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To cut down on the weed problem, line the bottom of the furrows heavily with newspapers. Fill completely to the top of the furrows with straw or hay, grass cuttings, leaves, or any such soil mulch. As the plants come up, push this mulch around the plant to protect the soil at the base of the plant from the excessive heat.
CAUTION: Do not mulch around the tops of the onions, as they must partially expose the bulb.
By this method, the weed problem is practically eliminated and all of the mulch, including the paper, eventually becomes soil. This reduces the number of times you must water as the moisture will be well retained because of the mulch and will enable your plants to have a deep, strong root structure.
When planting onions, plant the plants close together. Pull every other one for the green onions and leave the rest to mature for storage onions. If you pull any weeds that do appear around the plants, shake the dirt off the root and lay on top of the mulch with the weed exposed and it too becomes mulch.
The strange thing about gardening with this method is that after several seasons you will notice an almost complete absence of insects or blight of any kind. You will not have miracles the first year, but you can rest assured that each year will be more productive than the previous.
For people with extremely limited time, the No Work Garden concept will show the eventual potential that mulching affords you in the garden.