I'm so... excited!! The first of my onion seeds were born yesterday. Think I'm exaggerating. I'm not. If you had as many years of failure in growing onions as I've had you'd be as ecstatic as I am. To think I went from onion failure to growing my own seed in just a few years, WOW! Don't laugh. Onions may not be something you consider difficult but for me it was.
And as funny as it may seem I feel like an onion oobstetrician with her first set of a.... can't call them twins, or triplets, or even quads hm.... offspring, I guess.
It wasn't until a few years ago when I discovered these organic onion things you buy from a seed catalogue that come with a bulb and green shoots already started that shuzam, all of a sudden I was growing onions and they were reaching a respectable size. Then this spring when a few small onions that I didn't bother to pick over winter and volunteered to grow this spring, I figured they could be one of my seed saving experiments.
I've read up on the subject but the books lacked step by step pictures and if I could of taken a class around here, I would have. Alas, there aren't too many gardens in the area, let alone serious gardening classes like onion obstetrics. So mostly I've just guessed my way through the process and watched the onions tummies, I mean pods, swell while keeping regular check up visits photographing along the way like a proud parent.
When the pods opened, I was so excited I could of been the one who was peeing her pants. With no pictures to guide me, I had to assume that the yellow tips were blossoms.
I watched those yellow flowers closely as my bees, and a few stray bugs pollinated them, just to make sure they did their job. A job I wouldn't know if they did right anyway but I cheered them on with a "Go girl, go girl." after all all the bee workers are girls. Then the once skinny stems began to swell.
Soon tiny little green seeds forming inside. As they grew and then the swelling began to dry, the green seeds turned to black and I figured we were getting close to the delivery day. I've got to confess I almost packed a bag. I just couldn't decide what to put in it, maybe scissors or cloths for the newborns, but really what do you need for a seed delivery?
When I went into the garden yesterday and saw some of the little ones threatening to fall to the ground I just couldn't wait any longer for fear of not being there when they did fell so I induced labor. I plucked the pods off, cradling them inside the bottom of my tee shirt while rushing inside to look for a cookie sheet.
I shook and shook the pods and rubbed the onion's tummy, I mean pods, while trying to hurry the process along. Most fell onto the cookie sheet but some are stubbornly remaining inside. I'll let the heads set out a little longer and try inducing labor again tomorrow. I figure they just don't know how blooming nice I can be and are probably scared to meet me.
As for the rest of my patients, some are still a few weeks away from delivery and a few of the plants will begin delivering probably sometime next week. I may have to tie my hands together but I think I'll see if they don't just deliver the seeds on their own. Then I'll mulch the area where they fall and see what happens next spring. This is so fun!!!
I have to confess not all my seed saving projects are going so well making this project especially sweet. We'll talk about that later but for now I'll just bask in the wonderful moment of birth. LOL
Remember I won't be posting Friday but I'll see you Monday.