Medwyn Wil­liams has a new way of grow­ing onions

Pots has been very suc­cess­ful, but I’ll need to in­crease their size next year

Garden News (UK) - - Contents - MEDWYN WIL­LIAMS

This year I’m grow­ing an onion called ‘Fasto’ for the un­der 250g (8.8oz) class. Last year I grew them in the poly­tun­nel in Link-a-Bord on a bench and they did rea­son­ably well. This year I grew them in 2-litre plas­tic pots in­side my glasshouse un­til early June, when I then moved them onto a bench out­side my green­house door.

As soon as I re­alised some of them were get­ting close to the cor­rect size for har­vest­ing I started mea­sur­ing them reg­u­larly and the first one I pulled mea­sured 26.3cm (10.35in) in cir­cum­fer­ence and weighed in at 230g (8.1oz). The onions that grew to any­where this size were then al­lowed to grow on to 26.7cm (10.5in), which gave me bulbs around the cor­rect weight. I clean them up as they’re grow­ing, re­mov­ing all dead skins but leave one split skin on to act as a guard leaf. This pre­vents any dam­age to the de­vel­op­ing skin un­der­neath.

The har­vested bulbs are now dry­ing out in my shed with the door open as well as a win­dow at the op­po­site end to al­low for plenty of air move­ment be­tween them. If I’m to grow them again in pots I’ll have to in­crease the pot size to 3-litres to make sure they have enough room for the roots to de­velop prop­erly.

As I make my way around the plot I check ev­ery­thing is grow­ing as it should. For in­stance, I check that col­lars are prop­erly se­cured around cel­ery and leeks but more im­por­tantly that they’ve crept up the plants. I made this mis­take a few years ago and re­alised too late that two of the leek col­lars were about 3mm above the soil level. This meant that when har­vested they had a nar­row green band around the base of the bar­rel that couldn’t be re­moved by tak­ing away an­other flag. This is the kind of fault that’s so cru­cial and an­noy­ing as it could eas­ily have been pre­vented.

Why not fol­low me on Twit­ter through­out the sea­son – @med­wyn­so­fan­gles.

‘Fatso’ onions grow­ing on out­doors in 2-litre pots

Re­move dead skins as onions grow but leave one to act as a guard leaf

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