Monday 31 July 2017

Onion "Long Red Florence"

Today I harvested my "Long Red Florence" onions. Here is their story...

They were sown in John Innes No.1 compost in little 3-inch pots, about 5 or 6 seeds to a pot, on February 4th (coincidentally, the first seeds I sowed this year).

The pots were initially kept in one of my little plastic mini-greenhouses.

When I felt they were big enough to be transplanted, I put them in one of my raised beds, keeping the 5 or 6 seedlings together in a clump. This was on 5th April.

Bed prepared for Leeks under grilles at Left. Florence onions in Centre, protected by sticks. "Sturon" onion sets at Right.

This is 24th May, with the onions now about the thickness of a pencil.

This is 2nd July, with the onions showing definite signs of bulbing-up.

11th July - getting quite fat now.

23rd July. Some of them have developed a very deep purple colouring. They look nearly ready.

28th July. I picked a couple to test what they were like.

The test onions were used in two different salads and proved to be very nice indeed - lovely and sweet and not at all harsh when eaten raw.

So here we are today, 31st July, and I have picked all the remainder of them - a further 31 onions.

The weather forecast says that today and tomorrow will be mainly sunny for us, so the onions will be outside for a while, but I have rigged up a drying-rack in the garage, where I will put them if (when) the rain returns on Wednesday as forecast.

I think these onions are great. They look stunning, were easy to grow, and (most importantly) taste nice. What's not to like?

Growing them was very easy. After planting-out it was simply a case of watering every now and then (for instance during the very hot spell in June), and removing the occasional weed. And best of all, none of them bolted - unlike their "Red Baron" cousins!

By the way, some people have commented that these onions look like shallots. Indeed they do, but the difference is this: one onion seed or set produces one onion, whereas one shallot seed or set splits into several separate bulbs. So now you know!


  1. Setting up an onion drying rack is on our to do as soon as possible list

  2. Those onions look very much like what is called Red Tropea or Red Long of Tropea here in the states. It's a wonderful onion, just the right size for stir fries and many other uses. I've found it will keep for several months. It may keep longer but I've always finished them by the end of summer.

    1. The Tropea onions are a bit different to these - they are not so long and slim: I'm going to try to get some seeds for the Tropea ones next year.

  3. Thanks for profiling their journey

  4. thank you for your many updates along the growing stages! Any reason you harvested them all in July? would they not have increased in size if left until, say, August?


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