Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The pleasures of onion planting

We finally got some rain over the last couple of days.  I awoke Sunday morning to the sound of rain on the roof and against the window next to our bed.  I rolled over and went back to sleep.  The same thing happened Monday morning.  I could not believe my ears.  Rain!  Two days in a row.

On Sunday, we got just over three-tenths of an inch, and yesterday, we got seven-tenths, so, in total, we got just over an inch of rain.  Although it is nowhere near what we need, it was a nice down payment and the yard looked fresher for it.

I decided that yesterday would be a good time to work in the vegetable garden.  The soil was still damp and easily worked after the rain and I had some onions that needed planting.

They were multiplying onions that I had planted in the spring, and they had lived up to their name.  They had multiplied.  They had just about filled the space where they had been planted, so I planned to move them to a larger space.

I dug the bulbs and divided them, ending up with about 150 bulbs or sets.  Then I prepared an empty 8' x 4' raised bed to receive them, dug my holes and replanted them.  The entire process took perhaps two hours with a break in the middle.

What a joy it was to be working in the vegetable garden again, to feel the soil between my fingers as I pushed the bulbs in.  What a pleasure to see dirt under my nails once again!  There is really nothing like the intimate contact with the soil to make us feel connected to Mother Earth again.

It's a feeling I have missed during much of this long, hot summer when working in the garden in triple digit temperatures, except for the minimum necessary, has just been too unpleasant to contemplate.  But here we are at the end of that summer, just a few days from the Autumnal Equinox, and slowly - much too slowly - conditions are getting a bit better, and the prospect of actually getting a fall vegetable garden planted and watching it grow is enough to make me grin from ear to ear with pleasure.        


  1. Wasn't the rain wonderful? I felt like going outside and dancing in it! I don't have a vegetable garden, but I did get outside and do some cleaning up. It felt good to have my hands in the soil again.

  2. Soil therapy is always good for what ails us, Jayne.

  3. Glad to see you could get the soil running through your fingers. But be careful of workng in wet/damp soil. If it doesn't crumble like chocolate cake you could be ruining the structure of the soil and it takes years for it to recover. Just in case you didn't know.

  4. I would love to have my soil so wet that it wouldn't crumble or run through my fingers, Patrick, but it'll take a lot more rain than we've gotten so far. No, it is still quite dry and easily worked. As the daughter of a farmer and a gardener, I do remember those lessons about not working the soil when it is wet. You are quite right - the structure can be seriously damaged by such practices.