Onions and Leeks
Sow in open ground 1cm (1⁄2") deep in rows 23-30cm (9 to 12") apart as thinly as possible. Thin seedlings to final spacing required in two stages. For show onions sow in greenhouse at the turn of the year hardening off in March for planting out in April. Sow outdoors as soon as ground conditions permit, late February to end of March. Sow salad onions successionally from March to August. For general garden crops the site should be moved each year to prevent the build up of diseases like white rot. A well prepared bed should be provided with a fine tilth and good drainage. Good weed control is essential (as it is with sets) especially early on. Most commonly noted problems are onion fly, white rot and bolting. The effect of onion fly can be reduced by careful thinning and destroying all thinnings immediately, as will using sets or pot grown plants thereby avoiding any thinnings. An eight year break from onions and their relatives is the only long term cure for white rot. Bolting can be almost eliminated if care is taken, avoid planting in cold wet soil.
Sowing time is March to April, planting out in June to early July. Transplant when 20cm (8") high, trimming the leaf and root before inserting in a 15cm (6") deep hole. Fill the hole with water only, not soil. For a long white blanch, draw dry soil around the stems during the summer and autumn making sure the soil does not get in between the leaves. In general a trouble free crop, less demanding than other members of the onion family.
ONION SETS (Certified free from eelworm)
Place sets 10 to 15cm (4 to 6") apart with 23 to 30cm (9 to 12") between the rows. Plant mid-March to end of April as soon as weather allows, do not plant in cold wet ground or it will encourage bolting. Weed carefully. Protection from birds may be necessary. Onion sets come in 100 set (approx. 400g) packs, with the exception of Keravel (Roscoff Pink) which come in 50 set (approx. 200g) packs. In ideal conditions 100 sets should produce 20Kg of onions. Spread sets out on arrival in full light and cool conditions. Onion sets need time to dry and mature to ensure best quality - therefore we will not dispatch until January (excl. Shakespeare, Winter Red and White Snowball).
Plant 15cm (6") apart in 23cm (9") rows during the second half of February through to the end of April, as conditions allow. Harvest from July onwards. All our shallots are certified. Shallots should be spread out in full light and cool conditions until planting time. Shallots need time to dry and mature, to ensure best quality - therefore we will not dispatch until January, excluding Eschalote Grise which will be dispatched in October.