In the Hampton Roads area, gardening is a hobby that lasts all year round. Our founder, Eddie Anderson, loves to veggie garden even when the weather starts to cool down. Mr. Anderson has given us some great information through this blog on how you can extend your seasonal gardening by planting onions & garlic.
If you plant your onions now, you can have scallions in early spring, and bulbs in June!
Onions are biennial, which means that they grow vegetatively in the winter and early spring with bulb formation occurring from April to June, depending on the variety. After the winter chill, the bulbs produce foliage, flowers, and seeds. Then the cycle starts all over again.
Onions planted in late November through February will have more time to develop a robust root system and vigorous plant. Once the days get longer in late spring, the onions will develop a bulb. Onion sets also make good bunching onions for early-season use in your favorite dishes. Late fall planting of small bulbs, called “sets”, will help make young plant life grow until days are long enough to start bulb production. Plants grown from sets may flower in the spring. The plant should be pulled and consumed shortly afterward if you see a flower bud forming.
In Hampton Roads, we are in the day-length zone where short and medium-day onions are the best varieties to grow. You may choose white onions for a sweet, mild flavor and yellow for a more robust onion taste. Red onions add color and mild flavor. Onions can also be grown from seeds planted in October, early November, or late February.
(Scallions Grown by Eddie Anderson March 15, 2022)
Now is the time to plant easy-to-grow garlic. I get the best size and flavor from the Chinese Pink hard-neck variety of garlic. It matures quickly in late spring and stores well.
In the late fall, divide the bulbs of garlic into individual cloves. Plant each clove, pointed end up, one inch deep in loose soil. Cloves should be about six inches apart to produce large bulbs. Once the plants start to grow and peek out of the soil, use garden plant food to develop a vigorous plant. Do not feed after April 15th.
Harvest the plants once half the leaves turn brown. You can cure the bulbs for storage by braiding 8-12 bulbs in a bunch and hanging them in a dark, dry place. They will last for months.
(Mature Garlic Grown by Eddie Anderson May 22, 2022)
Blog Written By Eddie Anderson, McDonald Garden Center Founder.
To learn even more about what’s growing on at our garden center, check out our Christmas in the Greenhouse page or watch Mike, the Garden Guru, and his webinars with new plants, products, and expert planting advice for the holiday season. To keep inspired and grow with us, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok to dig into the joys of gardening!