be. Both broken down will produce the same soil structure in the long term. Wood has short term problems of needing outside sources of nitrogen to break down and if that goes too far wrong you are looking at large area plant death.

    In fact looking at how things go wrong in forests tells you to be very careful with wood chip. This also limits wood chips price.

    Also you missed birds are another source in forests of nitrogen. So bird population decrease in forest drops risk of die back increases. This is when you apply wood chip you should expect to have to apply other nitrogen sources to counter the negative effects. Of course when starting a bed using like hay where you don’t have to counter negative effects that will give you the same soil structure in the end works out in most cases the more cost effective way. Yes hay costs a little more but the cost of the additives to counter the woods effects is more and if you don’t use additives you have to grow crops to increase nitrogen to counter the wood effect that is a time delay to effective cropping that you don’t have if you had used hay.

    Wood can be good latter on to balance out nitrogen levels. Soil amelioration there is a lot of items to consider. There are correct times to apply wood and incorrect times to apply wood and risky times to apply wood. Early area development applying wood is risky because you cannot be sure of having you soil nitrogen levels high enough to cope. If you have it wrong you trigger die back and everything in the area can die bar the fungi and bacteria that are absolutely happy.

    The problem with die back if you trigger it the area might be unsuitable for cropping for 8+years. So you are rolling quite a dangerous dice applying wood chip in early bed development stages. Yes this also explains why high wood chip potting soil runs such a nightmare risk when you have fungi outbreaks of everything dieing.

    Wood chips are a double sided sword. Does good long term short term can be a trigger of absolute hell.

  3. oiaohm wrote, “Broken down wood chip makes good soil after about 3-6 years. So a very long time for results of course in the short term the dug in wood chip is generating nitrogen draw down.”

    The main reason I would use woodchips if I had them is to improve soil’s porosity. I could add gypsum, sand, or compost to do the same thing. The absorption of nitrogen by the bacteria breaking down the wood chips is offset by planting legumes such as peas or beans but I can also add nitrogenous fertilizer.

    As it is, my soil is now able to support a variety of vegetables as long as I don’t get too much rain. My garden has a bit of a slope so a little rain either soaks in thanks to the tillage and modification of the clay or runs off to a swale between the neighbour and I. Most of the fruit trees I planted have survived except for a few chewed down by rodents last winter. If it isn’t one problem, it’s another but I will eventually have a nice garden/orchard on my property.

  4. Grece says:

    Wood chip has to be use correctly or it will ruin your gardens and slow down what you can do to improve the soil.

    You just contradicted yourself, yet again! It either improves the soil, or it does not, which is it??

  5. Grece says:

    Broken down wood chip makes good soil after about 3-6 years. So a very long time for results of course in the short term the dug in wood chip is generating nitrogen draw down.

    Jesus Petey, you just contradicted yourself!

  6. Grece says:

    Asparagus you need to keep it buried to keep it growing right.

    If one “bury’s it forever” how will they ever pick and consume it?

  7. Grece says:

    Wood chips consume a hell of a lot of nitrogen out soil in breakdown.

    Please explain to me, how dead wood consumes anything oh autistic wonder. How much is a “hell of a lot”, speak in technical terminology man, no oiaohmic speak.

    In fact, autistic dancing wi-fi dropping Petey, has it backwards.

    Here is a simple biology lesson for everyone. Wood, typically is comprised of approximately 50% carbon, 42% oxygen, 6% hydrogen, 1% nitrogen, and 1% other elements (mainly calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and manganese) by weight. To say that these elements “consume” nitrogen, would be a new chemical reaction for the annuals of Stoichiometry.

    Wood, when it comes in contact with soil, activates mechanisms in certain bacteria which then consume nitrogen as food so they can decompose the wood. This reaction only takes places very nearby to the wood, namely 5-10mm at best.

    The fallacy of autistic wonder boy’s assertion, can be tested by simply walking into a forest. By looking at the soil in a forest floor, dead wood fall, leaves, dead undergrowth are all present and yet new growth is always present, even next to dead wood you will find nitrogen needy ferns growing. If it were, these plants should not be there, or at least not thriving as they do.

  8. oiaohm says:

    The gypsum is mostly for breaking up the clay.

    Then why buy two tillers?
    Grece simple you need to get the gypsum and other materials into the clay to allow it to react effectively.

