Our 2021 Garden: onions – to trim or not to trim?

I remembered to get a photo of our onions in their new location in the sun room.

I ended up removing the plastic on the mini-greenhouse frame, so it wouldn’t get too warm, and so there would be air circulation from the ceiling fan.

This is early enough in the morning that the room is still “dark”, but once the sun comes around, it gets many hours of sunlight. The ceramic heater is just enough to keep the seedlings from getting chilled overnight. We’re supposed to get snow starting tomorrow night, at with point I might put the plastic cover back on.

There should have been trays for three types of onions in here by now, but the shallots died off and I had no seeds left to try again, and the reseeded bunching onions are still in the aquarium greenhouses inside, for a while longer. By the time those are ready to be moved over, we’ll be bringing the tomatoes and gourds into here, too.

I have a question for those who grow onions from seed.

Should I trim these?

I’d read that onion seedlings should be trimmed when they reach about 6 inches, to about 3 inches, while they await transplanting. I would have done it by now, however, I’ve since heard from people who say to NOT trim them, because then you get smaller bulbs. They were pretty adamant about it, while others were just as adamant about the opposite.

I’m inclined to trim them, but I wanted to hear from anyone with more experience than me with growing onions from seed. I am more than eager to listen to the advice of others!

Did you trim them, or not?

What do you recommend?

The Re-Farmer

Starting seeds indoors

Well, I’m glad I’d already written out which seeds needed to be started indoors and when. For some reason, I thought I’d need to be doing 3 starts, but I will only need to do 2.

At about 4 weeks before last frost (give or take a few days, depending on which town I look at), I had 2 things to start. Cucamelons and fennel.

I’ve never grown either, so this is a complete learning experience.

I got a couple of those domed seed starter trays with the pellets. These are self watering trays with a capillary mat between the pellet trays and the main trail.

For this seed start, I don’t need to use an entire tray.

The cucamelons will be planted in the chimney blocks currently sitting in the old basement. I have 8 of those left. With the spacing needed, I could plant 1 cucamelon per block. Maybe 2. So I am starting seeds in 16 pellets and will hopefully get at least a 50% germination rate. If I get more, I’ll figure it out when the time comes! It’s a completely new plant for us, so I don’t even know if we’ll like them, so I didn’t use the whole packet. I know we like fennel, so I kept more pellets for those. Then I added water to start hydrating the pellets while I looked at the seeds.


With how few pellets I’m doing for the cucamelon, there are enough seeds even if I put in a couple in each one, but fennel packet turned out to have fewer seeds than I expected.

So I took a few of the pellets out.

Then I had to wait for the pellets to hydrate. I was also waiting for a call from the garage (more on that in another post), etc., so I kept myself busy with something that could handle interruptions.

I crocheted a basket. 😀

Once the pellets were hydrated, I used a pair of shorter bamboo skewers to lift up the mesh at the top, because I know my clumsy fingers would just tear things. *L* Then, I used the blunt end of a skewer to push the seeds to the right depth into the loosened pellets.

If I felt the need, I could have marked the skewer for different depths, but I was only doing two. The cucamelons needed 1/2 – 1 inch, while the fennel needed 1/4 inch.

I made sure to mark the packets for their seed status, because I know I’ll forget. 😀 While I had extra for the cucamelon, I used up all the fennel seeds, and most of the pellets have only 1 seed in them. Hopefully, they will all germinate and be strong little seedlings.

Though the tray comes with its own cover, it will still go into the mini-greenhouse my daughter bought for me. That’s more to protect it from the cats, at this point!

My daughters and I ended up finally rearranging the living room, since my husband moved his computer set up out, before setting the mini-greenhouse up where we knew it would get direct sunlight.

Which is basically in the middle of the living room! 😀

I will eventually move the mini-greenhouse outside, but it’s still way too cold for that.

In one week, I will start the squash and gourd seeds. The remaining seeds we have will be direct sown outside, once it’s warm enough.

While I was working on this, my husband did some research and found a relatively local company that sells gravel and soil, with a price calculator on their website. Using that, we calculated that the amount of garden soil we would want to get, which is quite a bit, we are looking at about $650. We could probably get away with about half of that amount, though, and get more in another year. In time, we’ll have enough organic material to build up the soil ourselves, but we’re just not there yet, and probably won’t be for another couple of years. Buying garden soil would be a short cut.

Then we looked up their driveway gravel.

To get enough gravel for the driveway from the road to about the gate into the yard, including all of the front front of the garage, we’re looking at about $2100.


The main thing, though, is that the first batch of seeds are started for our first attempt at growing food since we’ve moved out here! It took a lot of work to get to this point, so it’s pretty exciting. 🙂

Now, if we can just have a good weather year, this year, and not another drought!

The Re-Farmer