Seedlings and onion sets

by Jane Moore

All the shallots and onions I planted are sprouting away happily. And only a few of them have popped out of the ground and needed pushing back. That always happens with sets, doesn't it?

Removing flower heads from onion cropWhat a lovely spring to be growing things. The weather has been pretty near perfect — lots of sunshine and some lovely soft, steady rain to get it all germinating and growing well. Perhaps we've had a bit too much wind, and the temperatures at night have been a bit chilly, but you won't find me complaining — or my lovely little seedlings that are starting to grow.

Everything on the plot is pretty rosy I must say. All the onions and shallots I planted are sprouting away happily. And only a few of them have popped out of the ground and needed pushing back. That always happens with sets, doesn't it? I assume it's birds pecking about on the freshly worked beds, but I've never seen them at it.

I've also got turnips, swedes and beets showing themselves, and some salads and lovely rocket which seems to have sprouted virtually overnight. So I'm well set up for the barbecue season (and the autumnal stew season, too).

My next big job — particular important with root vegetables — will be thinning the seedlings out so they have enough room to grow properly. Turnips, swedes and the like are incredibly prone to bolting, going straight to flower without forming a decent edible root, if they're at all overcrowded. So, as soon as the seedlings are big enough to handle, thinning them is at the top of my 'to do' list.

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Gardeners' World Web User 15/05/2009 at 20:55

How long do carrots take to show in the ground. I keep looking but can's see anything yet. I planted the seeds about 2 weeks ago.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/05/2009 at 13:24

I have a Victoria Plum tree in a pot, which has had to be placed in a bigger pot with soil round it to stop it getting blown over in the wind. Is it ok to plant Onion in the big pot around the Victoria Plum Tree?

Gardeners' World Web User 16/05/2009 at 15:39

Did you know that if you have a split branch on a young fruit tree or such like. If you take a handfull of willow whithies, twist them round to hold them together and bind them securely around the damaged branch area creating a form of bandage, and tuck the ends around to hold the banage of whithies in place. Leave the whithies in situe untill you see the branches healing and holding firm. I found this out once when a young dog managed to damage a fruit tree. My knowledge that willow has natural healing properties for pain killing gave me the idea and it worked, the branch stayed healed and although one could see a small scar where the break had occured there was no further problems. Remember to remove the willow bandage once the join is secure. I have tried this method a few times since and it normally works provided you can make the repair whilst the damage is fresh and the whithies are young and flexable.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/05/2009 at 15:46

Aileen talking about carrots, I grew my carrots in the autum and still have not seen any. so I might think you have to wait a bit longer.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/05/2009 at 18:49

Carrots- I put small plastic polly tunnels over mine and they came through after 10 to 14 days I've also done this with beetroot and they came through quickly and when I put my onion sets in I put a polly tunnel over them, my onions are brilliant the polly tunnels were only £1 each from the poundland shop, my friend also tried them on her onions because the birds kept pulling them out and now they're growing great although her parsnips have not come through at all.

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