The forecast for last weekend was for rain all day Saturday and Sunday, but it was nice and sunny on Friday! So, I left work at 3:00pm that afternoon and stopped by Dennis’ Seven Dees Garden Center on Powell to buy some onion starts. I ended up buying three different types, whichgave me a ridiculous number of them–way more than I could possibly use. Thankfully I think my friends Tasha and Melanie can use some and my friend Hillary said she would take whatever I had left. (She actually has enough room for all of them at her little farm). Anyway, after picking those up I headed home and worked as quickly as possible to set and level my second raised bed, add another 2×4 around the top like I did with the first one, and fill it with dirt–specifically a mix of horse manure compost, construction sand and the clay soil we have in the back yard–all before the sun went down. My niece Allie kept me company and helped with all the dirt-moving. She loved it.
So, I got the last wheelbarrow of soil into the bed right at dusk, cleaned everything up and headed in for the night, where I stayed up until 3:00am obsessing over what to plant in the bed and how to lay it all out. I was trying to think about which plants would go well together and came up with a layout involving 48 onions, two tomato plants and about four square feet of carrots. I read that onions and carrots like to be near each other and both enjoy the partial shade in the heat of the summer provided by the tall tomato plants. I was pretty happy with my plan, if a little worried that I was crowding the tomatoes a bit, but with that I went to sleep.
In the morning, well… afternoon, when I got outside to get to work I saw just how many onions I really had bought, and decided to scrap my plan and plant a lot more onions. That was maybe a dumb idea, but I couldn’t stand to waste all the onions I got. So, I ended up planting four rows of each type that I got, which turned out to be 114 onions! Yeah, that’s a lot for a backyard garden. But I guess we’ll just have lots to give away. :) In the remaining space I decided to transplant the first lettuce seedlings I started along with a little section where I sowed a smattering of carrot seeds.
I finished it all off by making signs for the things I planted with some shims my dad had in the garage that were just the right size and shape. The weather was crazy that day, and shortly after I finished up in the rain a fairly intense (if short) storm blew in complete with thunder and really strong winds. So, I didn’t really need to water anything! The plants weathered the storm beautifully, and I was very pleased looking out and seeing my first bed planted with things I could actually see above the soil. :)