    Why?… so I can have weed free landscaping.
    Bulk wood chips is not in fact a better solution. Wood chips consume a hell of a lot of nitrogen out soil in breakdown.

    Asparagus you need to keep it buried to keep it growing right.

    For new bed development I normally use bales of particular types of hay like Pea straw. These are either nitrogen boosting or nitrogen neutral.

    Broken down wood chip makes good soil after about 3-6 years. So a very long time for results of course in the short term the dug in wood chip is generating nitrogen draw down.

    This is why you build furrows and hills, or possibly a raised bed with trellising string and canopy.
    Working on heavy clays you end up with hills about 1 metre high to get drainage to grow beets and pumpkin. That causes other problems. Clayey lacustrine is not particularly fun to deal with. If plants cannot tolerate times of bone dry due to soil being water replant to being drowning in water due to it not being good drainage you are in for a battle.

    Clayey Lasustine think the soil and bottom of lakes that prevents water from leaking out. That is what Roberts got. Stack that up into 1m high hills without additions it still will either be non draining or water repelling without the addition of gypsum. Add wood chips its a low Nitrogen soil on average already and you have pushed it lower and Clayey Lasustine are normally low nitrogen.

    Clayey Lasustine you are normally looking for mushroom compost or high nitrogen hays or other high nitrogen composts as organic additives. So the soil type says stay clear of wood chip at least until after you have the state improved.

    Also where I am development crop is normally peas and other legumes for nitrogen fixing to be dug in.

    Grece sometime items are cheap for good reasons wood chip is one of those things. Wood chip has to be use correctly or it will ruin your gardens and slow down what you can do to improve the soil.

  9. Grece says:

    I bet you offer them $25 – $50 they would overlook that, duh.

  10. Grece wrote, “are you blind!”

    No, I’m not, but you may be. Here. I’ll help you: “Delivery is restricted to inside the perimeter of Winnipeg.”

  11. Grece says:

    We do not live in Winnipeg but we could order a load delivered there but then we have the labour/cost of moving it ~15 miles.

    You are such a tight-ass Robert! For $250/annually you could arrange a load delivered right to your gardening plot. Waiting on trees that you planted, is just being lazy.

    I have the local nursery deliver three-pallets of brown mulch yearly, about 120 bags, three cubic feet of mulch per bag, to use around my home. Why?… so I can have weed free landscaping.

    No free woodchips!?…I just gave your the link, are you blind!

    Call CHRIS@TNTTREE TNT TREE SERVICES, 2 BATHGATE BAY, WINNIPEG, MB, R3T 0L2 (204) 510-8514

  12. We do not live in Winnipeg but we could order a load delivered there but then we have the labour/cost of moving it ~15 miles.

    In a few years we will have maturing trees and pruned trees/branches to shred. Patience.

  13. Grece wrote about free woodchips. My yard was a treeless wasteland when we moved. Neighbours on four sides are nearly treeless. No free woodchips here.

  14. Grece says:

    Bulk wood chips would be an even better solution Robert, just rake them on the ground and don’t bother tilling. See had you listened to me, I could have saved you a good $2000 from the get go.

    One of my neighbors does that in their asparagus bed, and I will more then likely copy their methodology, as I like asparagus. No weeds in the bed, and the subsurface is dark and full of worms and other bugs, just like a Hugelkultur bed.

    See, Robert, I can do one better then the Doctor, http://www.tnttree.ca/freemulch

    Its Free!!…Robert. Now there is no excuse for complaining about anything, go do the right thing and lay down some FREE wood mulch.

  15. DrLoser says:

    Here, let me help you out. Local, good value, mulch.

    Sometimes you have to let the moths fly out of your pocket-book, Robert.

    Or … shudder … is that investment in gold not quite working out as well as you thought?

  16. DrLoser says:

    Perhaps this might be a good moment to point out that mulch is organic and that gypsum is, er, not?

    Then again, your grade-school chemistry lessons didn’t really seem to catch.

  17. DrLoser says:

    There is a shortage of mulch because the lawn was winter-killed or I would be using a lot more.

    Peachy.

    Let me walk us through your reasoning here, Robert:

    1) I can’t get mulch for free.
    2) TLW has, very fortunately, stumbled across a sack or two of gypsum. For free.
    3) I couldn’t be bothered to figure out the difference. Free!
    4) I realise that I would sound like a swivel-eyed maniac if I just said that my gypsum was free. Ergo, I have to go into a long discussion about inorganic chemistry (for some poltroon reason) in order to prove that it is the solution to pH problems. Even though I secretly know it isn’t.

