Last year I was very kindly given as a Christmas present a packet of Ailsea Onion seeds. these I sowed on New Years day, this has become a bit of a tradition.
Now however, I read that you should plant onion seeds, or to be precise ‘Giant onion’ seeds as early as October for the following year.
Picture of a seed tray with cover and seed label
Picture of a packet of Ailsae onion seeds next to a mound of compost on a potting bench in a greenhouse
As a birthday present, I have been given a packet of these Giant Onion seeds. Lets see how they do, and if I can beat the 3lb 5oz onion I managed to grow this year. I must note, these giant onions do not store well at all, and that I have unfortunately had to throw a number of them away as they go off so quickly.
Its been a long season and finally I have had the courage to lift the giant onions.
These onions were sown on 1st January 2016, and were a Christmas present from the good lady.
Picture of a 3lb 5oz giant onion being weighed by a set of digital scales
Picture of giant onions
Picture of giant onions on a table in the greenhouse drying
Picture of a raised bed with the remains of the seasons giant onions ready to pick up
The experiment to grow a big onion used varieties “Ailsea”, “Mammoth Improved” and “Giant Exhibition”.
Potting the seedlings on in March with the addition of “Rootgrow” I was very fortunate this year, unlike last, not to suffer any deaths and they all grew really well in the greenhouse.
Planting these out into their final positions through black sheeting to keep the ground warm and weed free in May this year.
Overall, I think the variety “Ailsea” won the day. The other two varieties did grow really well with 3lb onions in each, but the most consistent large onion was definitely “Ailsea”. And the onion with the biggest roots was “Mammoth Improved”.
I wish I tried them in the greenhouse to see if they would grow any bigger, and the largest this year was 3lb 5oz, which I don’t think is bad for a first attempt.
Taking a risk this year growing peas without a net.
Picture of pea pods on a pea plant
Picture of pea pods on a pea plant
I planted these in batches so I don’t get a glut of peas all at once. The first ones for the year tasted very good too.
I’ve never attempted to grow beans before, and they seem to, so far, been very easy to grow.
Picture of flowers on a broad bean plant
With a variety of beans for drying and French, dwarf and climbing beans.
I had been advised that growing beans along-side peas keeps the birds off and so far it has worked rather well with only a few pea pods being attacked.
After failing miserably with the giant onions last year, I seem to be having a little success this. Nearly all the seedlings sprouted and I don’t think I lost any. I planted them out at the end of May and they are fattening up quite nicely.
Picture of a one pound coin against a giant onion
Picture of rows of giant onions
Picture of a raised bed of giant onions
Picture of a raised bed of onions that have been damaged
Although, my main crop of Sturon that I planted as sets looks like it has been sprayed with weedkiller accidently by the neighbour. Very disappointed, but part of having to share an allotment I guess.
I think I’ve left it really late this year to dig any potatoes.
Picture of the first of the seasons potatoes lying on the soil in a raised bed in the allotment
As usual, Aran Pilot are my first earlies’ and this year looks to be as good as the last.
I have planted other varieties in the top allotment which I hope will be as good as these.