|The coldframe (photo from just after assembly)|
I have zero experience with growing onions - either from sets or from seed - but I have read up on it, and it seems easy enough (famous last words...).
I have two different varieties of onion. One is "Red Baron", which I bought last weekend at the Hampshire Potato Day.
I reckon there must have been about a hundred sets in that bag, but I certainly can't afford the space to grow that many! Since this is my first attempt I have planted just a few, to try them out.
The other variety is "Sturon", a white type. These are the sets kindly given to me by Gerry from GrowSeed.
The planting technique is dead easy. Just push the sets into the soil (either in the open or in pots / modules), so that just the tips stick out, like this:-
My trays of little pots have now gone into the coldframe, where they will be protected from the weather, until it's warm enough to plant them outside (probably late April).
I have also sown some onion seeds today, though there is nothing much to see so I'm not showing a photo. They are seeds for "Long Red Florence", whose name is self-explanatory! I have sown 4 or 5 seeds each in plastic 5-inch pots, and when the plants are big enough I will transplant them as a clump.
As I said, I have been reading-up on growing onions, and I note that they do best in full sun, so I'm a bit worried, since my garden never gets as much direct sun as I would like. One of the jobs I have done today is removing a couple of the lower branches of my big Bronze Maple tree, hoping to let in some more light.
So, let's see how it goes...
There are always too many sets in a bag even for us. One point when starting onion in pots is not to let them get root-bound before planting out as this sets them back and they don't seem to fully recover.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Sue, that's useful info. I plan to plant mine out when they are just a few inches tall - which will hopefully be about the end of March.Delete
Good luck with the onions, will look forward to seeing the end result.ReplyDelete
More onions to a pot would probably work. Maybe 3 to a pot. End result is smaller onions but more of them.ReplyDelete
We've started onions sets back in the autumn, their about 6" in high now.ReplyDelete
Surplus onion sets are always useful for growing green onions! And they take very little space - can be planted almost touching each other. Probably don't need too much direct sunlight either.ReplyDelete
Thanks for all your tips about growing the "surplus" onion sets, folks. I might try planting a batch in a big pot in a month or two...ReplyDelete
I agree, don't let the extra sets go to waste, as the anonymous commenter said they can be planted close together and harvested as spring onions. I always plant my onions twice as thickly as required so that I can harvest half of them as spring onions - they are so good!ReplyDelete
I find most white onions can be sown any time from Autumn to early spring. The only problems I've had is when they are in too much shade, or crowded by weeds or water logged, outside of those conditions setting them at anytime, any depth, anywhere has worked. I have also rooted them in in modules little bigger than the onion itself until I'm ready to plant out. Autumn / winter sown ones often produce bigger onions in my experience but not big enough difference to worry about. Yes, spare ones plant them in a big pot with as many as can fit (inch spacing perhaps) and use them as tiny onions / spring onions as mentioned before.ReplyDelete
As they are in the cold frame you'll bed safe from the birds plucking them out!ReplyDelete
That is a very smart coldframe :-)ReplyDelete
I've never planted my onions into pots first, I always sow them directly into a few of the raised beds and cover them with a net cloche to keep them a bit warmer and keep the birds out until they get well established. I might give it a go this year and see if they do better.
And breaking ALL the rules I once neglected my onion patch and left the whole bed to get covered in weeds until you could barely make out the onions .... those were the biggest and best onions I have ever grown. It just goes to show that you don't have to follow the instructions all the time!
Oh good, I feel better now! I think I will try a few direct-planted onions too and see if they perform differently.Delete
For green onions plant them 3-4 inches deep and closely together. I usually will do a row on the near the edge of a box or two.ReplyDelete