    You really are a shining example of contaminated self-deception, aren’t you, Robert?

    If a good, of any sort, is not free, then you have no interest in it whatsoever.

  18. Gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral we dig out of the ground. No coal is involved. We are replanting the lawn. It will provide tons of mulch.

  19. DrLoser says:

    In fact, the greener solution here to reduce compaction and improve aeration is an application of an organic mulch, which is far more economically and environmentally sustainable. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Mulch, Robert, mulch. In fact, it is what my cite recommended for domestic use. And of course it is far more “green” than using coal by-products.

    It’s probably cheaper on a cost/benefit analysis, too.

    But, you don’t care about any of that. You have a totally closed mind. Good luck with the chemical suds, Old Man.

  20. ram wrote, “Next up, garlic?”

    I planted garlic last fall. No sign of it yet.

  21. ram says:

    Next up, garlic?

  22. Grece wrote, “when you give them advice they don’t listen”.

    Oh! You call that advice? I call that abuse. I know all about mulch, raised beds, drainage, etc. I’ve been there and done that. There is a shortage of mulch because the lawn was winter-killed or I would be using a lot more.

  23. Grece wrote, “Stop supporting coal plant by-products”.

    Here, gypsum is a mined mineral. No coal is involved.

  24. DrLoser keeps losing, when he wrote, “Your usage of gypsum is based on a myth.”

    Quoting from his own linked source:“Gypsum can improve heavy clay soil structure and remove sodium from saline soils”.

    QED

    Now, read my link. It’s about my municipality’s soil…

    “Soil materials in the municipality were deposited during the time of
    glacial Lake Agassiz. The Red River Valley is characterized by
    deep, clayey lacustrine sediments whereas the Lake Winnipeg
    Terrace consists of thin, clayey lacustrine and till materials
    underlain by loam, textured, stony glacial till. The flat
    topography and fine textures throughout the municipality result in
    the majority of soils being classified as imperfectly to poorly drained.”

    Get that? It’s really dense clay. It takes two or three days for a hole filled with water to drain… Roots of lots of plants take years longer to be established. Modifying the clay is essential. I didn’t buy/choose this property. TLW did. She likes to buy swamps because they are so cheap, and it takes me years to cultivate it…

    My particular area has natural soil called “Clayey lacustrine (Black chernozems)”, which would not be so bad but TLW hired a hauler to drag in this muck to fix up the grading of the lot. It’s stuff excavated from somewhere… It’s horribly sticky when wet and brittle when dry black clay. It has to be modified to grow anything but weeds.

  25. Grece says:

    Young plants really struggle in this stuff until they are 3-5 years old and the roots penetrate to lower layers.

    Just stop gardening then Robert, no sense in wasting your time. No sense in letting your vegetables set in the ground for 3-5 years time, you’d starve.

    I’ve planted tomatoes for years and only had one good harvest.

    Well you could build furrows, or construct some raised beds for use inside a greenhouse. But you wont, you are the type of person to just set and complain.

    Same with beets and pumpkin. If it’s not the fertility of the soil that’s the problem, it’s excess water.

    This is why you build furrows and hills, or possibly a raised bed with trellising string and canopy. Gardening/farming isn’t hard Robert, it’s just some people make it far harder then it really should be. Those types of people you just setback and laugh, even when you give them advice they don’t listen.

  26. Grece says:

    One is to get the soil soft enough that roots can penetrate

    Wasn’t that the point of acquiring not one, but two tillers?

    So now you are relying on a coal plant by-product, introducing toxic chemicals into your pitiful garden. With some hair brained notion that it will improve soil quality, when it won’t.

    In fact, the greener solution here to reduce compaction and improve aeration is an application of an organic mulch, which is far more economically and environmentally sustainable. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Stop supporting coal plant by-products Robert! Go with mulch.

  27. DrLoser wrote, “that’s fine and dandy. Which particular branch of chemistry do you think is relevant to growing plants, Robert?”

