The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Vegetables => Topic started by: Wannabeesmallholder on April 11, 2022, 07:16:03 pm

Title: Onion failure
Post by: Wannabeesmallholder on April 11, 2022, 07:16:03 pm
Well I felt I had been getting the hang of this growing lark.. I've had some onions in since last year!!!  :-[
planted them next to my carrots to keep the carrot fly away (which worked) and I had lots of lovely carrots.

Planted some next to my beetroot and had loads of lovely beetroot. Actually too many I was pickling for weeks and well in our house there's only me who eats them 😄

BUT... Erm my onions didn't seem to be doing much, They grew to about 6" then appeared to stop. I'd read I could leave them over winter so I thought ok.. I'll just leave them and see what happens. 🤔
 
So today I thought whilst preparing my patch for popping in Aprils seeds.. I'm going to dig one up and have a look. They are about a foot high now..

And well it had hardly any bulb on the end. Roughly the size of 10 pence piece.

Any ideas what have I done wrong? its the first time I've grown onions from seed 😢 Not had problems when I grew them from sets previously 🤷‍♂️ Will they eventually grow  if I leave them even longer? Maybe to like 2025 or something 😄
Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: Steph Hen on April 11, 2022, 07:45:18 pm
Donít know! Didnít know they could be left in overwinter.
Weíre they maybe salad onions rather than bulking onion seed?

Mine have only just germinated in modules on the window sill so you could still start again with fresh seed if needed this year?
Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: Anke on April 11, 2022, 08:55:19 pm
What was the variety - I am also thinking that you may have planted a salad onion variety.


However, all is not lost - you can eat the green leaves like chives!


Onions are tricky, I normally sow mine in January into modules and then plant out aorund now as clumps of 4 to 5 onion per module. Had a massive compost failure this year (somehting is worng with Dalefoot compost), so will probably buy onions...
Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: cans on April 12, 2022, 05:46:53 am
Onions are best lifted in the autum (End of August/begining of Septemebr works for us in central scotland)
We hang ours over a fence to dry, moving them under cover if rain forecast.  They need the air around them when drying. 
We (me) are usless at the tying up of onions but since I make Beetroot chutney there is little point in doing this as they are used son after lifting.
Over winter ours are stored flat in the allotment shed.  We still have some to use up.

We grow the onions around the beetroot rows as we get bothered with mice eating the beetroot and this seems to keep the little bliters away.   They head for the peas instead  :roflanim:

Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: chrismahon on April 12, 2022, 06:46:08 am
We grow Stuttgarter and Red Baron which are planted out about now (but I'm busy) and harvested when the tops start to die off, around August. They are then dried on a frame in the barn and tied into strings and hung in a shed. We couldn't leave them in over Winter because they would just rot, so I think you may have planted the wrong variety W?
Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: Steph Hen on April 12, 2022, 08:35:35 am
We grow Stuttgarter

These also do well for me and my friend in Scotland.

Still time to get seed in just now for this year, and use all the green onions for invigorating salads.
Iíve posted on here before, look up Durham salad, handfuls of spring onion, mint leaves and lettuce. seasoned and then dressed with malt vinegar (I use apple to avoid gluten) and sugar to balance. Itís great with roast lamb and gravy.
Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: Anke on April 12, 2022, 09:41:46 am
We grow Stuttgarter

These also do well for me and my friend in Scotland.

Still time to get seed in just now for this year, and use all the green onions for invigorating salads.
Iíve posted on here before, look up Durham salad, handfuls of spring onion, mint leaves and lettuce. seasoned and then dressed with malt vinegar (I use apple to avoid gluten) and sugar to balance. Itís great with roast lamb and gravy.


Sounds nice!
Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: Wannabeesmallholder on April 15, 2022, 07:00:44 pm
Thanks for the Replys folks..

chrismahon.
Funnily enough the seeds were stuttgarter.. I might have a bash with the Red baron next time.

Having said that I'm going to cheat again this year and use sets. But I will try a few seeds in trays to see if I can improve on last years epic fail. 🥺

Steph Hen.
Excellent suggestions on recipes all may not be lost.
   I Notice you mentioned the dreaded gluten do  I detect a allergy or intolerance?

   My daughter is gluten intolerant and between us we have plenty of other allergys sadly. Thats mostly why I'm so interested in natural home grown foods.. Less chemicals 😄
Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: Fleecewife on April 16, 2022, 01:34:52 am
I'm wondering if you sowed your seeds too late last year, then the normal thing to do would be to dry the resulting tiny onions and then replant them the following year as sets, rather than actually leaving them in the ground where they would rot.  I have only heard of onion seeds to crop in the year they are sown, being sown round about Christmas to get big onions.  They are bound to take much longer to grow from seed than from sets.
Red Baron is actually quite difficult to grow well I have found.


Actually rereading your original post you have just checked the overwintered onions now.  They will not have grown over the winter so will be ready to harvest in about July after growing for a summer.
The onions which can be sown in Autumn and overwintered are Japanese Onions which are ready before normal onions, but they are different and Stuttgarter is not a Japanese onion.
Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: Wannabeesmallholder on April 19, 2022, 10:33:20 pm
Hello Fleecewife

Ah that might make sense I possibly did get them in a little late for seeds.. So in theory if I leave them in until this July I could still salvage some.  :thinking:

They look nice and healthy plant wise and appear to still be growing.. just a very small bulb at the moment.

Its all a learning curve I guess  :farmer:
Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: Steph Hen on April 20, 2022, 06:09:41 am
If they look good you could just leave them and see if they look like theyíre bulbing up in a few weeks.
Yes raft of food allergies in my son, Gluten, dairy, corn, soy, egg, nuts. Basically every food additive. And i canít eat vegetable oil or get arthritis. I buy very little processed, lots of cooking.
Title: Re: Onion failure
Post by: Wannabeesmallholder on April 28, 2022, 09:51:01 pm
Ah Steph Hen
your son sounds like a mixture of me and my daughter. She can't do soya terrible stuff and is iffy with wheat.

I Can't do the food additives or nuts and citrus fruit and tomatoes.. Additives I haven't been able to since childhood. The tomato citrus thing I developed in my late teens. and I love them but can't touch them.😪

Home cooking is best. Home grown home cooked even better. 😋