ONIONS AND SHALLOTS
Onions and shallots are ready to harvest when their foliage turns brown and starts to wither. Dry them indoors. It’s important onions and shallots aren’t allowed to get damp (even from dew) after harvest, or they could resprout, soften or rot. Store them inside, in a warm, well-ventilated room or shed or lay them out under a covered verandah. Once fully dry (rub the stalks; they should be brittle and papery), you can store your alliums in paper bags, hessian sacks or recycled onion bags.
Add cover crops
As summer crops come out, fill any vacancies with cover crops. Sow broad beans, blue lupin, mustards or insect-friendly phacelia, or a blend. The Green Manure Mix from King Seeds has peas, oats and lupins to fix nitrogen and add fibre and carbon. Mr Fothergill’s also has a Green Manure Mix, which contains
lucerne, phacelia, oats, mustard, lupin and buckwheat. Let your cover crops overwinter then hoe them into the soil before they flower in spring (they have their best nutrients just before flowering). When planting, sow thickly – it creates a great habitat for insects, suppresses weeds and reduces soil erosion and run-off over winter.
Last quarter Gardening by the moon Sow root crops and the seeds of flowers. With a new moon overhead, dig and cultivate to prepare for the coming period of prolific growth.