    There are two struggles here. One is to get the soil soft enough that roots can penetrate and the other is to adjust the pH to where the NPK and trace-element sources can dissolve. Most plants like slightly acidic soil whereas mine is slightly basic by nature having a lot of CaCO3 in it. Most fertilizers except urea are inorganic. Bacteria in the soil convert some to useful forms for plants. The tendency to respond to the poor growth of plants is to add fertilizer which doesn’t help if the pH is too high. Young plants really struggle in this stuff until they are 3-5 years old and the roots penetrate to lower layers. I’ve planted tomatoes for years and only had one good harvest. Same with beets and pumpkin. If it’s not the fertility of the soil that’s the problem, it’s excess water. The clay expands and contracts with water content and freezing, which is deadly for young plants. It shears the roots.

  28. DrLoser keeps losing, when he wrote, “Your usage of gypsum is based on a myth.”

    Quoting from his own linked source:“Gypsum can improve heavy clay soil structure and remove sodium from saline soils”.

    QED

    Now, read my link. It’s about my municipality’s soil…

    “Soil materials in the municipality were deposited during the time of
    glacial Lake Agassiz. The Red River Valley is characterized by
    deep, clayey lacustrine sediments whereas the Lake Winnipeg
    Terrace consists of thin, clayey lacustrine and till materials
    underlain by loam, textured, stony glacial till. The flat
    topography and fine textures throughout the municipality result in
    the majority of soils being classified as imperfectly to poorly drained.”

    Get that? It’s really dense clay. It takes two or three days for a hole filled with water to drain… Roots of lots of plants take years longer to be established. Modifying the clay is essential. I didn’t buy/choose this property. TLW did. She likes to buy swamps because they are so cheap, and it takes me years to cultivate it…

    My particular area has natural soil called “Clayey lacustrine (Black chernozems)”, which would not be so bad but TLW hired a hauler to drag in this muck to fix up the grading of the lot. It’s stuff excavated from somewhere… It’s horribly sticky when wet and brittle when dry black clay. It has to be modified to grow anything but weeds.

  29. DrLoser says:

    But, back to inorganic chemistry, a subject at which (as so very often on this site) you are a professed expert, Robert. Of possibly just a familiar. Whichever.

    Your usage of gypsum is based on a myth.

  30. DrLoser says:

    I am quite familiar with inorganic chemistry, Grece.

    Well, that’s fine and dandy. Which particular branch of chemistry do you think is relevant to growing plants, Robert?

  31. Grece says:

    Thank heavens for Wikipedia and Google, poor little oiaohm would be an idiot!

  32. Grece says:

    The gypsum is mostly for breaking up the clay.

    Then why buy two tillers?

    Our supply of Miracle-Gro was acquired by TLW who cares little for labels or cost/benefit analysis. She actually acquired it as part of a real estate transaction. It was left on a property…

    Nothing like free stuff, to warm a misers heart, eh?

  33. Grece trumpeted, “Being a miserly fellow, you should know that your B can be sourced from Borax, which is considerably less costly, then any Miracle-Gro product.
     
    Also, you cannot acidify you soil with Gypsum you idiot. It is neutral in pH. “

    The gypsum is mostly for breaking up the clay. Indirectly it helps acidify the soil by allowing organic matter from roots/cultivation to mix with the soil. I am quite familiar with inorganic chemistry, Grece. Our supply of Miracle-Gro was acquired by TLW who cares little for labels or cost/benefit analysis. She actually acquired it as part of a real estate transaction. It was left on a property… I buy fertilizer in 50 pound sacks at a local farm-supply place for NPK and add sulphur (also in 50 pound sacks) as needed to acidify stuff. For instance, my blueberry bushes really need sulphur or they just refuse to grow. They’ve been happy with the treatment I’ve been giving them. Once the planting is finished, I will carefully weed around them and apply some powdered sulphur around them. I bought them just as tiny sticks and now they are small bushes likely to fruit this year or next. The haskaps are thriving too. I’m still having problems with saskatoons. I get winter kill and poor germination. They need a better windbreak and a new supplier of seed, I guess.

  34. oiaohm wrote, “Any soil with less than perfect drainage Miracle-Gro products over years will kill your plants with salt built up.”

    We’ve improved the garden several ways: increased the slope, cultivated in a lot of organic matter such as leaves, grass-clippings, table scraps, and of course, weeds… as well as adding lots of sand/gypsum and planted a bunch of trees and vegetables whose roots eventually penetrate the clay to some depth. The tilth of the soil is improving every year. I still start most seedlings in a bit of fresh loam, however as cultivation still results in little balls of clay rather than powdered soil. We are almost there though. We have apricots and an apple which have thrived for 3-4 years and the cherry trees are looking very vigorous. I keep planting vegetables between the trees both for food and to improve the soil.

