Friday, 18 May 2012

Last Year's Harvest

We had such a good onion harvest last year that we're still eating our way through them. We checked on them last weekend, and unfortunately some had started sprouting again while others had started going soft. We sorted through them and this is what we're left with. It's a shame that some have had to be composted, but overall we've done well with them. These were grown from sets, but this year I'm having a go at growing them from seed. They're still in the greenhouse at the moment but I'm hoping to get them in the ground this weekend, though they're still on the small side. They may not do very well but I won't know unless I try.

My blueberries haven't done very well for the last couple of years. I'd decided to repot them in some fresh ericaceous compost this year thinking that they may need a bit of rejuvenation, but like many things, I never got round to it. I'm pleased to say that they're covered in flowers so I'm hoping that the last two years have just been a blip and that we'll end up with lots of berries this year. Blueberry Muffins are calling.

The Uchiki Kuri squash which I sowed nearly three weeks ago now haven't germinated. They've been kept indoors on a warm windowsill along with the Blue Kuri and Sunburst squash which were sown at the same time, and which have both germinated fine. I don't usually have many problems with none germination, at least some of everything I sow usually germinates, but I've also had problems with the Tigerella tomatoes this year too. None of those germinated in the first sowing, and only two in the second batch, which actually look quite deformed. It's definitely a funny year this year. I only have one Uchiki Kuri seed left so I shall get that sown this weekend and keep my fingers crossed.

24 comments:

  1. The onions still look really well. We still have one or two despite many going rotten. Some sets still need to go in!

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  2. Mmmmmmm - save a blueberry muffin for me please Jo. Maybe all the rain has bulked up fruit production along with the fresh compost. I've had one or two recent germination problems but as well as the weather my usual compost has not been up to scratch :( Hope the remaining Uchiki Kuri seed behaves itself.

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  3. A good reminder that our blueberries would probably benefit from an ericaceous mulch.

    Forecast for next week looks much warmer so seedlings and plants might start growing a bit quicker.

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  4. I've still got about the same number of onions, and like yours a few have started sprouting.
    As you've seen both my Sunburst seeds germinated and are doing well.
    Have a good weekend. Flighty xx

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  5. Those onions have lasted well Jo. We noticed that the last of our 2011 garlic harvest is starting to look a little past it's best now so it might be time for a clear-out of those. I have a great Otto Lenghi garlic tart recipe that might be just the ticket. My Uchiki kuri seeds haven't germinated yet either. Sowed another two in a new pot to see if they do anything. Will keep you posted!

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  6. Those onions look great. i'm just finishing the last of my shallots, but they are from a January harvest. Impressive how well your onions have kept even if you've lost a few.

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  7. That must have been some onion harvest : ) My blueberries didn't do well last year either but are covered in flowers now so I'm looking forward to blueberry porridge. My Uchiki kuri squash have finally germinated, although it's taken ages. I've had more problems with my courgettes and cucumbers. Just too cold even on my kitchen window sill I guess. May need to invest in a heated propagator next year.

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  8. I had no problems with germination of my squashes, but growing them on afterwards is a different matter. They are all thin and leggy and have been attacked by what I think are Fungus Gnats.
    Have you tried putting any reluctant germinators into the airing-cupboard for a couple of days?

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  9. We've given up on onions as they seem to suffer from a white rot in our ground. It's great that you can grow onions that will last all year. I've sown a few red onion seeds that I found at the back of the seed tin and they have started to grow so I've got my fingers crossed. I shall eat them before they get too big.
    Love from Mum
    xx

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  10. I started my onions off in cells and they went into the ground last week. It will be intersting to see how it works out. A lot of the seeds are having a hard time getting started this year.

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  11. What lovely looking onions they look like they have been polished. I finished mine ages ago as I didn't plant as many as I normally do. Someone above mentioned rubbish compost - I think that that could be causing problems I know I have had difficulty finding a decent compost this year it seems to have all sorts of rubbish in it.

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  12. my squash were slow to germinate this year too... none of my uchiri kiri have come up at all and i am out of seed now! However the blue banana squash that i love - a week after any other squash showed their leaves - have finally germinated so i am happy! i have two tiny seedlings on the windowsill, which with blue banana being so prolific is plenty for me ....
    good luck with your seeds!!!

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  13. We only tried onions from seed once and had little success so we use sets. It will be ineresting to see how you get on with yours :)
    It had better be a good year for Blueberries because it's the fist time we've had a bush! ;)

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  14. It's great to still have a few onions left from last year, Sue. I think we'll have a late harvest with most things this year, everything seems to be getting planted out late.

    Funny you should mention compost, Anna. I'm beginning to wonder if this year's poor germination is not only down to the colder weather but also the compost. The type I've used this year doesn't seem to be up to scratch.

    I've been saving coffee grounds to mulch the blueberries with, Martyn. Fingers crossed for a warmer week, we could certainly do with it.

    I think we've done well to still be eating last year's onions at this time of year, Flighty. Hope your Sunburst plants do well for you.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that your Uchiki Kuri seeds germinate for you, Jules. We could both end up without this year otherwise.

