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Onion sets


 
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tagwex
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:59 pm    Post subject: Onion sets Reply with quote

Went to a Glanbia store last week for cement and on the way out spotted dozens of packets of onion sets (100No.), shallots (350g) and garlic (4No.) all going for 50 cents each. Right says I, I'm having some of them. I know it is a bit late for the onions and early for the garlic but at that price I will chance it. Plus someone on here stated long ago that those UK packed packets can be as much as 6 weeks different to our climate. Anyway all sets and shallots sown now.
So now I am thinking ahead to next year, if I bought up the rest of those sets is there a way of keeping them so as I don't have to pay 6 a bag for them next year. Will they freeze successfully or hang them in a net bag in a cool dry shed? What works or should I not bother?
Additionally, how are sets grown? From the year before and somehow made to go into dormancy? I am having a much better success rate with the previously grown sets over the seed.

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yaut
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Joined: 16 Mar 2012
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Location: Co. Wicklow

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

freeze?!
I would personally would leave them in the cool, dry place till the next spring and plant them then. You can feel from the bulbs which ones will do well - they're round and firm, with some weight to them. Ones that are wrinkled and dried out are most likely to be dead. I picked up a pack for 50cents somewhere earlier this year too but it was still time to plant them (mid may?) and they're doing beautifully even though I didn't have a plan to grow onions - they're cheap to buy in the shop!

I believe onions are biennial plants and sets are the first year onions grown from seed. You sow the seed late in the season, let the onion seedlings grow till the first frosts, dig them out, store them till the next spring and replant them. and then they BOLT Laughing why bother Laughing
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks yaut. Now I know a bit more. Think I will go and get another few packs of those sets tomorrow.
Yes freeze, coming from a novice you could hear anything!

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This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Edlyn12
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with yaut.Of you were to freeze the onion sets they would die.I was thinking of freezing lettuce seeds a while back so you're not alone😄
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's good then, at least I am not the only one to come with silly ideas!
I got the idea from somewhere though, some seeds are chilled to some extent to make them more viable.

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Blowin
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I've read somewhere that putting seeds in the fridge for a few days can create an 'artificial winter' so that, when you take them out, they think it's spring and begin growing. Varieties etc - no idea, I'm afraid.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've decided not to grow onions again, next year. I had sets in from last autumn and they have done ok and are now drying off, but they occupy a lot of space for a lot of time and they are cheap to buy. As for my leeks, most bolted, due, I think, to the very warm weather at Easter. I think they thought they'd had a summer so it was time to set seed. I will try them again, though, but from seed, as they are such a delicious veg and so versatile. I might try growing one of the perennial onions, if I can find any.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only did autumn sown onion sets once. I did normal spring sown ones as well and found that those that had overwintered only cropped about a month before the others. As I usually hope to grow enough to last a year, when they actually crop is unimportant so I don't have ground committed through the winter.

Re the leeks, you're much earlier than me. I grow seed in a bed and then transplant out when about a foot tall. This I've only done two or three weeks ago and still have some to go in when they're big enough. You say you're going to try again from seed - but what method did you use for the lot that bolted? I didn't know there was an alternative but, as you say, they're a useful vegetable and sit throughout the winter with parsnips etc.

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Good guy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did it the lazy way - I bought them in modules. 'Nuff said?
This is my first serious attempt at growing a range of veg for many years, so it's a learning curve, especially re getting a succession of crops. And I'm trying to do a lot at once, so it's not all going to work out first time. A lot of my onions didn't keep too well, last year, and that put me off, too. For a year's supply I think I'd need about 400 so I couldn't grow enough anyway.
Timing is so important - we are probably 3 weeks behind you in the growing season. For the leeks, I think your method will work best. When I was in the Loire region early last September, people were buying finger-thick leeks by the bunch for planting out, the way people used to here, with Yorks.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Onion sets Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
or hang them in a net bag in a cool dry shed? What works or should I not bother?

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheds are controlled by the atmosphere inevitably. Last year - good summer - onions stored well in trays. Year before - wet summer- many went soft or started sprouting in the nets.

If you're lucky enough to have a cellar, that's the answer but, otherwise, you're at the mercy of Met Eireann.

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