Medwyn Williams has a new way of growing onions
Pots has been very successful, but I’ll need to increase their size next year
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