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Any opinions on growing best onions next year. Is if better to grow from seed or sets? Used to sow seed Xmas time but sets save a lot of time however undecided this year. Facourite varieties? And feeding? High nitrogen early ? It would be interesting to hear how others grow their onions

I only grow sets these days and have been consistently harvesting tennis-ball sized onions for the last few years, since I started using a heat-treated variety called 'Setton'.  I start them in modules (the 24 to a seed tray size) in my unheated greenhouse as soon as I get them and plant out when they have good roots (usually they are about 6-8 inches high by then.)  Clay soil here and the only feed they get is a trowel full of garden compost used when planting.  I only started doing this to prevent blackbirds/squirrels pulling up the sets, but it worked so well I wouldn't do it any other way now.

Thanks bob. Never thought of starting sets indoors. Sounds good

I heard that Epsom Salts was a good feed for onions and leeks (decades ago from an old gardener).  It may be that they contain sulphur.  Would Epsom Salts help to keep neck-rot away?


No but bicarbonate of soda might. Epsom Salts contains Magnesium Sulfate and is used as a tonic for plants and lawns.

Onion neck rot only attacks stored onions. Are you sure you are trying to treat the right problem?


It seemed like it.  Around the time the onion tops were due to flop over when the bulbs were fully grown, some tops did just that, but when I tried to pull them up, the leaves were slimy and disintegrating as they emerged from the bulb.  I lifted the bulbs with a small fork and left them to dry as usual. but most had, or developed, mildew-mould between the layers, eventually if not immediately.  Only a few didn't get infected and endured in the dry shed.  A sorry tale!  if it happens again this year, I should probably not grow any for a year and see if the infection goes away.

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