Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Catching up with alliums

Bright and sunny for part of the day yesterday. With daffodil shoots showing through it felt quite spring-like. But I won’t be taken in by this; there is still a lot of winter left. Maybe it's January that is the cruelest month.

Nevertheless, I took the opportunity to belatedly plant out two 20’ rows of garlic. I say belatedly because although spring planting is often suggested I have got best results from planting out in autumn. I’m a bit later than usual because the ground wasn’t quite ready for where I wanted to plant them.

I don’t generally do autumn sowings to get a head start for early spring crops. This involves a bit of cosseting through the winter and in any case spring sown broad beans, for example, soon catch up. However, this time I did sow some onions last October in 3” pots. These were thinned out to one plant per pot after they had germinated. They have all grown well in an open cold frame. Today I planted out 50 onion plants alongside the garlic. 

In the spring I’ll plant out some onion sets to crop later, and also some shallots. You get a lot of shallots for your money because of their bunching capacity. Its always handy to have them if you need something less dominant in the dish you are cooking.

I might give red onions a miss this year. Pretty as they are, they bolt so readily and don't store so well. Last summer's blistering heat made the problem worse last time round. 

We still have plenty of last season’s garlic and onions stored which should see us through until the the next crop are ready.

Red onions. They are attractive - I might change my mind.