The picture above is our own little onion farm. A few weeks ago, we planted a dozen white onion bulbs in an 18″ rectangular planter box we bought from Walmart for about $5. We got about 2 dozen onion bulbs for $4 and the planter fit half of the pack. Total cost of the “farm” = $7, but any subsequent planting will be substantially less since we’ve already paid for the planter. Oh, I didn’t add in the cost of soil, but it’s probably less than 50 cents since I bought a large bag of it last year for about $3.
So why onions? Well, we figured they couldn’t be that hard to grow and we didn’t want to mess with seeds just yet. Both of our dads have large gardens, but only a smidgen of that knowledge has been passed down to us. We figured we would start small and easy and work our way up to tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, etc.
So why not plant a bigger garden? Since we have enough yard space for a decent-sized garden, you would think we would have tried a little harder, right? However, we would want to create a raised garden for protection against rabbits (they like our yard) and ground saturation, and that’s just more work than we’re committed to right now. Maybe in the future, but for now we’ll stick to the small, portable boxes.
As far as growth, we were kind of freaked out at how fast the onions grew (they’re about 8 inches high now) in just a few days after sprouting. It’s amazing that a dry bulb that sat on a store shelf and in our house for weeks could grow so quickly and easily with just some water and soil. I don’t really know what we’ll do with so many onions, especially since they’re not the large kind as we planted them close to each other (on purpose). I guess we’ll be eating a lot of onion sandwiches and salads!
So our first experiment was a grand success and we’ll be harvesting the first crop shortly. I’ll just need to add a little more potting soil before the next crop and we’ll try for larger onions (just plant them farther apart).
So if you’d love to have a garden, but have limited or no land, or just don’t want the hassle of a big garden, think about buying planter boxes. You can bring them indoors when it rains too much or it’s too cold, etc. You can’t grow deep-root veggies like carrots and potatoes in the shallow box I got, but larger pots will do nicely!