I am new to gardening and have a lot of basic questions. When should I
plant onion sets? I live in Maryland. Safe from frost after May 15.
(rule of thumb)
Also, after pulling the onions, is there something else that I can
plant in that spot so not to see it empty all summer?
Not true, Cactus Flower. You can plant them before the "frost-free
date." I am just not sure how before I can plant.
According to my source, onions will mature around late July/early
August. Is there another crop that I can plant after the onions are
harvested? Sorted of like farmers plant winter wheat after fall crops
Arugula can be direct-seeded in August, and will big enough to harvest for
salads in 3-4 weeks. In late July or early August, start lettuce, spinach,
kale in 6-packs, in a shady spot. Transplant wherever there's empty space
You might try radishes, they tend to mature very quickly. I've
often used them in areas that will later be taken over by some
sort of vining squash or other late leason plant. I'm not sure
how radishes do if you start them late in the season though.
Just a thought.
Here in Maine, ( zone 5) I plant onions as soon as I can push them into
the soil, as with peas. Might be late April, and they may get snowed on,
once or twice. I've had grand luck with onions from SEED even.. Start
seed here indoors around Feb 1 and get the grassy little things in the
ground as soon as I can push a pencil into the ground even if there are ice
Don't wait til your frost free date. If you do, you'll not have to worry
about the second question. ( gently kidding!).
If you can have transplants ready, I would make a good case for broccoli
to follow the onions ( I truly do not believe that you'll be pulling onions
before mid august.)
I've had excellent luck with late summer into fall broccoli. Even if the
weather is HOT, the daylength is shortening and they do not bolt as
quickly with the shorter day. Broccoli will produce their first big
"head", you cut that then you'll have lots of little brocolli trees coming
for a LONG time afterwards. I've been out harvesting broccoli for supper
with a flashlight in November, it is another super hardy customer that
shrugs at frost on either end of the season.
The other wonderful thing about Fall Broccoli -- most of the garden pests
that attack the Brassicas are gone by late summer, so there is little need
for any pest management.
ONE downside for me-- pushing the broccoli way late (into November) brings
the deer into the garden space
If you don't like Broc, then consider short season, short vine sugar snap
peas, or the lovely French Haricot Vert bush green beens . Your Maryland
location will give you quick seed germination in August, and your frost free
days into late fall ( by my standards) may net you some bonus harvests.
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