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Shallots and onion question


 
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colin79ie
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject: Shallots and onion question Reply with quote

I have shallots and onions planted in the veg bed and they appear to be doing well.

My red onions have developed what looks like a flower on top of one of the leaves. It seems to be on each onion planted. Is this normal?

I also planted shallots for the first time this year, but where I planted the seed shallots, there seems to be 4 or 5 stems coming outof the ground at each one. I planted them correctly but unsure if what I have now is ok?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very good question and well put.
The seed heads that appear at the top of the red onions is a sign that the onions have bolted or gone to seed. This is mainly due to a cold spell after planting and then rapid growth. it is normal to have a few bolters (about 5%) in a normal year but this year it was nearly 50% in places. If sets are stored in too high a temperature before planting then this can start off the bolting. Bolters should be pulled up and put in compost heap. As for shallots it is normal for each shallot bulb that is planted to produce 5 or up to 8 new bulbs as it develops whereas a set no matter what size it is will produce only one large bulb. You have planted everything correctly but the weather has played tricks on you.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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sirpsycho
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few of my onions have gone to seed to Sad

Is it possible to eat the bolters?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the bolted onions are edible but as they get older they get woodier and tougher and are not very appetising. Use them as soon as you notice they are bolting.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Protein
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so how would one know when its time to harvest an onion?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Onions can be harvested and used at various stages of maturity. However if you wish to store onions they should be fully mature and the necks drying out naturally. salad onions are ready as soon as they are pencil thickness but before the bulb develops too much. Onions can be used for cooking even when they are immature.
michael brenock horticultural advosor (retired)
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