The Garden at 485 Elm
People growing together:
a collaborative community garden in Montpelier, Vermont

Planting alliums, a/k/a onions

As always happens when gardeners get together here, magic happened. Well, the magic of hard work plus the natural environment.

Saturday’s workday was about planting alliums. We have six rows of onions, including Walla-Walla whites, yellows, shallots, leeks, and bunching onions (scallions).

Every day in the garden touches multiple areas. Chris, Ned, and John headed next door to take our neighbor up on his offer of dirt left behind from a large dead tree he had removed.

Laura and Cindy dug up herbs from the garden while John tilled beds outside the fence. Most of our herbs are becoming fields of herbs, interspersed in our 2015 riverside planting project with Friends of the Winooski River and US Fish & Wildlife.

And now, back into the garden we go:

2016-05-21 Prepping allium beds.10

Prepping beds to plant onions includes picking out weeds and all stones larger than a quarter. We also rake the rows to shape and level them. Here you can see Jameson and Hannah creating narrow planting furrows. In this bed of six rows, each row holds 5-6 furrows of seeds.

2016-05-21 Bernice, Hannah, Andrea, & Tory prep, plant, fertilize for onions.42

Our allium bed plantings include Walla-Walla Onions, Leeks, Shallots, and Scallions (bunching onions).

2016-05-21 Noah & Sophie plant Walla Walla onions.06

Noah & Sophie gently separate young onion plants and carefully put them in the earth.

2016-05-21 Jamison & Hannah water newly planted onions.23

All new plantings get watered immediately.

2016-05-21 Jameson & Andrea end of day new onion watering.29

Watering first, watering last, watering always. Fortunately, we have a wonderful well just outside the garden. We water the crops daily. Soon we will set up a drip-hose watering system in much of the garden, thanks to a generous donation through the Vermont Community Garden Network, of which The Garden at 485 Elm is a member.

2016-05-21 Chris & Ned shovel neighbor Bill's tree dirt.59

Meanwhile, Chris and Ned are next door digging up dirt where our neighbor had a dead tree removed. He generously offered the remaining earth for the garden.

2016-05-21 Laura digs herbs for field planting.13

Laura digs herbs out of what had been the medicinal herb bed for two years. Those herbs are moving outside the garden to become fields of herbs.

2016-05-21 John tills field herb beds.38

John tills beds to prepare for the medicinal herbs moving outside the garden. So far, arnica, anise hyssop, and peppermint have made their way into the field.

2016-05-21 Peppermint field herbs.26

Outside the garden fence, fields of herbs.