Tuesday, 14 March 2017

In My Seed Box 2017 - Spring Onions

Having managed to move out some of the overwintering onions from the space saver greenhouse I set about washing and cleaning the vending machine cups for re-use, the modules and the trays, and low and behold I found a couple of slugs living under the modules, so they were immediately dispatched to sluggy heaven.

So looking at my Sowing & Planting Plan I see that I should have started sowing Spring Onions in March Week 1. Looking at my seed collection I decided to sow 15 vending machine cups of Mr Fothergills (Spring) North Holland Blood Red, as we like the red spring onions.

Looking at the back of the pack, germination is 14-21 days, it also informs me that they can be sown from February to July and harvested from April to October. For Bulb Onions sow no later than April and thin to 75mm apart. 

So a note needs to go into my Sowing & Planting Plan for next year so I can get them going a month earlier. I had not planned to leave any to bulb, but perhaps I will leave a few to see how they get on for future reference.

Review of Onion Seed Stocks in Zippy Bags

Apache (Deep Purple) - T&M
Long Red Florence - Chase Garden
North Holland Blood Red - Mr Fothergills
Pompeii x 2 packs - T&M Kew Collection
Purplette - T&M Kew Collection
Ramrod x 2 packs - Suttons
Shimonita x 2 packs - Suttons
White Lisbon x 3 packs- Suttons/ Wilko/ Goodlands  

Review Of Onion Seed Stocks in Packets (sow by 2017 if not stated)

Arrow x 2 packs - T&M Heritage Collection
De Barletta - Lidl - (12/2016)
North Holland Blood Red - Mr Fothergills
Ishikura - T&M - (2014)
Ishikura - Mr Fothergills
Lilia (red Skinned) - T&M
Paris Silverskin - (2015)
Pompeii x 2 packs - T&M Kew Collection
Performer - T&M
Purplette - T&M Kew Collection
White Lisbon x 3 packs (seed Tapes) - T&M

To Be Sown Next

Ishikura - T&M - (2014)
Paris Silverskin - (2015)
De Barletta - Lidl - (12/2016)

These three varieties of onions will be sown in vending machine cups standing in 3x5 tray modules and will hopefully find there way down to the greenhouse on Spencer Road if I can get it erected in time before they make their way into the onion beds.



I will be planting the spring onions once large enough into the holes in the onion weed membrane sheets that I have made bed size. This does however present a problem for the White Lisbon seed tapes which I will have to ponder about and find some bed somewhere to squeeze some in.

Looking at the back of the seed packets, yes I do read them! What I find interesting is the different guidance provided by different seed companies for the same variety of plant. for example, looking at Ishikura Spring Onions from Wilko, Thompson & Morgan & Mr Fothergill



Sowing Outdoors

Mar - May ~ Thompson & Morgan
Mar - Jun ~ Wilko
Mar - July ~ Mr Fothergills

Frequency of Sowing

Wilko &  Mr Fothergills both suggest every 2 - 3 weeks for a continuous supply throughout the summer, interestingly Thompson & Morgan advice is that "The long harvest period means one sowing lasts the whole season!" which is kind of mad as there harvest period is shorter than both Wilko & Mr Fothergills ! Thompson & Morgan also states "Can be harvested pencil-thin or thinner, or left to mature to carrot size" although they don't state what kind of carrot.  

Thinning

Wilko & Mr Fothergills both suggest no thinning is required whereas Thompson & Morgan state it is!

Harvesting

May - Oct ~ Wilko
Jun -  Sep ~ Thompson & Morgan
May - Oct ~ Mr Fothergills

Germination 

Wilko &  Mr Fothergills both state 14 - 21 days and Thompson & Morgan provides no information on germination, I have seen this missing on quite a lot of their packs and it's something I'm and I guess most other gardeners are actually quite interested in.

I know that like Structural Engineers, if you get four or five gardeners together and ask them a question you are likely to get three different answers but until I see what other suppliers of Ishikura Spring Onions have to say, I think I will ignore T&M and go with the guidance from Wilko & Mr Fothergill.  

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