Growing onions...

21 May, 2013

Just recently I have planted what I hope will be a year's supply of onions. It feels a little strange to be planting as it gets so cold, but apparently onion seed germinates in temps as low as 2 degrees, so these should be fine.

Now last year I grew a fair few onions in around three square meters of space. They lasted me until about April. I'm back to buying onions and I don't like it.

So I have planted two areas with lots and lots of onion seed. I have sown Sweet Domenica, which was the best of last years planted varieties, as well as a mix of Spanish White, Early Cream Gold, and a bunch of others that I don't know the names of as I got unnamed seed from my mother (who works in a seed lab and sometime gets horticultural seeds when the companies don't want them back.)

One thing I have learnt about growing onions is that they like full sun. Given the low winter sun and the increased shade in some parts of my garden, finding prime winter growing space for onions takes some planning.

The recently finished melon bed is smack bang in the middle of the front garden and will get lots of sun over the winter months with minimal shading, so this was an obvious choice.

However the artichoke plant in the middle of the bed seriously limited the useful space.


So I moved it behind the bed next to the buddleja.


This left lots of space for the onions. I've sown three types here, and divided the bed up with some big logs left from chopping down a half dead cyprus tree a few years back. I put the mess of sticks over any newly sown ground to stop the birds and local cats digging the fresh ground up, which they are wont to do.

I've also sown a heap of seeds around the back yard garden around the pond under the young apple trees, but unfortunately by the time I finished it was too dark to take a picture. This isn't great soil so I think lots of duck pond water will be dumped here and hopefully feed these onions, an I find they like a bit of feeding. I've read that lots of fresh manure means onions that don't have great keeping qualities, but we'll see.

Hopefully with the rain we've had they will germinate well. Which will hopefully grow into big fat onions which will last me a longer time that four months.

6 comments:

  1. Great ambition. I have to admit to getting too frustrated with onions - too small and pathetic for too long. I like plants that fill out the garden a bit more. Having said that I do enjoy having home grown onions, particularly nice red salad varieties.

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    1. I too have been frustrated, and have never really grown them that well, but I do love that they grow over winter when otherwise the ground would be barren. I have spring onions in a pot that I keep cutting back and they reshoot - they must be at least 7 months old now and just keep coming - so hopefully that'll keep me in homegrown onion flavour.

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  2. I have never grown onions - it is one of those veg I will try when I have more space. Do they work well for you? Any tricks of the trade you have discovered?

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    1. They've never been brillian, but each crop has gotten better. Last year included some corkers which I was so proud of! I find they need lots and lots of feeding and lots of sun. That's about the limit of my knowledge.

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  3. hmm looks like I best think about getting out there and feed up a bit more. I have used my onions as companion plants to the brassica family, fingers crossed that helps the garden look a littler fuller. I haven't got much sun in winter so they will just have to cope

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    1. I've read about that but never tried it. I've also read about carrots and onions being co-planted, but I sow them at different times so have never tried it. Good luck with yours, I'm sure they will produce something even if not in the best place.

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