    I'm really pleased with the onions, Liz. As I mentioned, I'm having a go at growing from seed this year, so it'll be interesting to compare.

    I was really pleased with my onion harvest last year, Wellywoman. I'm hoping that it goes as well again this year, time will tell. I've got a heated propagator but I haven't used it at all this year. I find that seedlings tend to be weaker when grown with heat, though this is one of the years it would have probably been ok to use it.

    Having a combination boiler has it's drawbacks, Mark. I don't have an airing cupboard. I should have probably used my heated propagator this year, if only I'd known how cold it was going to be.

    White rot is an awful disease, Mum. It will be many years before you can grow onions if you've got it in your ground. I've got a few red onion sets this year, the first time I've grown red onions but they're a lovely addition to a salad.

    I've got my red onion and shallot sets planted out already, The Cookie Jar. The onions grown from seed look rather weedy though, so I'm hoping they can fend for themselves once I do plant them out.

    The onions do look polished, Elaine. I'm really beginning to think that it's the compost which is to blame for slow germination and growth rather or as well as the weather this year.

    It sounds like a few of us are having problems with Uchiki Kuri this year, Sylvan. I haven't heard of Blue Banana squash, I'll have to look that one up.

    I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for my onions from seed, Mo. If they don't do well it'll be back to sets for me too. I do hope it's a good year for blueberries. I've been without them for the last couple of years so I'm due a decent harvest. It's all looking good so far.

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  15. I stil have a few onions left too Jo, I am quite pleased with how they have held up this year.

    I have had some real issues with germination this year but this last week or so things seem to be a little braver at showing themselves.

    Hope you get some of your favourites germinating soon, I am going to have to re-sow sweetcorn. :-(

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  16. Wow, I am jealous - we finished our onions in February and we lost loads of onion because they went soft. Ours are winter onions - we plant them in November and harvest them in June. How do you dry your onions?

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  17. I had problems with germinating my spaghetti squash, Jo. I even emailed the supplier who advised that they were a slow starter and to give it a few more days... and within that time, all of them came up! My Sicilian trailing courgettes on the pther hand have disappeared!
    BTW, I've been using J Arthur Bowes seed compost as it came top in a Which? trial last year. Apart from the above seeds, everything else germinated really well.

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  18. Your onions look picture perfect. I only managed to get about 25% germination success this year with courgette and squash I sowed. That's really low. Cucumber I got 0% germination with the 4 seed I sowed. Suppose I should have sowed more seed but I was basing it on last year's success rates.

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  19. Jo, despite the weather you have done really well. Those onions look so smooth and healthy.

    A friend has given me a raspberry plant and I wonder if you could give me some tips on planting. I have never grown soft fruit before (apart from strawberries and gooseberries) so any advice would be appreciated. I don't have room in the ground, but what about in the raised beds or in a pot?

    Given up on veg at the moment. I was hoping for a mass of runner beans and their flowers cascading over an arch like last year but all have failed to germinate. One of the few things I have managed to get going are salad leaves and rocket!

    Jeanne
    x

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  20. I hope that the warmer weather we're now enjoying will bring everything on, Tanya. I've noticed more things germinating too so I hope your sweetcorn come good for you.

    A few of my onions went soft, Vegetable Gardening, but I'm pleased that we've still got a few left to eat. Onions can be left on the ground to dry, but it was rather wet last year when I harvested mine so I dried them in the greenhouse. They've been stored over winter in the shed.

    I've given up all hope of my Uchiki Kuri squash germinating now, Caro. All my hopes are pinned on that one remaining seed. Thanks for the compost recommendation, it's good to know what works for other people.

    I've found that courgettes are usually reliable for germination, Kelli. It just shows what a funny year we're having. Hopefully, this warmer weather will now help things along.

    I don't grow raspberries, Jeanne, but I once had a go at growing them in a container. I wouldn't really recommend it as raspberries have shallow roots which like to spread out. The ones I planted in a container didn't do very well at all, so you'd probably do better with them in a raised bed. Sorry to hear about your runner beans. I'm not growing them this year, I'm going with French beans instead, but they've been very slow off the mark to germinate. The weather has a lot to answer for.

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  21. Thanks Jo, I thought as much. Will give it a go in one of the raised beds.

    Since my last comment, one tiny runner bean seedling has emerged - yay! Thanks to those sunny days I think - no signs of the other ones yet though, however my mangetouts have all emerged looking very healthy.

    Jeanne
    x

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  22. You're welcome, Jeanne. Good luck with the raspberries, I'll watch with interest to see how they do in your raised bed. I'm pleased to hear that something's doing well for you, I had visions of you without any veg this year, and that's no good.

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  23. Your onions have stored really well - what variety were they? The wet weather this year doesn't seem too good for onions.

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  24. I was really pleased with how the onions stored, Linda. The variety was Turbo. This year I'm having a go at growing from seed, but I was late planting them out so they probably won't do very well.

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