Growing onions and shallots

by Jane Moore

I haven't grown shallots for a few years, so am looking forward to the results.

Planting shallotsI'm gradually filling up the beds on the allotment. Last week I planted main crop potatoes a variety called Picasso, which doesn't seem too prone to slugs, and one called Cara, which is cited in catalogues as 'the allotment favourite'. I've not grown it before.

The onions also went in, but not where I'd planned. The bed I planned to plant them in had been freshly weeded and forked over, but onions need a really firm bed. Last autumn I cleared, weeded and forked another bed, which was crying out for onions to be planted in it this spring. So that's where they are.

In this lovely firm bed that was originally intended for beans, I've planted 50 odd sets of an F1 onion variety called Hercules. It's supposed to store well, which is just what I need after my disastrous attempts to store last year's sodden specimens.

I've also planted 25 shallots a classic French banana type called Longor. I haven't grown shallots for a few years, so I'm looking forward to the results. Last time we grew them we had far too many, so I've been careful to plant fewer bulbs this time.

I'll also pickle a fair few. Paul and I love eating pickled onions so this will be a special treat.

Of course, this late decision to rearrange what's growing in each bed has thrown my crop rotation plan completely out of the window.

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Gardeners' World Web User 10/04/2009 at 11:43

I have just set up raised beds 4 in total 2 large and 2 small and had intended to plant potatoes, onions, parsnip and carrots for the first year but i have just watched monty's great simple explanation on rotation. The topsoil is new and has not been over wintered or compacted can i still do as i intended or are some of these a waste of time. any thoughts would be gratefully recieved. a beginner

Gardeners' World Web User 10/04/2009 at 19:35

Yes you can, I did it for the first time last year and i planted Carrots and Parsnips, in a small raised bed filled with some home compost and shop bought. I got Potatoes growing too thanks to my very own not completely rotted down compost. you can but try and why not!

Gardeners' World Web User 10/04/2009 at 20:22

how do i kill ivy growing on apple and plum trees

Gardeners' World Web User 12/04/2009 at 08:34

The crows pulled out the newly planted shallots and onion sets from our allotment and scattered them all over the place. I'm taking my catapult next time I go up there.

Gardeners' World Web User 13/04/2009 at 17:43

Can I keep tomato seeds from this year let them dry out and plant them next year RGDS Danny

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