  35. oiaohm says:

    Grece is wrong as normal. Different plant groups require different ones.

    Onion family only require 8 in soil what makes the good on poorer soil.
    http://www.yara.us/agriculture/crops/onion/key-facts/nutritional-summary/
    This site lists what the plant has taken up and uses.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracaena_braunii
    The stuff in the lucky bamboo class require even less. The preferred item to grow lucky bamboo in is distilled water it takes everything it need from the air other than h2o.

    Fifi, all plants require 16 elements for healthy growth, and 95% of the plant is the result of photosynthesis using just 3 elements – carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen – all of which it gets from the air without man’s intervention.
    This is also wrong. Depend on plant Lucky bamboo gets carbon, oxygen and nitrogen from the air. Lucky bamboo is your bare min for a plant.

    Also, you cannot acidify you soil with Gypsum you idiot. It is neutral in pH.
    This is one of these traps. Gypsum breaks up clay. Breaking up clay can allow elements in the clay to react with air so producing acids. So yes wrong clay apply Gypsum say hello acid. The acid source materials were in the clay the complete time just the Gypsum released them to react. So depending on the clay you are breaking up if you use Gypsum or Dolomite.

    In other words, applying gypsum to the soil will raise the calcium and sulfur levels of the soil, but it will not raise the pH.
    DrLoser right from a general chemistry point of view. Not right when you look a soils and plants. Chemist get this answer wrong on the time you need to talk to a horticulturist trained in soils/plants and the creative adverse reactions soil/plants can create. What ever you add to a soil can alter what is already part of the soil as well as be altered by what the plant is removing and leaving behind.

    There are reasons why testing clay soils before apply anything is highly recommended and if you don’t do that perform PH monitoring when you start with gypsum looking for adverse effects from unlocking what is trapped in the clay.

    Now there is also another trap he is growing onions. Onions don’t take up sulphur but to take up calcium. So over time apply gypsum over time is like applying pure sulphur because that is what the onions are not taking up and the onions have removed the calcium. Sulphur makes the soil more acid. This is why its very important to know what a plant will and will not take up. Something that works fine with one plant can result in the PH going wrong with another. Chemists normally don’t have the long term understanding of what plants will do over time.

    Miracle-Gro you have to be careful on clay.
    http://digitalcommons.augustana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1118&context=celebrationoflearning
    Miracle-Gro® All Purpose is too high in salt for lot of clay soils. Any soil with less than perfect drainage Miracle-Gro products over years will kill your plants with salt built up.

    http://www.miraclegro.com/smg/goART3/Howto/brown-tips-on-houseplant-leaves%3A-salt-damage-indoor-gardening/27700015
    I like how they mention about salt being a problem then don’t mention that their own products cause it some of the time.

    Borax also not recommend to be used on clay soils either. A over does of boron is an effective plant killer. Lower drainage of clay you have to be very careful applying boron in highly free forms like borax.

  36. DrLoser says:

    Also, you cannot acidify you soil with Gypsum you idiot. It is neutral in pH.

    Indeed. From the first cite that comes up:

    “Gypsum is neutral in pH, and since it has no carbonate ion as part of its makeup, it will not neutralize acidity. However, it is much more soluble than most lime products (about 200 times as soluble), so it does make a very good source for soluble calcium and sulfate. In other words, applying gypsum to the soil will raise the calcium and sulfur levels of the soil, but it will not raise the pH.”

    Nothing wrong with increasing soluble calcium and sulfate, of course. Provided, Robert, that you do not mind damaging the planet (as Grece points out) whilst you are doing so.

    But, please. No more pH bullshit. You are not a chemist.

  37. Grece says:

    We get more rain than that. I have gypsum, not dolomite. I get B from Miracle-groâ„¢.

    Which reinforces my point, doesn’t it? You are doing it WRONG. Being a miserly fellow, you should know that your B can be sourced from Borax, which is considerably less costly, then any Miracle-Gro product.

    Also, you cannot acidify you soil with Gypsum you idiot. It is neutral in pH.

    By the way, hopefully you are aware of this fact obviously you are not, but gypsum is a co-product material derived from the scrubbing of flue gas emissions in coal-burning power plants.

    Ponder that for awhile and let that carbon sink in.

