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Author Topic: Stunted Shallots  (Read 650 times)

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Aled

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Stunted Shallots
« on: June 16, 2017, 13:37 »
Hello All
Ok all this is my fourth year on my plot and we seem to do well with certain crops. Beetroot and Carrots ok, potatoes usually get enough for the table. Runner beans pretty good, Radishes we'll they would grow on the moon. Onions and Shallots. Useless. They grow they stay healthy but I can't seem to get them to any size. A golf ball size being the biggest. So has anybody got any ideas of what I could add to the soil, or if there is a feed out there I could add to get bigger onions and shallots. Thanks in advance.
Cheers
Aled


mumofstig

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 13:41 »
The size of onions will also depend on the variety grown, but I would expect most shallots to be smaller.

What varieties are you growing?
Lesley
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I'm not good, I'm not bad, I'm just me - and sometimes I have to apologise for that.

Aled

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 13:49 »
Thanks for the reply. Sorry I can't remember, i'll see if I have saved the net bag later tonight.
Cheers
Aled

arh

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2017, 15:03 »
Timely question Aled, though "small" isn't my problem. I lifted my shallots today as they are beginning to, literally, come out of the ground on their own. The problem is that they are huge, some are 3" in diameter, Bigger than the onions are atm, but the onions will still grow on, (I hope). I was expecting shallots that I could pickle, (answering my next question myself, I should have picked them earlier). Can they be halved or quartered to pickle them, I'm sorry, but I don't know the name of the shallots, everything else is duly written down, but they were an afterthought, and never got entered except for "Shallots" :wub: I think that I got them from Wilko's as "Shallots". They are laid on the work area to dry for a couple of days atm.

Aled

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2017, 15:11 »
Now mine were bought at Wilkinson's as well arh! Wish mine could grow a bit more. So arh did you give them any special treatment? Fertilizer etc?
Thanks
Aled

arh

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2017, 15:30 »
No, I cannot say I did, though they did have some rotted horse manure under them. My problem is that it is "new ground", the concrete was lifted last October, and 9" - 12" of soil dumped on, not "top soil" as such, but soil that was removed from gardens etc to allow block paving to be laid, so I covered the subsoil in well rotted manure, (3 - 4 year old, probably past it's best.), then laid the "new" soil on top of that. This year is a "what grows, grows year", but they have had plenty of water, as it's so dry here this year. Other than the last of a bag of 15/15/15 they have had nothing else.

arh

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2017, 15:31 »
ps. golf ball size is what I wanted,  :lol:

victoria park

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2017, 18:30 »
Aled, I'm normally a fan of Wilkos, and this year's pick n mix potatoes from there are doing well, but I bought some standard sturon sets and red shallots from wilkos and they have performed terribly, and I mean really terribly, to the extent of a 95% failure. They all sent out shoots but have remained 3 inch high miniatures, with very little root to speak of. They just didn't grow and I suspect bad quality control and sourcing.
Fortunately I bought some other red shallots from my local garden centre and cobbled together 80 odd onions from ailsa craig and bedfordshire seed I had sown in a very difficult year for germination too, and they are at last doing well, so a total no show has been averted.

It has to be down to the material bought, unless there is some strange unearthly disease going around or climatic weirdness that I can't fathom. Never have I had such a failure. I will be avoiding Wilkos next year where onions are concerned and get what sets I use from my normal local garden centre.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 18:46 by victoria park »

Thrutchington

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2017, 20:25 »
I tend to find that pelleted chicken manure is a great fertiliser for alliums, I also add a bit of growmore occasionally, they do well.

victoria park

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2017, 20:39 »
I always do the chicken pellet thing Thrutch, as with most of my crops, but this year to no effect at all with these allium beds. I don't believe fertility was the problem.

Aled

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2017, 01:16 »
Ok all now this is really interesting.
1. Well rotted horse manure: I put a lot of it on my plot I have access to plenty so pile it in in autumn and again in the spring.
2. Chicken compost. Again a pile on the plot in Oct and again in the spring.
This has been the fourth year on the trot that my onions/shallots have not grown well, I'm wondering if my soil does not suit it is clay. This is the first year I've bought from Wilkos. 
Growmore: I'll give it a shot.
Many thanks for your reply's all.
Cheers
Aled

New shoot

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2017, 07:37 »
I'm on clay Aled and I find alliums do well for me. Onions, garlic, shallots and leeks.

Like you I incorporate a lot of organic matter into my soil - compost in my case, plus I use pelleted chicken manure as a fertiliser.

You may already have this covered, but are you planting them in an open sunny spot and keeping them weeded? They don't like shade or too much weed competition.

The other thing you could try is growing from seed.  You get a lot more choice of varieties.  Onion sets sit around in shops for months and most don't have ideal storage conditions. 

Christine

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2017, 07:46 »
It sometimes helps to change the fertiliser you use. For some reason a quick change from chicken pellets to something like growmore or blood fish and bone seems to do the world of good. No idea why. Can't remember the technical explanation I was given but there's some science in it somewhere.

I've had not as good as usual results with garlic and onions this year. It's possible that the warm and dry weather through winter and spring has done no good.

Aled

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2017, 21:48 »
Thanks for the replies all, I will try growmore. My Dad claims I'm worrying too early!
Cheers
Aled

Aled

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Re: Stunted Shallots
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2017, 10:18 »
Have carefully tended the shallots, added some organic fertilize and on advice of a friend, some fine wood ash (I saved a bit from winter fires) and they have a nice growth spurt recently, so thanks to you all for your advice its been a big help.
Now my French beans however, still very stunted, but they no longer look they are about to keel over!
Cheers
Aled



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