Friday, August 26

All is safely gathered in.

Onions and shallots seem to be two crops that have loved the conditions this summer. It’s strange as you would think garlic being in the same family would have enjoyed the same conditions but whereas the garlic was a waste of space the onions and shallots have been star performers.

A couple of weeks ago the onion tops started to bend over - a sure sign that they were ready to call it a day and had stopped growing.

Usually we would loosen the bulbs and leave them on the surface of the soil to dry out and prove so that they will keep well over winter. When the weather is damp we lift them and spread them out on the floor of the plot greenhouse to dry out there.

After having an extended dry period, heavy rain was forecast for a couple of days this week. We thought that it would be such a shame if the onions became sodden and so we decided to lift them and bring them under cover.
The problem was that this year we still have tomatoes taking up space in the plot greenhouse. 

The onions have been lifted about a month earlier than usual and the tomatoes seem to be taking their time ripening so  both plot and garden greenhouses are still in production mode.

In the end some onions were spread along the path in the plot greenhouse and the rest brought home set out in any gaps we could find in the garden greenhouse.

This was no mean feat as we have pulled about 73kg of onions not to mention the shallots. 

We are still using our winter onions and so we shouldn't go short. 

So did it pour down? Well the rain didn't come on the predicted days but we have had some rain and so we did do the right thing. See Martyn’s blog for the weather report!

As for next year’s winter onions - they should be arriving shortly and the planting will start all over again. 

As for the garlic we’ve ordered a selection of new bulbs so I am hoping that we won’t have a garlic failure again next year!

As for the other member of the onion family - the leeks - well they are coming along nicely. 
Highlight of the week/month/season/year was the first taste of our home grown nectarines which may even be peaches - truly delicious! 
It was such a high point that Martyn mentioned it on his blog too!

Has anyone else grown nectarine Fantasia? If so when does it loose its furriness? Our fruit skin still had a peachy texture but tasted ripe!

If you want to read more about the life cycles of members of the onion family you may be interested in this . I created it as a resource for schools but it may be interesting for some adult gardeners too.


  1. My onions are just about ready to be lifted too, but I wasn't as sensible as you, mine are still in the ground getting soaked as I type. The rain has certainly materialised today. Your nectarines do look like peaches, could you be growing a different tree to what you think?

  2. I hope your onions are OK Jo.

    WE are beginning to think that maybe we were sent a peach tree but as we have never grown nectarines we don't really know what to expect. WE don't care really as the fruit is lovely.

  3. Hi Sue. Wow your onions have totally blown me away! What m2 area do you grow your onions in to produce so much?
    Do you know why onions don't form bulbs? The onions I grew earlier in the year didn't form bulbs (and they were bulbing onion seeds too). Could it be because of not enough food or did I plant them too deep?

  4. That's a lot of onions Sue should keep your kitchen going for a while!

  5. Ha ha, that looks just like my polytunnel with onions spread everywhere! Like you I have order more garlic after a disppointing year too, which reminds me it's arrived at the allotment shop and needs picking up today...

  6. We grew them in about a 25 square metre area. As for onions not forming bulbs - we grow from onion sites rather than seeds. Did you sow early enough March/early April. Growing from seed tends to need a warm spring too and we did have some cold periods.

    Should be plenty for my sister too Damo!

    We are waiting for our garlic order, Rob - we've ordered a collection which if it all grows will mean no vampires in the whole of the UK!

  7. The onions look great! and so many.
    I really want to grow some here, but in my little balcony I can only fit spring onions. Maybe I can find a small corner for one or two

  8. Onions do take up a lot of space Fer but strings of dried onions would look great hanging on the balcony

  9. beautiful looking onions, hope mine get that big!

  10. Hi Kirsty - I hope you onions do well too. Our onions have actually produced a whole range of sizes which is good as sometimes you only want a small onion don't you?

  11. I do like the big onions, so much peeling with the little ones I've grown before. This years crop are looking more promising.

  12. That a fantastic harvest of alliums! I hope this year I don't forget to harvest them like last year.

  13. You'll have to write a reminder Diana

  14. Indeed, Janet onion soup. onion bread, onion ...

  15. Wow! that's a lot of onions! I definitely intend to be growing more next year :-) Love 'n' hugs, Mel xx

  16. Hope you have plenty of onions next year then Mel

  17. Very Jealous of those nectarines...they look divine....Hope they taste just as good!!

    I got my onions lifted yesterday!

  18. They were absolutely delicious Tanya - can't wait for next year!


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