Friday, September 14

Crying over onions!

This year whilst we were waiting for our usual heat treated onion sets to arrive, we visited a local garden centre and Martyn decided to buy some 'ordinary' sets too. At the time I remember thinking - in fact saying - "Won't we end up with too many onions?" 
 
How wrong could I be? The onions haven't liked the conditions this year at all and have been very slow to grow. Any growing has now been completed and so the bulbs have been loosened and left on the soil to hopefully dry off.
 
On 21 March we planted two varieties of ordinary sets - a white onion called Snowball and a yellow one called Setton. Both started off well and the yellow has produced a reasonable crop although the onions are generally much smaller than usual.
Generally white and red varieties are a bit more temperamental and more easily run to seed. Snowball did send up lots of flower stalks but I kept snipping off the buds. Most of the white bulbs produced are small and don't look particularly inspiring. I'm expecting that many will have soggy bottoms.
The heat treated sets were planted on 5 April as the heat treatment delays delivery. Usually this isn't a problem but this year it meant that the sets were planted when the conditions weren't exactly conducive to good growing.
 
We had three varieties - two yellow Fen Early and Hytech and one red Hyred. The reds have been a total disaster. This is all they have produced. Most have disappeared but you may just be able to spot a couple of tiny bulbs which are not much bigger than the original sets.
The yellows have done a little better - both Fen Early ...
... and Hytech have produced some bulbs but again these are smaller than usual and again I have a feeling that some will have been spoiled by the wet weather and are unlikely to be of good storage quality.
We still have a few of last year's autumn planted onions to use up but I really can't see this summer's crop seeing us through to next spring as is usually the case.
 
So we're now waiting for our autumn sets to arrive for planting and will have to hope that these get off to a better start!
 
 

20 comments:

  1. It's been such a rubbish year that I bet most people won't have as much food stored for winter as they usually do. I must do a post about my seed sown onions.

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    1. It seems that it isn't just us then, Jo

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  2. Sue, I had an absolutely horrible onion crop this year. Your onions look huge in comparison to mine. I planted twice as many and the yield was a fraction of normal. A lot of mine are also spoiling.

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    1. Strange isn't it, Robin when we have had such different weather. Maybe the onions look larger than they are in the photo

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  3. Oh no - at least the ones you've photographed look good. As usual i'm looking impatiently at mine wondering when they'll actually start growing - they have just managed to get to a mm in stem diameter - not very impressive at all....

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    1. You're still at the optimistic end of the onion growing season though Liz.

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  4. My onions did not do well this year at all. I guess I need to plant a different type or put them in a different spot. Maybe I will have some better ones next year sigh.

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    1. I'm hoping for better next year too, Becky

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  5. I've never grown autumn onions ...is it worth giving them a try? When would they be ready? I need to think about getting my garlic too.

    My onions weren't as good this year either. Did you pay more for the heat treated onions?? Are you going to try them again next year?

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    1. Yes it is Tanya, we started picking ours in June this year and are still using them.

      Heat treated sets are more expensive but usually they do really well and hardly produce and flower stems. We will be growing them again next year as this year is the first time they have failed so badly.

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  6. Next year is going to be a scorcher.... honest!

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    1. You reckon Mal? Can we just settle for pleasantly warm with rain at night when we are asleep!

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  7. You've persuaded me, I should be growing onions! Plus I eat alot of onions as they can be eaten with almost anything.

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    1. Try some autumn planted onion sets Kelli

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  8. Your onions look about the same as mine - they were sooo slow taking off but didn't turn out too bad in the end. I planted some autumn onions last week and the resident badger decided to dig them all up - so they are scattered all over the place now but the shoots are already showing.

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    1. We're still waiting for our autumn sets to arrive Elaine and fortunately (in the gardening sense - I'd love the chance to photograph them) don't have badgers

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  9. Some stupid spammer is trying to bombard this post with comments. Fortunately all so far have been picked up by Blogger spam and I have deleted them without them ever being published but it is a pain having them sent to my email box as alerts. I wonder why whatever it is man or machine doesn't realise this happens and just stops wasting their and my time! If it persists I may have to think about editing my comments setting. Does anyone set to those with Google accounts only? Trouble is I don't want to exclude anyone and don't want to go back to the dreadful verification either.

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  10. Sue, I used to have my comments set to 'Google accounts only' but a couple of friends said it made it difficult for them (I know, why can't they log in like the rest of us .... but I bit my tongue!) Hope you can resist the dreadful verification setting :}

    Keep deleting them and hopefully the spammers will give up on you and find another target, although it beats me how anyone could think that we'll respond to these sort of messages?

    As for onions, listened to GQT this afternoon and it sounds like everyone has had a dreadful time this year.

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    1. I'm resisting changing the settings BW - it wouldn't be so bad if Blogger didn't send out email alerts when it has popped something into the spam folder or even had an option to not accept comments from Anonymous. I know others are having this problem too at the moment so it seems some idiot has started to flood blogs with spam. At least my visitors aren't getting the comments - I hope!

      I think for our onions, especially the heat treated ones, it was the awful weather around planting time at least the other had the chance to make a bit of growth before then. As we gardeners say - there's always next year!

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