Monday, 19 August 2019

Harvesting onions

Like so many other things in my garden this year, my onions got off to a bad start, but once the weather improved (about the end of June), they began to grow a bit more rapidly. The trouble is, I need their space for other things, and although I think the onions are not 100% mature I felt it expedient to pull some of them up.

The signs that an onion is mature include foliage flopping over (check!) and going brown (not check!). This one is probably about 90% mature.

This year I planted onions in two ways, as a comparative experiment. 30 of them were planted individually, in three rows of 10. They are almost all "Ailsa Craig", but a couple of gaps were filled with "Globo" (though I lost track of which! They all look the same now)

I also planted six clumps with several seedlings each. I had intended to put about 6 or 7 onions in each clump, but it seems I wasn't that accurate...

Unsurprisingly, the onions in the clumps have not grown as big as the individually-planted ones. I think this is a good thing, because we like to have onions of lots of different sizes for use in our kitchen. The small ones are particularly attractive since you seldom see ones like this in the shops.

Anyway, on Saturday I harvested one row of 10, plus a few of the bigger ones from the other rows (a total of 15), and two of the clumps, so a bit less than half of my crop.

I'm pleased with the quality of the onions. Even if they are not huge, they are clean and unblemished. I'm sure they will be lovely to eat.

I've spread them all out on a groundsheet on my garden table, to dry, so I'm hoping for plenty of sunshine in the next week or so.

Meanwhile, I have already planted a row of 8 Chicories in the place where the onions used to be. They are covered with a couple of my long cloches, not to keep them warm but to protect them from "nocturnal diggers".

That bed now contains the remainder of the onions, a row of beetroot (foreground), the 8 Chicories and one solitary Iceberg lettuce (bottom left). At the same time I planted more lettuce and 8 endives in another bed, so hopefully I will be able to keep us supplied with Autumn salads.

1 comment:

  1. WE seem to have been doing the same thing! Just need it to stay dry for a little while now.


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