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Author Topic: Onions from seed - 2017  (Read 5685 times)

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New shoot

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Onions from seed - 2017
« on: December 12, 2016, 12:55 »
Time to start preparing for next year's onions I think.  The Globo I grew in 2016 are not storing that well and I had the same problem last year.  Luckily we are eating them as fast as they are sprouting, but time for a change.

I've got Bunton's Showstopper for 2017 and have already dug out a windowsill plastic tray from the greenhouse.  Next will be the mini seed trays of compost so they can warm up ready for sowing.  I'm going for Boxing Day again  :D

The onion club is off again and everyone is welcome, whether sowing early, or waiting until spring.  The exploits of the 2016 gang can be found here :

http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=122121.msg1438975#msg1438975

If you are going for an early start, bear in mind you have to keep these frost free and in good light until they are planted out.  I fudge it over the colder months with a progression from warm windowsill to a cooler windowsill, then a plastic blow away greenhouse installed in my unheated greenhouse, so its not that tough to achieve ;)




jaydig

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2016, 13:48 »
Yes, I've got my packets of seed out and ready to go.  I sowed mine the week after Christmas last year, and had a crop of massive onions. They're not keeping as well this year, though, but I think they didn't dry out as well as usual due to the weather.  Plus they succumbed to some sort of mildew on the leaves, which I'm sure didn't help.  Once I've got next year's sown, I'll go through the ones in store and have a massive peeling and chopping session, then put them in the freezer.  Face mask and goggles at the ready!

AussieInFrance

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 19:17 »
Count me in again this year! I'm trying all methods this year: transplants, sets and seed. An interesting experiment. As well as that i've expanded the varieties.

Off to a flying start already:
Red Baron (sets) in the potager and just sprouting this week; some no-name transplants i picked up at the local market during autumn went straight in and they're well away now with about 5-7 leaves each; Senshyu (seeds) planted out about a month ago and not doing too much atm; LFR (seeds) about pencil thickness when planted out about 3 weeks ago, doing well and standing tall; Yellow Rynsburger (seeds) planted out about month ago and moving along but slowly; Shallots sets (Longor & Elisor) about 12cms tall now and looking strong.

Seedlings to plant out this week or next:
Camelot shallots (multiple sown)
Ishkuri bunching onions (multiple sown)
2 other trays, unnamed because i forgot to label them at the time! (multiple sown)

Seeds to get underway this month:
Lusy onions, Rosanna onions, zebrune shallots

I'll await the arrival of Trebon onion transplants at the market. They were terrific onions last year.
Grow lights for early germination;
Blow away on NE facing terrace for hardening off;
Small potager 90sq.m at 300metres
No-dig method, intensive planting and incorporating permaculture principles.

arh

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2016, 22:48 »
Hi, I am also going to try to grow onions from seed this coming year, my problem is the "cool sunny window". I have a "garden room" which has windows to west, north and east, but has central heating, I also have a porch which faces south but is in shadow after 1400ish at this time of year, and has no heating, which can get quite warm when the sun is shining. I'm thinking of putting the seeds in the west facing window, during afternoon and night and transferring them to the porch in the morning when the sun warms it up. I can keep the "garden room" temperature at a roughly constant 12 - 15 deg C, but it drops to approx 10 deg. C at night. I'm wondering whether the transferring will upset the seeds?
The weather here in Clacton on Sea is very good usually, we only had 2 or 3 frosts last year, we have had 1 this year up to yet but it wasn't a bad one, bird-bath had a thin ice sheet only.
   Next year will be the first growing year here as I've now turned the concrete area into an allotment measuring approx 17m x 5m
All suggestions welcome, Bedfordshire Champions by the way.
Thank you all. arh.  :)

AussieInFrance

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 18:43 »
Hi

I wouldn't have thought that temperature variation would deter onions. They are very hardy. I have my seedlings out on the north-east facing terrace, and night-time temps get down to -3C. They'll just sit there until they spring into action as it warms. I will probably transfer them to the blow away (same terrace) during Jan & Feb if i don't plant them out beforehand. The soil temp is still good enough here.

I always feel it's the experimentation that adds to my pleasure in growing vegetables.

eltel

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2016, 11:33 »
I normally don't sow my onions till march. but i am going to try sowing some middle of Jan what do i do would they have germinated. I have a heated potting shed. and a 10 x 8 green house that as 2 paraffin heaters.

New shoot

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2016, 14:05 »
They need some heat to germinate, but then cool and bright conditions.   They won't take frost, but too much heat makes them grow too quickly.

Mine usually go out on the plot in May, so a slow steady rate of growth is needed.  If you start early you should end up with much bigger onions than you would get from a March sowing, but they plod along in the first few months  :)

jambop

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2016, 08:50 »
I will be sowing my onions and shallots in mid Feb for planting out end of March. I really don't place a great deal of emphasis on sowing them early, in fact I think sowing them early just leads to less storage time. Storing onions for a long time requires stable temperature conditions, something we don't get down here. It could be 5 or 6 C for a week then the next week could be 18C+ so these conditions get them thinking it is time to start to grow again. I cannot  give my stored onions a stable storage environment so come mid January they want to sprout . We get a long growing season down here so there is no need to get them started too early to be ready for storing. I will grow Trebons for use throughout the growing season, Zebrune shallots and Golden bear F1 for storing.

Mr Dog

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2016, 18:02 »
All mine from seed this year. I've just had to 'cull' all those grown last year from sets. They usually store a bit longer but I suspect them being under 3" of water from the end of November until April won't have helped! TBH I was amazed that they survived

New shoot

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2016, 14:16 »
I'm surprised they survived that as well, but what a shame they haven't stored for you  :(

My overwintering onions from seed have disappeared from the cold frame!  I have been rushed off my feet for the last couple of weeks, so they were fending for themselves, but the chard in there is fine. 

No slug trails (I had managed to fling a few blue pellets of doom in there regularly), but they are just little modules of compost now >:( 

The plot ones (sets) are up and doing OK.  My plot is on a slope so no chance of flooding, but the soil is wet enough.  They are in hunker down for the winter mode, so I'm sure they'll cope.

I've just filled some mini seed trays with compost and brought them inside to warm up.  These are for the onions I will sow on Boxing Day.  OH clocked seed trays and rolled his eyes a bit, but he knows better than to actually say anything   :lol:

AlaninCarlisle

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 15:18 »
what are the favourites for super-large onions? Are they best grown in polytunnel for showing purposes?

snowdrops

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2016, 16:36 »
I think Kelsae are still the top winners at the shows & yes they grow them under cover with heat & lights & lots of faffing on. I sometimes grow a few but without the faff to get big onions for our local show, came 2nd once in the heaviest onion catering but can't be doing with all that whipping the neck. I grow to eat, for those championship growers it's all about the competition isn't it?

AlaninCarlisle

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2016, 17:15 »
I grow to eat, for those championship growers it's all about the competition isn't it?
Not with me. I just want to amaze my neighbours :). Thanks, I'll give Kelsae a try in the tunnel but minus heat and light once they've germinated

New shoot

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2016, 20:41 »
I've grown Kelsae before and got some good results.  Mine were started inside, then grown on in the unheated greenhouse, then planted out on the plot.  They weren't giant like the ones you see pictures of from competitions, but they did get large.

This years seed was sown on Boxing Day, so I'm off again already  :)


Eblana

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Re: Onions from seed - 2017
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2016, 22:22 »
New Years Eve is my sowing day.  I have onion seeds and compost ready but I am going to have a look tomorrow to see can I get shallot seed just to see how they go.



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