    All those coil-plant exhaust emissions, all that soot , just sinking into your garden and migrating into your food.

    Eating the very thing you despise Robert, doesn’t it make your stomach turn?

    C’est la vie!

  38. I’ve just finished planting the onions. They look pretty spry after a few days in the ground. I also whacked more weeds and planted four crops of grains, just a tablespoon of seed each… Several days of light rain are forecast for the next week, just what the youngsters need.

  39. Grece wrote, “as Winnipeg receives 20″ of rain”.

    We get more rain than that. I have gypsum, not dolomite. I get B from Miracle-gro™.

  40. Grece says:

    By the way Robert, as Winnipeg receives 20″ of rain, the application of Gypsum is not the recommended item to use. You should be using CaMg(CO3)2, along with MgSO4 and B “tilled” into your soil before planting.

  41. Ivan says:

    Yes, I can even acidify this clay. I’ve been breaking it up with sand, gypsum and lots of organic matter for years.

    If you could only tap into that huge amount of bullshit shoveled out by Petey you wouldn’t have to worry about that. Guess you’ll just have to pay for your shit like everyone else.

  42. Grece says:

    See any dripline or feeding schedule here?

    Sure, both of which are off screen. Farmers water and fertilize to achieve greater yields. You can do what you want, but enjoy your puny onions.

    Some idiots seem to think things are done their way or not at all, just like Trump.

    Gosh, are you talking about yourself? Not everyone wants to drive a Solo or a use Debian Linux. I do say, Trump is a more successful individual then Trudope.

    I happen to be able to water and fertilize as needed. Yes, I can even acidify this clay. I’ve been breaking it up with sand, gypsum and lots of organic matter for years. It grows cherry trees and horseradish and peas and beets quite vigorously now.

    Your plot looks to be VERY meek Robert, you are exaggerating I think.

  43. Grece says:

    Fifi, all plants require 16 elements for healthy growth, and 95% of the plant is the result of photosynthesis using just 3 elements – carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen – all of which it gets from the air without man’s intervention. The other 13 elements come from the soil and make up only 5% of the plant, but are nonetheless very important, for without them the plant will fail. Most importantly, the plant can only access these 13 nutrients as water-soluble minerals through its root system.

    Any over used nutrient will kill the plant, just like if you or I was subjected to too much water, or too much oxygen for example, we would die. Same principle.

  44. Grece wrote, “Your onions will not fare well. Why?….you have no drip-line or a weekly feeding schedule of nutrients.”

    See any dripline or feeding schedule here?

    Some idiots seem to think things are done their way or not at all, just like Trump. I happen to be able to water and fertilize as needed. Yes, I can even acidify this clay. I’ve been breaking it up with sand, gypsum and lots of organic matter for years. It grows cherry trees and horseradish and peas and beets quite vigorously now.

  45. oiaohm says:

    Onions are one of the plants that tolerate clay soils to like clay soils based on the variety. Bulb forming above ground varieties love high clay soils.

    Your onions will not fare well. Why?….you have no drip-line or a weekly feeding schedule of nutrients.
    Clay soils are in fact high in nutrients and water holding. Depending on the variety of onions everything you described can be absolutely the wrong thing. Heavy clay you get get away with watering fortnightly with compatible crops this includes compatible varieties of onions .

    Growing crops in clay soils cutting them off leaving the roots in to root can be good way of softening clay soils while having them productive. Choosing the right crops for soil type is surprising what you do with minimal soil modification and light watering.

    thirteen essential nutrients Again idiot. Onions don’t use all thirteen.
    http://www.yara.us/agriculture/crops/onion/key-facts/nutritional-summary/
    onion is 8. The other 5 can stunt onion growth. In fact the 8 in wrong ratios will stunt onion growth and these ratios are different per onion variety.

    Thing here is clay has better nutrient holding so this can be great for Onions giving Onions more time to uptake the applied nutrients so reducing how often you have to do applications.

    Please Grece stop proven you are clueless.

  46. Grece says:

    Planting onions isn’t hard, you feeble miser!

    Your onions will not fare well. Why?….you have no drip-line or a weekly feeding schedule of nutrients. So growing anything in your miserable clay soil will not produce much.

    You should have built some raised beds and filled them with sawdust/sand or peat/sand, add in some drip tape or soaker hose, along with a weekly feeding of the thirteen essential nutrients and you’ll have large onions. You can even over-winter some, onions do well in the cold.

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