There they were sitting on the dining room table. We arrived back from a winter break in the sunny south, tramped through the fresh snow on the driveway and found the packages from the seed companies. Gardening is such a study in contrasts. I patted my self on the back for being clever enough to get my seeds ordered before I went away so that I could get the onion seeds planted as soon as we arrived back.

Welcome to Dallying In The Dirt the regular gardening? newsletter that you have subscribed to through Ken Brown’s Gardening-Enjoyed web site. Those of you who were keen enough to subscribe early are getting this very first edition of Dallying In The Dirt. My plan is to publish this quite regularly and to use it as sort of a journal of what I’m doing in my garden and hopefully that will inspire and/or remind you, to undertake similar gardening activities. That, of course, puts a certain pressure on me to actually do gardening things somewhere close to the appropriate season. Not always my strongest suit.

Back to the onion seeds. They are the first things that get started under the lights in my basement and the best part is that they are easy to do, relatively fool proof and take up a minimum of space. Just follow the directions on I sow onion seeds in a single container, usually the bottom of a ‘take home’ food container. Nice rigid black plastic that can be used for several years. On the way from the kitchen to the light table, I stop at the work bench and drill several holes in the bottom so that any excess water can easily drain away. After cracking several of these trays trying to punch holes in them, I discovered that getting the drill out was a much better method. One of the best things about Onions is that they will stay in this container until they head for the garden in late April?

Choosing onions to grow is always difficult because of the huge choice available. Some years I take the easy route and just reorder what worked well last year but this year I sort of went wandering off, trying new things. Red Zepplin is a large red skinned onion, Super Star is a great yellow storage type and I also have a green onion, a Shallot called Ambition and some Leek seed that was left over from last year. Yes I don’t always plant the whole package and many things will keep for another year if you store them properly.

The best job in the world has to be a copywriter for the seed catalogues. All you have to do is find 32 ways of saying, “this is the best onion ever.”

Mid February is a bit late to start these onions but it’s a lot better than asking anyone to fight their way into my, apparently, less then tidy basement to water them while I was away. I will still have an acceptable crop of Onions. Leeks are long time friends. They are the first things seeded and the last thing harvested from the garden.

Well that’s it for this issue. It’s minus 20Coutside but the lights and seed packets are waiting for me in the warm basement .

111 Trent St. W. Whitby ON L1N 1L9