Monday, 3 February 2014

The Full Set

I visited a local garden centre and nursery at the weekend and bought my onion and shallot sets ready for the approaching growing season.

I've tried growing onions from seed for the past couple of years, but they certainly haven't done any better than growing them from sets, worse if anything, so I'm giving that a miss this year.

The onion sets I've gone for are Turbo and Red Baron. I grew Turbo in 2011 and I was really pleased with them so I hope they do as well for me again this year. I haven't had any luck at all previously with red onions. I don't treat them any differently to other onions I grow, yet they just never seem to get going at all, so in true gardener spirit, I'm giving them yet another try.


I'm trying two kinds of shallots, one which was named as Yellow Shallot (on the left) and the other, Red Sun (on the right). As you can see, this has a reddish tinge to the skin.


I'm not going to do anything with them yet, but when the time comes, I shall plant them in to modules to get them going before planting them out.

24 comments:

  1. I nearly picked some shallots up at the weekend too, I'm trying not to grow onions this year. I'm going to a potato day on the 16th of Feb & they have shallots there also. I'm hoping for a bit of a selection this year.

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    1. I tend not to grow many onions and shallots as we don't use that many in cooking so whatever I do grow lasts us for ages. I've put my potato order in at the allotment shed, they should be here in the next week or two. They don't sell Anya though so I've yet to source those. A potato day sounds like fun.

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  2. I'm not growing any onions or shallots this year. We still have lots of pickled shallots from last year, so this time I shall use the space for something different. Somehow I think the red ones are the most appealing - the white ones are a bit more "ordinary".

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    1. I don't give much space to onions and shallots, but if I were limited I wouldn't grow them at all as we don't use that many. I like the look of the red skinned shallots too, they definitely look more attractive.

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  3. I always grow onions from sets, and generally do well with them. I'm going with my usual variety Sturon,. I have also grown Turbo in the past. This year I'm also trying some Red Baron for the first time. I don't grow shallots.
    Flighty xx

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    1. I think I've grown Sturon in the past, I really need to look back over my blog posts to see the varieties I've grown, I can never remember. Good luck with your Red Baron, I haven't ever had any luck with red onions before so I hope they perform well for both of us this year.

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  4. I tried buying onion sets last year (red ones) but they didn't seem to grow. I haven't dug them up, and they still seem in reasonable condition, so I'm going to leave them where they are and hope that they come through this year. I also planted some in another bed in November to overwinter for an early crop. They seem to be growing well so I'll see how they fare when it finally gets properly cold.

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    1. Red onions have never done very well for me, I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I think you're doing the right thing, if they still look ok I'd leave them where they are, you never know. I've never overwintered onions but I know many people do with really good results.

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    2. You're right, Jo the red are more fussy!

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    3. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they do better this year.

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  5. We bought some more varieties of shallot to add to the two already received by mail order. I wonder whether five varieties is overkill?

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    1. Hmmm, I wondered if I was pushing it with two. At least you'll get a good comparison.

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  6. I bought some onion sets as well and as it's so mild I've actually planted them out! Hope they'll be ok. I have no luck with red onions either...I wonder why that iws? I still have some shallots growing from last year, I left them in as they were so small. Like you, I think the seeds take forever!xxx

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    1. I hope you're onion sets will be ok if we get a cold snap. Sometimes, gardens can act as a barrier and they're actually warmer than open ground so you might be ok. I'm erring on the side of caution, I'll leave mine planted in modules in the greenhouse for a while yet.

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  7. I looked at shallots and onions yesterday in the garden centre Jo but did not buy. Will do soon though. We use loads of both. I've not had much joy with growing red onions to any great size but am happy with little 'uns. The sunshine bought everyone out yesterday or so it seems :)

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    1. I haven't had any sort of success with red onions at all. Like you, I'd be happy with small ones but I haven't even managed those. The sun's shining again today, it makes such a change from all the dull, damp weather we've had just lately.

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  8. I was hoping to try shallots this year...what I really want is to be able to make my own silverskin pickled onions...any idea what I would need to grow?? I always get a little confused with shallots as I think they are supposed to be small onions for pickling and yet a lot of the time they look bigg4er than the regular onion sets?!?!?!

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    1. I've never pickled onions so I have no idea I'm afraid. If you're wanting a particular kind, I suppose there'll be a certain variety that you'd need to grow, but I really don't know. As for shallot sets looking bigger than onion sets, they do, but the onions grow bigger whereas the shallots split and produce more bulbs.

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  9. I haven't had any luck with onions or shallots before, what would you recommend for growing conditions and light Jo? I have raised beds, would I be better to try growing them in some other way do you think? Thanks! xx

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    1. I'm definitely no expert when it comes to onions and shallots, but I would have thought that they'd like the conditions in a raised bed as the drainage would be good. As for varieties, I usually just choose the nicest looking sets, or the ones I like the sound of, I couldn't tell one from another.

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  10. I'm thinking of trying shallots this year rather than onion. I'll have to have a good think about it.

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    1. I don't grow too many of either as we don't use a lot, but what I do grow always sees us through winter and beyond so I'm happy with that.

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  11. I try to plant two varieties of shallots now. It's hard to grow shallots and onions here, especially during rainy season

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    1. I think you'd need to give them plenty of drainage in the rainy season, onions and shallots are prone to rotting. I hope you manage to grow some.

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