Friday, 27 September 2013

Spring Onion "Perverse"

No, of course that's not the name of a variety of Spring Onion - it just describes a characteristic of my current batch of these temperamental vegetables!

Earlier in the year I sowed a "large handful" of Spring Onion seeds in amongst my Carrots, in the hope that they would help deter the Carrot Root Fly. Hardly any of them germinated - I think it was five. When the last of the Carrots had been harvested, I decided use the black plastic boxes in which they had been grown to try a batch of Spring Onions for Autumn harvesting, or possibly for over-Wintering. I just chucked in all the Spring Onion seeds I had, some of which were "White Lisbon Winter Hardy", some of which were the ordinary "White Lisbon" (i.e. the Spring-sown ones), and some of which were "Ishikura". I think it would be fair to say that I had no high hopes of a big harvest! 

This time LOADS of them have germinated:

I have seen several people write about Spring Onions being unreliable these days - for example Sue at Green Lane Allotments , who earlier this year said "I don't know what has changed, but Spring Onions always were easy to grow until the last few years when they have been very reluctant to perform". Certainly this has also been my experience of late. In my garden they germinate very poorly and rarely grow well.

Well, the big question now is, will they develop to maturity? Just to demonstrate their independence from me they will probably do really well! Are they saying to themselves "Thank goodness we have this place to ourselves now. Those Carrot folks really are awful!" ?

Of course, just for spite I could completely ignore them, couldn't I ? I mean, without me to water them would they survive in that little container? Their container is only one of several, I must remind them, and who's to say which are my favourites...?

No, in all honesty I'm glad these onions have made their appearance, and I shall do my best to help them to maturity. And if they do, I'll have the last laugh! (Chomp, chomp...)


  1. I never have any problem with spring onions, in fact, I sowed a very late batch hoping that I'd have some to harvest in autumn and if not they can overwinter, and they're growing away really well. I always sow White Lisbon, though I should mention that I tried some red spring onions and they didn't fare very well. I shall have another go with them in spring though. I always grow my spring onions in containers or large plant pots and just let them get on with it, watering only when necessary. I think a little neglect can help sometimes.

  2. A great idea to sow them in containers. Yours are all so very neat and tidy, I'm very impressed! Hope you have a good weekend Mark.

  3. Even when we have sown in containers ours haven't grown so maybe we should just throw them about. On our site lots of growers have said exactly the same as us too. On a forum I visit it's the same thing. Love to know what it is that gives, Jo success!! I look forward to seeing what happens to yours.

  4. I haven't had any issues with spring onions but all my normal onions died this year - not sure what happened but they have not done well. Spring Onions are my saving grace though.

  5. I tossed down a lot of bunching onion seed at the ends of each of my beds. So far I don't see any. I hope some survive until spring as they are very nice early onions if they do, but I'm not counting on them. I do have some up and growing in a very shady spot near my shed so I will get a few even if it is just small ones.

  6. I grow mine in containers too Mark and have no problems. A sowing at this time of year should over winter nicely and in spring you'll have real spring onions!


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