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.
I have been trying to find a way for a while now of growing onions with no need to weed. It is such a pain having to be very careful between sets with the hoe, and inevitably I catch the odd one or two.
Seeing how professionals’ grow some veg through a membrane, I had an idea of trying to do the same with onions sets.
Before laying down the black plastic, I had dug in lots and lots of chicken manure. This black membrane is also breathable, and infact lets water through but stops weeds in their tracks. It also warms the soil up tremendously and keeps in moisture stopping evaporation.
I have had to construct a number of slats simply to weight the membrane down so the wind does not get in underneath and lift up. I will have to watch out for slugs doing this, but lets see if I can grow maintenance free onions this year.
Oh, and the variety, is as usual ‘Sturon’ that I normally set away in cells in the greenhouse.
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