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Onion Experiment


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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:21 am    Post subject: Onion Experiment Reply with quote

To me, Onions are one of the best crops I can grow. The 'sets' option avoids most of the uncertainty of germination and they store well for using over long periods, but I've had a regular problem with weeding them. I've always held back in the early stages for fear of disturbing the vulnerable sets but, before I know it, the whole area is a mass of weeds needing serious weeding. I also need regular patrols to remove seed heads so I've been pondering alternative strategies.

A few months ago Aldi were selling pieces of ground control fabric, about 5m x 1m, for about a fiver so I bought one. Inherited somewhere along the line, I have a set of 'O'-shaped cutters, like circular cold chisels, that may have once been used in the hand production of gaskets, I'm told. I took my length of fabric and wound it round a thick piece of board about 3/4 inch thick and 7 inches wide that I had in the shed. Then, leaving appropriate borders, I punched holes in the layers of fabric at 7 inch intervals along both edges of the board - no magic about the 7 inch spacing other than it coincided with the width of the board. I hadn't got a punch big enough for what I really needed, so I cut slits across each hole so that a growing onion could expand it.

I planted my sets and weighted the fabric down with lots of stones to prevent movement. Most started to grow nicely but then seemed to shoot up quickly to about 12 inches high with not much bulbing of the sets. Thinking I might have misjudged the experiment, and not wishing to risk a year's crop, I went through, easing the fabric up off the onions until I'd got it off altogether, revealing a beautiful weed free plot. The bulbs are now filling out nicely. The odd weed can be pulled out as it appears and, for the first time ever, I've yet to see a single seed head. Now, as regular visitors will know, I'm a total numbskull in terms of gardening science but am not afraid to try out bizarre things if I think they might work. In this case my needs seem to have been met and I've got the fabric rolled up in the shed ready for next year.

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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A noble prize heading your way. I wonder did the additional heat caused by the fabric cause them to bolt.
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Blowin
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Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hadn't thought of that, Tagwex. Makes more sense than anything I'd come up with.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Up here for thinking. Down there for dancing!
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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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Greengage
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Location: Kildare

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A packet of Onion setts cost approx 3.90 for pack of 75.One roll of Mypex cost 5 total 8.90.
One onion in aldi costs 16cents total for 75 onions 9.75.
No weeding, bolting, watering required they also store for long time. Savings of .85 cents. Sure why would you bother growing anything, More importantly how would you make a liiving out of it. Shocked
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tagwex
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those German supermarkets are notorious for their veg going stale very quickly.
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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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Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised at you, GG. Why do we bother at all? Most of us think that knowing where and how they're grown, the freshness and convenience are without price. It also gives a retired old **** something to do.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked just trying to provoke debate and see what the reaction was going to be. we are gone quiet here. I know where your coming from and agree totally.
Did you see the piece oon the news last night with the Irish farmer growing huge amount of spuds in Poland for the Russian markket, fair play to him.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Blowin. What do the four asterisks stand for? Just curious.....
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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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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Auntie Sue might be looking so I'll leave it up to you.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snigger. I would be more worried about Verge!
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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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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Auntie Sue! You cheeky xxx*x!~#@xx!

'Auntie Sue' once went for a job as a designer at Wedgwood (straight out of school) The old Fxxt that was Design Manager saw my work (only thanks to my dad insisting 'she came this far and we're not going until someone sees her work! - bless him) He said 'her work shows great promise, but we couldn't employ her as it is an all-male studio and the men would not like having to moderate their language'.

I had to bit my tongue not to say 'the fxxk they would!'. Laughing Laughing

BTW kudos for the onions - however you grew them! The only 'onion' I can grow is chives!

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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No offence, Sue. You're more like a guardian angel to us. Just think of the damages you could claim for discrimination these days from Wedgewood. Just think, we might have been seeing you on TV as an Antiques Road Show pundit if only .....

Surely you must be able to grow leeks?

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only leeks Auntie Sue has are in her pond!
Guardian angel??? Morelike the devil in disguise, uh huhh, Elvis style.

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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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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blowin - no offence taken. I eventually ended up working as a designer at Coalport, part of the Wedgwood 'family' and it was my favourite job. The lads (and lasses) were a lovely crowd to work with.

I did try growing leeks from sets last year. They went from spring onion size to bolted flowers in next to no time. Shame 'cos I LOVE leeks, mmm lovely buttery leeks (there isn't an emoticon for a Homer Simpson 'aaraghhgh')

Tagwex - staying in the 'Elvis style' - that must mean you think I 'look like an angel' - why, thank you kind sir (snigger, te he) BTW there is nothing wrong with my pond!

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