Tuesday, June 25

Weeding Part Two - Alliums.

Lets start with the autumn planted onions that should be producing a bounty any day soon. Should be but they won't - we'll be lucky to harvest a handful. The photo below is of one of the rare clumps of those that deigned to grow.
As you can see the sets were planted through weed control fabric but I don't think this caused any problem. After the sets were planted the weather just wasn't conducive to plant growth.

The garlic planted in the same bed has, on the surface, fared better and is growing well. Early Purple Wight is producing scapes which I know some people harvest. Do you?
Apparently I need to wait until the leaves start to yellow before harvesting when I hope the bulbs will be of a better size that those grown in a trough in the greenhouse. I think we left them inside for too long and sort of ignored them as there was too much else going on. I think next year all my garlic faith will be placed in direct planting outdoors.

We planted our onions and shallots in two batches - well I suppose three really. The first two lots were started in modules and planted out - again through weed control fabric. The first lot are doing well and a few weeks ago had a few annual weeds removed from the planting 'trenches'. Shallots are growing along the outer edges and onions in the centre rows.
The second lot of sets probably had to hang around a bit too long in modules as the poor weather meant their intended bed was delayed in being prepared.
These are just beginning to pick up and start growing with the shallots producing stronger growth than the onions. The red onion variety has a few failed plantings. It does seem that red onions are more tricky to grow than the yellow varieties. The white varieties seem the most temperamental and this year we have given those a miss. These were weeded last week for the first time. Again mostly annual weeds such as chickweed and creeping speedwell.

We had lots of sets left over and so these were just planted almost touching in a shallow trench and are now growing well in spite of being planted well after the ones started in modules. We've only used the weed control fabric for the lettuces in this bed.
They look to be growing thicker but bare in mind that the sets are very close together. This method has worked in the past to produce useful small size onions. In fact last year these stored much better than the ones that grew to 'full' size.

What I am hoping is that the weed control fabric will cut down on the time needed for weeding and so in areas that are uncovered I can catch the weeds whilst they are small. 

15 comments:

  1. I think it would be fair to say that the Allium family is the most temperamental of the vegetables, don't you think?
    Re those ones (last photo) planted really close together: if you cut the leaves like Chives, do you think they would grow back again?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know, Mark but my guess would be that I would end up with even tinier onions as the leaves develop the onion's rings. WE have lots of chives as it is.

      Delete
    2. Forgot to answer your first question - alliums are indeed temperamental - they seem to respond differently every year.

      Delete
  2. My onion bed is in desperate need of weeding, a job at the top of my to do list. So far, my onions look to be doing much better than they did last year, though the yellow ones look to be doing better than the red ones, I think you're right that red ones are more tricky to grow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the moment they are definitely better than last year, Jo which was a failure really. I noticed even onions bought in had often stored badly and some of the rings were soft and brown.

      Delete
  3. Like Jo my onion bed needs a good weed, I think i have done away with some of my garlic to keep it under control. It looks like I will have oodles of shallots though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We usually have this problem, Jo which is why we decided to use the fabric. I always used to accidentally uproot onions along with the weeds

      Delete
  4. Your onions are doing better than mine, even the autumn ones. Mine always tend to be quite small. I don't think they like our sandy soil and whatever we do to the soil, it reverts to sandy in a week. xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bear in mind though, Snowbird we only have about ten autumn onions altogether - the photo is of the best!

      Delete
  5. My onions unfortunately drowned :( Literally. All last month was raining and my garden was full of water. I have so many losses in my vegetable garden because of the weather this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is such a shame, Dewberry - I hope something survives for you.

      Delete
  6. I have never had 'scapes' on my garlic...maybe I don't grow a hard-neck kind?!?!

    You really don't have that much weeding to do and yet you are covering so many posts with it...with this in mind I think I could probably write weed posts for a month..lol

    ReplyDelete
  7. Two of your comments went into spam, Tanya but that was because I have my commenting set to five days - after that I moderate so sorry about that.

    The weeding or lack of it is really incidental as I describe the progress of various things but I am amazed at how little weeding I have had to do and the difference it makes. I've been weeding areas that usually were just left until last or never done at all.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It isnot published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.