Friday, January 3

A better start

Last year at this time our autumn planted onions looked like this ...
They had hardly started to grow and never really went on to produce a worthwhile harvest.

This year they got off to a good start. They were planted out towards the end of September and by October were already looking like this ...
The wire netting that had been placed over them as protection had to be removed and now the young onions look like this ...
I wonder whether they will continue to produce a decent crop or will they fail at a later stage.

Likewise the garlic is off to a flying start. I'm not growing any in containers this year and placing all my metaphorical eggs in one basket, or in this case bed. The best results last year was from the garlic planted outdoors - this in spite of the wet season. Having said that it wasn't until January - as shown below - that the cloves began to sprout with the elephant garlic lagging behind.
This year the garlic sprouted almost as quickly as the onions and now looks like this.
Even the elephant garlic is producing strong shoots  - the shorter shoot in the photo at the front on the left and middle row of shoots on the right.


Last year we planted the sets and cloves on 14 October which was mainly because we had ordered the sets online and had to wait for delivery. This year we bought from local nurseries as soon as they appeared on the shelves and planted out on 21 September so we were a off to a head start.

The conditions have been milder and more conducive to encouraging growth so it's difficult to say whether earlier planting would have had the same result last year but we will definitely source our sets locally next year. This way we have more control over when we plant.

It's always good to see things off to a good start but it will be even better if they finish off on a high note and over that we now have no control!

21 comments:

  1. They look great, I didn't plant any onions or garlic in the autumn. I don't think I will bother again with the plot being small & them being in the ground so long. I will be planting some shallots in pots though.

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    1. I don't think we would bother with onions if we didn't have plenty of space, Jo. It can be a bit hit and miss

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  2. Darn it! I was so determined to be on the ball with the Onions and Garlic and get them in early - it seems I completely forgot lol.
    I'll get some Onions in soon though and hopefully they'll do as well as last year.
    Yours are looking pretty good Sue.

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    1. I may be inclined to rusk planting a few cloves of garlic, Linda especially where you are. It may be late but gardening isn't an exact science is it?

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  3. We had a great start with onions and garlic last winter, but the long cold winter followed by a dry spring where we hadn't thought about watering meant they never really got much further. We got a small crop in the end but hopefully you'll have much better luck than we did.

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    1. Hi Jenny, we are very much at the mercy of the weather aren't we? I hope it will be kind.

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  4. Looking good - the milder winter is obviously helping.

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    1. Now will it continue, Elaine? I guess that's too much to hope for. Of course a milder winter means lots of the beasties will survive.

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  5. Great looking Onions, I sowed my Autumn ones fairly early last year, (remember the wet weather after that), then the warmth came and I got the best crop ever. Still using them. Yours look at about the same stage as mine were then so it looks like they will be fine. This year mine are further behind but the ground is saturated at present.

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    1. That's encouraging, Rooko, thanks.

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  6. I see that you have a great job in growing alliums. I have never found a real good practice in growing alliums especially garlic and onion. Always fail. I'm so sorry about that. So didn't grow both of them for several time. Wet warm tropics is not favorable for their growth.

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    1. We all have things which are difficult or impossible to grow don't we Endah?

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  7. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, Sue. With gardening it is never over until the harvest is "safely gathered in"... You shouldn't need to do any watering on the plot for a fair while though!

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    1. You are so right Mark. We need as many crossed fingers as possible.

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  8. They look great Sue. I'm interested in the matting used with the batons. To prevent weeds and keep the heat in the ground?

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    1. The intention is to keep the weeds down SG but we do think being black it should warm the soil too. We have gradually been adding to it through last year and have most of our beds covered now. Try search for weed control in the search box on the sidebar and it should bring up the other posts about it.

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  9. My onions and garlic are doing much better than last year too, and a few beans and peas. Let's keep our fingers crossed eh....xxx

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  10. Garlic and onions always feel like the beginning of the growing season to me. The very first things I ever planted in my garden when I moved in one October. Yours have got off to a great start. I'm down to my last string of 2013 onions now.

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    1. We haven't many onions left now due to last years poor harvest. We also have problems finding a dry place in which to store them over winter.

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