episode 81. growing onions.

Hello and welcome to episode 81 of the veg grower podcast this weeks title is growing onions. Today’s date is the twelve of September 2016.
Today I’m going to discuss a few recent updates and then I want to discuss about how I grow onions. As I mentioned last week I’m going to start recording podcasts on how I grow certain vegetables in order to add more content to the shows.
Firstly you may have noticed in recent podcasts and in particular this weeks episode a difference in sound quality. I’m experimenting in order to improve the quality of the show so this week in really hoping sounds good to you. Let me know what you think.
So down the allotment to be been down there and done a bit too of weeding during the week and managed to get a supply of woodchip from my normal supply. This is where I also get manure from but I’ve noticed they are now charging for it so I may find a supply nearer home.
Anyway the allotment on Sunday morning I done most of my work. I’ve started shifting and sieving through the compost from the first bin and putting the in composted material back into bin 2. This will rot down further.
The compost the as spread around more trees and bushes ready giving them the nutrients etc to grow well. Now I haven’t completely emptied bin 1 but I cleared enough and will do a little bit each week.
After this I then emptied a couple of bags of potatoes. These are the homeguard potatoes and performed as well as the other bags so ok. The manure from these was also placed into compost bin 2.
After this I turned my attention to the tomatoes as it was clear that blight had got worse here. So again I cut away the infected material, which has reduced the plants quite a bit but hopefully will still produce. There was two plants that was completely unaffected. 1 of these plants was Crimson crush the blight resistant variety so I’m not surprised with this, however it does prove that these plants are resistant. The surprising thing was the other tomato plant that’s unaffected is a moneymaker variety which is the same variety as all the other plants that was affected. I’m more motoring this closely and might try to save some seed if this is resistant but we shall see.
After this I harvest some raspberries. The Autumn raspberries are coming into season now and are very very tasty and plenty. I also harvested a few more beans and a few carrots. I’ve also harvested an apple from the apple tree but it not the one but that means the rest will soon be ready too.
Ok now at home well the greenhouse the tomato plants in there where all infested with blight so I cut them away and pulled them up. I harvested what I could and got a few decent tomatoes but lots of green tomatoes which I’ve turned into green tomato chutney which is very tasty. I shall put this recipe up on the blog in a few days so if you want to use up green tomatoes then keep an eye out for that.
So now the greenhouse is clear of tomatoes I can actually see what’s going on in there and the chilli plants are growing well as are the sweet potato plants. The cucumber is still growing but looking a little worse for wear but I gave these all a good water and feed and we shall see what happens.
Outside the tomatoes are growing absolutely fine not a sign of blight at all. These again are the Crimson crush so I have to say so far they are winning on the blight front. I’ve had a few tomatoes from these plants too.
I’ve noticed the outdoor cucumber plant has a cucumber growing on it intact I would say it’s ready so shall be picking that shortly.
The chard planted last week appears to be growing happily too and hopefully will soon put on plenty of growth. The recent rain has probably helped here to be fair.
After this everything’s growing well and I’m getting plenty of blueberries and eggs from my garden so really can not complain.
So growing onions the main subject for today. Now when it comes to growing onions you can start with two things, seeds or sets. Sets are basically immature bulbs just waiting to be planted so they can grow however seeds are cheaper for a packet and you get many more seeds for the money. However seeds are only good for a year so any older seeds may not germinate.
I tend to grow from sets for ease but I have done seeds before and may well again.
Seeds can be sown during August for overwintered onions and planted out end of September to November. These seedlings are basically sets at this stage of which also coincides with sets being planted out end of September to November.
For main crop onions sowing on seed is traditionally done December to January. This in particular applies to giant onions which are traditionally down in January. These are grown indoors generally somewhere warm and light in seed sowing compost and then continue to pot on. Alternatively directly sow seeds in the soil where they are to grow in March. Seedlings or sets can be planted out March or April ideally the end of april
I like to plant in a rich soil with plenty of moisture but free draining so the onions don’t rot. A general purpose feed applied every now and then to keep the plants happy.
Generally I don’t get many problems with onions the main problem that I do get is bolting where the plant try’s to flower. When this happens I cut of the flower spike. This generally happens due to stress most likely caused by lack of watering. Other problems include mildew a fungal disease that just needs to be cut off and don’t store the infected onions. White rot is another problem of which you have to destroy the plant by burning not on the compost heap, and grow the plants elsewhere next year.
Onions are ready when leaves start to turn yellow and the stalks fall over. For overwintering this could be end of July but over wintered onions can be used fresh from February to July when they reach a useable size. Maincrop onions are generally in August early September.
Onions once harvested should be left to completely dry in the sun. I like to place them in my potting shed where they can dry quite happily before being strung or stored in bags.
Onions are very easy to grow and there are plants of varieties to grow. I like to grow senshyu a Japanese variety that grow happily over winter. I also like to grow electric a red variety.
So there we go with onions plenty to consider and it’s given me a few ideas for this next growing year. In Fact I think I’m going to try to grow giant onions for a change.
So that’s t for this week let me know what you think on the comments and if you have anything to add let me know. So till next time bye bye for now.

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