Growing Onions in Hay


I’m a wanna-be gardener.  Never really good at it, and I lack essential tools of that trade, like a garden tiller and such.

But, wanting to get into growing more of our own food, I came upon a cool idea whereby you layer paper and then mulches such as old hay, manure, compost, etc.  We’ve probably got more manure, old hay, paper feed bags, old boxes, etc. than anybody needs, so this type of gardening sounded just perfect for me.  Best of all, by layering, you do not need to till.

I started the layering a couple months ago and I will say that when I pulled the mulch and paper back, it was a wonderful planting medium underneath.  A couple weeks ago I decided to set my onions right in the hay and not go down to soil level.  The hay was old and wet and partially broken down.  I checked on the onions and they have all started popping up through the hay!  I did plant them a little close, but they should be far enough apart to grow a decent size onion.

When I planted the tomatoes I decided to go down to soil level and set the plants in the dirt.  Once that was done, and it only required digging back a  small amount of soft dirt, I then mounded wet and then dry hay around the plants, right up to the leaves.  They seem to be doing very well.

If I get out to the store today I will get a new manure fork.  The handle broke off my old one, and although I have two extra handles for it, no amount of W-D40 has been able to loosen that screw that needs to come out so I can put the handle in.  So…I’m buying a new one and have tons and tons of rotted manure that can go in the garden.  Some of it is in a pile, mixed with hay and is growing grass over top of it!

And my manure tea is still sitting in a bucket waiting to be sprayed…kinda scared of that big stinky bucket though.  I have to strain the stuff before I can put it in the sprayer…sounds like a disgusting job!  I’m not sqeamish at all, but some things are too much even for me.

Happy Gardening.

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