Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Know Your Onions

These are just a few of the many onions I've got drying out at the moment. They're Turbo which have been grown from sets, and they've done really well this year. There's some quite large ones. We don't use very many onions in cooking so they'll easily last us through the winter months. Next year I'm going to have a go at growing from seed and I've got a packet of Bedfordshire Champion at the ready.

After the gales we had at the beginning of last week, I was expecting to find lots of damage at the allotment. I'm pleased to report that everything was fine, even the bean wigwams were still standing, and we're still picking lots of beans from them. The late sowing of dwarf French beans are now producing, though I think we were a little too late with the second sowing of climbing beans, I don't think they're going to come to anything.

I've eventually got round to sorting out my seeds. I've been quite ruthless putting aside any which I know I'm never going to sow, or any which I've got duplicate packets of, and they've been taken to hubby's workplace for anyone who wants them. There was a full carrier bag full. I made a list of the things I want to grow next year, and headed back to Wyevale for any seeds I was missing. I managed to get everything on my list from the packets offered in the 50p per packet sale, and the total savings I've now made on buying reduced seeds this year stands at £50.01. Not bad.


  1. Dear Jo, You are so.o.o organized! I am busy lamenting my poor vegetable crops, this year, but no idea what I'm going to do next. My best crop was my beets. Last week, I harvested, pickled and canned 30 pounds. I don't know why I didn't plant a set of onions, this year. Yours look great! P.x

  2. I still find that however many seed packets I give away, my new seed purchases seem to fill my tin to bursting once more! I'm trying to hold back on seed buying otherwise I'll have nothing to do when winter arrives.

  3. We use lots on Onions and ours were very poor this year :( Yours look good! Pleased to hear that your wigwams survived, and well done with the seeds! :) Mo

  4. I grow Turbo onions and was well pleased with mine again this year.
    Like you there was surprisingly little damage on the plot after the unsettled weather.
    Well done with your seed sort out! Flighty xx

  5. You have been busy. I'm very envious of your onion harvest. We are unable to grow onions here as the last 2 crops have been dismal with white rot setting in. Still there are plenty of veg that we do grow. Well done on buying all your seeds at a reduced price.
    Love from Mum

  6. Oohh you remind me I must go through my seeds. I am helping preschool with their lotty now so can pass some to them :-)

  7. I love putting home grown onions onto strings and seeing them hanging in the shed. I think onions are the most important crop.

  8. Your onions look really good, supposed to have alot of health benefits. You sure had alot of seeds! I'll have to check out my two local garden centres to see if they have seeds marked down. Kelli

  9. Your onions look great Jo.

    Ours flopped this year, but we are more confident for next year!

    Martin :0)

  10. We use loads of onions in cooking, so I would need to grow an awful lot to last us through the Winter!

  11. I grew the same this year and mine are enormous as well! I think I'll try another variety next year but haven't made any decisions yet... Kudos to you for planning to grow from seed though!

  12. So sorry that it's been a bad year for your veggies, Pam. It's been a funny kind of year here too, I'm putting it down to the weather.

    I could quite easily get carried away with seed buying, Suburban veg gardener. I've been very restrained this year and have mostly bought things that I need, with one or two extras thrown in.

    Sorry to hear about your onions, Mo. It's especially bad when it's something you use a lot of. I considered putting some overwintering onions in, but decided against it as we don't use enough of them to warrant it.

    I'm pleased that your onions have done well too, Flighty. I thought I might have a go at onion soup with some of mine, something I haven't made before.

    White Rot is such a bad disease, Mum. It can take years to clear from your soil so you're doing the right thing avoiding growing onions there. Glad that you're enjoying plenty of other harvests though.

    How lovely that the preschool has an allotment, Scented Sweetpeas. I wish I'd taken on my allotment when my two were little, they can get so much out of it at that age.

    I don't think I'll be stringing my onions, Don't unplug your hub. Once they're thoroughly dry I'll clean them up and store them in netted bags, I'm not confident enough to string them, though I agree that they look lovely hanging that way.

    Hope you manage to find some reduced seeds, Kelli. I've bought seeds this way for the last few years, it can save you a fortune, and they're all well within their sow by dates.

    It's a good job we gardeners can always look to next year, Martin. Sorry to hear about your onions, hope you're more successful next time.

    It's just not worth growing some crops, Mark, either because they're cheaper to buy in the shops or because you could never grow enough. My onion harvest will see me through many months.

    I may live to regret growing from seed, Tanya, time will tell. Glad to hear that your onions have done well too, it's been a funny year and many people have lost their onions so I think we're the lucky ones.

  13. Glad that everything survived the strong winds.

  14. Hi Jo,
    I somehow missed this post before, your onions look really good, I have never grown them from seed so will be interested to see how you go on with that. Ours are small this year but still ok and will keep us going for quite a while.
    Well done on your seed savings, from my limited experience of growing veg, it really does help to be organised, something I haven't quite managed myself yet!

  15. I was quite surprised, Sue. The winds were so bad that I thought we'd find all the wigwams down. Hubby did a good job when he put them up.

    I planted my onion sets very late last year and ended up with small onions, Bluebell. It made no difference, other than the fact that they didn't last as long. I do try to be organised and start out well, but I have to admit to failing very often.

  16. That'a a great saving on seeds Jo. I too have lots of seeds which I doubt I will ever grow so maybe i will take them to work to see if they wat them...better than them going to waste!!

    My onions did well this year but I have to admit to not knowing what variety i grew,,,it was a case of whatever the allotment shop had to offer me after my original set got devoured by mice. Can't wait to see how the growing from seed goes...will you sow directly into the ground??

  17. I thought enough was enough, Tanya. I was never going to sow all those seed so I'd rather them go to someone who will use them rather than them going to waste. I'll start my onion seeds off in modules then plant them out later, I do hope I'm not going to be disappointed.

  18. Will be interested to see how your seed venture goes. My onions had white rot this year, and I've read that onions grown from seed are less susceptible. It does seem a lot more work at the start, tho, and with no greenhouse space for seeds is already at a premium.
    Hope you got your heatwave!

  19. White rot is a terrible thing to have in your soil, Linda, it can take years to clear, I do sympathise. I'm looking forward to having a go growing from seed, it will be interesting to compare them against set grown onions. We did get the heatwave and enjoyed a lovely sunny weekend.


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