London (change)
6 messages
24/11/2012 at 19:17
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
24/11/2012 at 22:24

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.

24/11/2012 at 23:17
Thanks bob. Never thought of starting sets indoors. Sounds good
15/06/2015 at 12:35

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?

15/06/2015 at 13:00

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?

15/06/2015 at 16:57

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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