Giant Onions 2021

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by JWK, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    Last year's thread here: Giant Onions 2020

    Mine were sown on 15th Nov and are currently at the 3 leaf stage about 7" tall. I have Kelsae, Ailsae and Mammoth Red:
    20210104_172845.jpg
     
  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    http://www.johnsons-trade.com/uploads/resources/20_wwj11-kelsae-flyer-v2.pdf

    Kelsae Onion Cultural Instructions

    Ground Preparation
    First, prepare your onion bed with plenty of rotted organic matter, dug in during the winter. Also apply lime at this time if necessary. We recommend a pH reading of 6.75 – 7.25. Kelsae Onions prefer a heavier soil which retains moisture, so make sure that the lighter soils are kept well watered.

    Sowing
    You should grow your seeds in late December to early January (although Christmas or Boxing Day are traditional days often chosen by growers).
    Make sure your seed is the genuine strain. Evenly fill and firm your compost into boxes or trays. You can thinly broadcast your seeds or precision sow them individually. After sowing, sieve or sprinkle a 5mm (¼”) covering of compost over the seed, then water in carefully and thoroughly so that the compost is fully moist.

    Propagation
    Cover the box or tray with a sheet of paper and glass and put in a warm place. The ideal germination temperature is 18-21°C (65-75°F), but it should not be lower than 16°C (60°F). When the seed has germinated, remove the covers and put the box or tray in an area with plenty of light. Keep the compost damp enough to sustain the seedlings. Maintain a temperature of 18°C (65°F) until Crook Stage (just before the second leaf). After this, reduce the temperature to 10°C to 13°C (50-55°F) and gradually increase the ventilation in the greenhouse. The seeds need maximum light and ventilation (according to weather conditions) until the pricking-out stage.

    Planting-Out
    Top the dress growing area with 68g per square metre (2oz per sq yard) of fish, blood and bone mixture. We also recommend a final light application of lime before planting.
    Plant out into your onion bed late in April to early May, approximately 40cm x 45cm (15” x 18”) apart. Water each plant well before planting out; this ensures that the root ball will easily slide out of the pot.
    Dig each hole deep enough to allow enough to allow the roots to spread easily. Bury the white of the plant approximately 13-20mm (½” - ¾”) deep, firming well. Do not over firm, and do not water unless it is absolutely necessary, but make sure the soil is moist.

    Feeding
    Apply a light dressing of high nitrogen fertiliser such as sulphate of ammonia two or three weeks after the planting out stage, at 17-26g per sq. metre (½ - ¾ oz per sq. yard) at two to three week intervals.
    Never feed when the soil is dry. Water well if there has been no rain
    for 48 hours. Supplementary feeds can be given as required.
    A light dressing of sulphate potash will help to harden and ripen the bulbs. This should be applied in mid-August and, if necessary, can be repeated in early September.

    General Hints
    • Take precautions against frost in early stages of growth.
    • Do not force the plants with too much heat.
    • Water sparingly except after applying fertiliser after planting out.
    • Spray regularly with fungicide.

    Harvesting
    As the bulbs mature towards the end of the growing season, bend the neck of each onion horizontally. This will check further foliage growth, help in ripening and direct any late growth to the bulbs. (Never force the neck, as this may severely check the bulb’s growth and induce fungal infection).
    As the bulbs ripen, gently remove any loose or damaged skin, but never remove more than one layer at a time. Once mature, the bulbs may be carefully lifted as required.
     
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