Thursday, 26 October 2017

In My Seed Box 2018 - Spring Onions


I have Eiffel, Evergreen Bunching and White Lisbon (Winter Hardy) Over Wintering in the greenhouse as part of the Soil Fixer SF60 Spring Onion Experiment.

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 Mr Fothergills (Spring) North Holland Blood Red on the back of the pack states, 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 has been added to my  Sowing & Planting Plan for next year so I can get them going a month earlier than this year. I had not planned to leave any North Holland Blood Red to bulb, but perhaps of grown in containers to prevent white rot, 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 - Sow By 12/2015
Long Red Florence - Chase Garden - Sow By 12/2016
North Holland Blood Red - Mr Fothergills - Sow By 2017
Pompeii x 2 packs - T&M Kew Collection
Purplette - T&M Kew Collection - Sow By 2017
Ramrod x 2 packs - Suttons - Sow By 2017
Shimonita - Suttons  Sow By 06/2016
White Lisbon x 3 packs- Suttons/ Wilko/ Goodlands - Sow By 2016 / 2017 / 2017


Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets

Arrow                                 - 300 Seeds - £2.19     - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2017
Arrow                                 - 300 Seeds - £2.19     - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 12/2017

Ishikura                              - 500 Seeds - £2.29     - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2017
North Holland Blood Red   - 500 Seeds - £2.09     - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2017
Pompeii                              - 300 Seeds - £2.19    - Thompson & Morgan Kew Collection - Sow By 12/2017
Purplette                            - 300 Seeds - £1.99    - Thompson & Morgan Kew Collection - Sow By 12/2017

Feast F1 Hybrid                 - 500 Seeds - £1.49     - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2018
White Lisbon                      - 650 Seeds - £1.89     - Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2018


Ishikura                              - 375 Seeds - £2.99      - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2019

Ishikura                              - 375 Seeds - £2.99     - Thompson & Morgan - Sow By 2019

Purplette                            - 375 Seeds - £2.99     - Thompson & Morgan Kew Collection  - Sow By 2019

Long White Ishikura           - 500 Seeds - £2.40       - Johnsons - Sow By 2020
Long White Ishikura           - 500 Seeds - £2.40       - Johnsons - Sow By 2020
White Lisbon (Winter Hardy)  - 500 Seeds - £1.00      - wilko - Sow By 2020
White Lisbon (Winter Hardy)  - 500 Seeds - £1.00      - wilko - Sow By 2020
White Lisbon (Winter Hardy)  - 500 Seeds - £1.00      - wilko - Sow By 2020

Alphabetical Listing

                                                Sowing            Harvest


Arrow                                     Mar - Apr          Aug - Nov
Feast F                                         Mar - Jul          Jun - Onwards ( Winter hardy) 
Ishikura                                         Mar - May        Jun - Sep - Thompson & Morgan
Ishikura                                         Mar - Jul          May - Oct - Mr Fothergill's
Long White Ishikura               Mar - Jul           May - Oct - Johnsons
North Holland Blood Red       Feb - Jul           Apr - Oct
Pompeii                                  Mar - Jul          Jun - Oct
Purplette                                 Mar - Jul          Jun - Oct
White Lisbon (Winter Hardy)       Mar - Sep         Mar - Nov  
White Lisbon                            Mar - Sep         May - Oct - Thompson & Morgan
White Lisbon                            Mar - Jul           May - Oct - Mr Fothergill's

Sowing Plan for 2018

Last year spring onions were grown in vending machine cups in tray modules and transplanted into the onion beds plant membrane, but white rot got a few and the rest had to be harvested early or disposed off.





So now knowing there is White rot on both Spencer Road and Mill Green, I have decided to not grow as many Spring Onions and onions in one place. As with the over wintering SF60 Experiment I intend to grow spring onions in compost filled cut down flower buckets and use the Jig that I have made.





For the SF60 experiment I used all 110 locations in the jig but on seeing just how dense it looks I may use a 55 seed configuration. Looking at greater spacing's using the Jig there is a 30 & 16 plants per flower bucket.   

I think I will try the 55 configuration for the leeks as well this year


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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