Despite the demolition that is going on in the garden right now I’m still managing to do a little preparation for the coming season. I planted up some onion sets (Red Baron) in small pots. Normally, I’d put them straight into the ground however since I don’t have any beds to put them in right now I’m opting for the pots with a view to transplanting them later.
I’ve learned that there are a couple of tricks to growing successful onions. The first is not to plant them too close together. People will tell you that if you want smaller onions to just plant them closer – which is true – but if you plant them too close then you can’t get your hoe in to weed in between them and the result is a messy onion bed overrun with weeds. Onions hate to compete – they give up the fight and let the weeds take over. They suffer badly.
The other tip is that they like a rich soil with lots of nitrogen. Either grow them in a bed that was previous used for Legumes or apply a nitrogen fertilizer around a month before harvest. This will give them a great boost. Lastly, I would recommend growing them from sets. Seeds are fine if you have the time and you want a particular variety that is not available in sets but if you just want some nice onions then go for sets every time.
I’d like to add a further tip. For red onions like Red Baron (my favourite), buy heat treated sets. This lessens the likelihood of them bolting, but you need to plant them out a little later, say April time.
Just wanted to post a congrats note – what a great blog.
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Look forward to reading more of your updates.
Nice trips. I’ll have to keep my eye out on onion sets. Are onion sets moderately priced? Just curious. Thanks
Excellent advice! I don’t seem to do too well with onions, I will try some more nitrogen. I have a space from legumes last year, there should be some nitrogen nodules in the soil that might do the trick!
Great advice. We buy them in sets and bundles. I would say I get better results with sets. But for smaller green onions Bundles are great.
Good advice but why the apostrophe in Baron’s?
Is it a greengrocer’s apostrophe by any chance? ;-)
Thanks. Just bought some Red Baron sets. Had no idea if they were any good but I have loads of room, love onions and at £1 for 350gms thought I would risk it. Looks like my gamble was good.
hi mine have some sort ov seed pod on them what do i do with it once it ready
Hi Nick, That’s a flower. Snap it off and use this onion first. Those that have started to go to seed don’t store well so use it before Winter comes.
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