Tag Archives: onion

It’s Been A Good Year For Onions

It has been a good year for onions indeed. As part of an experiment I sowed the first batch mid November 2016 and they grew well. I sowed a second batch on New Years Day 2017. One of each of these I grew in the greenhouse.

The experiment did not go as I would have thought and the onions in the greenhouse went over weeks ago. The largest which was the November sowing only weighing 1lb 11oz.

The onions which I grew in a raised bed on top of a black membrane just kept growing. They had the same treatment as the onions in the greenhouse, including the same feed and at the same times. I did loose a couple of the outside onions, but on the whole they have done very well indeed, with the largest this year weighing in at a whopping 4lb 7oz! I also had a few onions just short of this mark.

I know from last year that these large onions do not store very well, so following a short drying-off in the greenhouse I will give as many away as I can.

Time to Transplant

These Onions I sowed mid November 2016. Let’s see if the early sowing grants even larger onions this year. I note that year (2016) I potted-on the large onions in March, so this year these are really ahead of the game.

Again, planted with a pinch of Mycorrhizal to aid root growth.

Big Plans For The Future

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.

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.

 

The Final Result

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.

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.

Giant Onions take two

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.

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.

Planting Out The Giants!

Amazingly, this year the giant onion seeds have done very well indeed. I think I have only lost around 5 plants as opposed to last season when I lost a lot. maybe the sprinkling in cinnamon really does work to stave off infections.

Drilling larger holes in the black plastic I planted the young plants with more “rootgrow”.  Hopefully the black plastic will keep the raised bed warm and keep moisture in the soil also.

Drilling Onions – Quite Literally

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.