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.
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.
It really makes you think when you plant the first spuds that spring is on the way. It certainly is. The bushes and some trees have the first flush of that acid lime-like green in their leaves.
Again planting my favourite first early ‘Arran Pilot’. I seem to have only got two rows out of the bag this year. I wonder if I have planted them closer than usual?
Great to see them in, even if I only got two rows out of them. Il wait some time before I consider planting any of the other varieties in order to avoid a glut of spuds.
The Kale and the three types of giant onion have germinated very successfully this season.
Today I have potted on the first plants; ‘Ailsae’ Onions and the Kale ‘Nero Toscana’.
Picture of a tray of transplanted seedlings into three inch pots on a bench in a greenhouse
Mixing in a good supply of Vermiculite and a good few handfuls of fish, blood and bone which will hopefully give the seedlings a real boost.
I also have put at the root of each Onion seedling a pinch of Mycorrhizal fungi. This will work with the plants root system and provide me with huge onions this year, I trust.
I have gone to even further lengths with the aim of producing a large onion. I have made a dedicated raised bed that I have raked in a lot of fish, blood and bone meal, along with lots of chicken manure pellets, and a whole bag of 6x manure. On top of this, I have secured a planting black membrane. This will heat up the ground far more efficiently, as well as suppressing all weeds, allowing air and water to pass right through.
I have temporarily placed planks of wood along the perimeter just to keep the membrane down on the soil, and protect it from the wind that whips across the allotment.
When the plants are ready to go out into the bed around the back end of April, I will drill 3″ holes along each planting line, about 9″ apart, and each onion will drop into these.
I have also heightened the arms along the perimeter of the raised bed in order to secure a taller wind break to protect the onions that I will install after I have planted out.
Finally got round to planting out some winter veg in the new allotment. Black Kale, Various types of cabbage, Lettuce and Spinach as well as a variety of cauliflower.
All that’s left to do now if defend them all against the birds, and the slugs.
The greenhouse seems quite bare at the moment. I’m not sure if I am behind with my planting this year.
Sowing more seeds today for the garden and the allotment.
Morning Glory, Californian Poppy, Busy Lizzie, Petunia, broccoli (Calabrese), Agastache, and a Foxglove that will flower in the first year ‘Foxy’.