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Giant Onions 2021

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

  1. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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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 Staff Member

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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.
     
  3. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    Potted on today
    20210321_152035.jpg

    20210321_151929.jpg
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Blimey they are big John, have you had them that big at this time of the year before.
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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        These are my biggest yet at this stage, they have been under grow lamps in a spare room until today. Not sure how they are going to react being moved to my greenhouse and much lower temperatures.
         
      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        I'm hoping I'm wrong but I was just wondering, do you think they have a greater chance of bolting come summer?
         
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        • JWK

          JWK Gardener Staff Member

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          That could be a problem pete with such an early start, I am carefully hardening them off for a couple of weeks to minimise any shock.

          Bringing them back indoors like last night, it was only 3C.
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener Staff Member

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            Finally got them planted out a couple of days ago, was waiting till the really cold nights had finished. Biggest one is 10" circumference:

            20210513_112344.jpg

            20210513_112330.jpg
             
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            • gks

              gks Gardener

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              Are you, growing for showing ? I get lots of images sent to me when some of our customers have won their regional and national shows, I am even on the, growing for showing face book group page. I think some of the national shows will go ahead this year but time will tell. Below is an image sent by one of our customers early July last year, he said they were all roughly 28" circumference.

              onionsandrew.jpg
               
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              • JWK

                JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                Hi @gks it's just a bit of fun for me not for showing. The seed for one of my varieties came from Peter Glazebrook who I think holds the current world record. Starting with good genetics is half the battle, but I don't grow in air conditioned greenhouses like the show folk do.

                I won't get anywhere near that 28" in your photo, best ever for me was 18" so will be happy to beat that.

                Giant onions don't store very well so I wouldn't know what to do with them if they all came good.
                 
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                • gks

                  gks Gardener

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                  Yes, he holds a couple of world records, I think the record on heaviest onion keeps changing between Peter Glazebrook and Tony Glover.
                   
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                  • JWK

                    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                    Mine haven't done very well since been planted, they have sulked and one has bolted. It was probably too wet for them rather than the cold.
                     
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                    • JWK

                      JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                      Mine are slowly recovering from the cold/wet, best one now 13.5", can't see them beating my personal best:
                      20210702_175658.jpg
                       
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                      • JWK

                        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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                        15 inches today gradually getting there
                        20210719_082554.jpg
                         
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                        • hailbopp

                          hailbopp Gardener

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                          Glad to see you have been drowning your sorrows and or celebrating, onions are lovely but wine is better.:ccheers:
                           
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