Garden Word of the Day
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Dinner wouldn’t be nearly as delicious without plants from the Allium genus. Ornamental Alliums also attract beneficial insects to your garden.
How to grow Alliums
These shallow-rooted plants prefer soil that holds a lot of organic material and that means adding compost before planting. They will grow just about anywhere, but heavy clay soil can slow their growth. Alliums can be grown in partial shade to full sun. They grow well in raised beds and containers. You can grow chives in a pot on your kitchen windowsill for easy access while cooking!
Growing Alliums from seed can be hit and miss. The plants are slow starters and they don’t handle competition (weeds) very well. You can plant seeds in containers or directly in the garden. Seeds should be sown 1/2” deep and 1/2” apart. Thinned plants can be eaten as scallions.
Another way to plant Alliums is in the form of “sets”. These sets are mature bulbs that can be planted directly in the ground or a container. Follow the package directions for depth and spacing. The only downside to sets is that they tend to bolt. Bolting is the beginning of the going-to-seed process. If you are growing onions, leeks, or garlic, plants that have started bolting should be harvested right away, unless you plan to collect your own seeds.
Garlic and onions are best planted October through January.
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