Overwintering onions and garlic

103 planting onions 17 nov 13It’s been a difficult autumn to get the overwintering onions in. Whenever we’ve planned to get to the plot and do the job, it’s rained!

Finally, last week, we got the job done. This year we’re growing one lot of red onions, one lot of white and two different varieties of garlic: Solent Wight and Provence Wight. Overwintering onion are purchased as sets, not seeds, which get planted with the point at the top and the (miniscule and difficult to spot) roots at the bottom. Every year I say this, but I’ll say it again – don’t just push them into the ground; they easily get damaged by stones or even grit in the soil and that causes them to rot. Dib a hole and drop them in.

Remember that smaller sets can be more productive than bigger ones as the larger they are the more prone they are to bolt.

103 allotment haul 17 nov 13We have to cover our onions and garlic, as the birds always pull them up. It’s a backbreaking task but it’s great to have it all done at last!

A fairly meagre haul – a red cabbage and a head of Chinese leaves …


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    CJ said,

    I’ve got my overwintering onions in – although like you say, the birds are pulling the odd one up. Your Chinese leaves look lovely. We eat lots of these, so it’s something I might consider growing next year now that I’ve seen yours.

    • 2

      kaylesleigh1 said,

      You can either cover your onions with netting or just poke sticks in the ground and twine bright coloured string around them – this stops the birds landing. Don’t use black string, which is cruel because the birds can’t see it and get tangled in it. The theory is that the shoots of the onions look like caterpillars to the hungry birds, so it’s understandable they dive down to grab them!

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