Darsham Nurseries Cafe, potager, kitchen garden, vegetables from seed, harvesting vegetables,
The Daily Dibber

Kitchen gardener for the Darsham Nurseries Cafe. Seedaholic. Grower and lover of food and flowers.

Overwhelming Onions

Overwhelming Onions 24th October 2015

The spring onion ‘Reddy’ was a real winner this year. Lola waved her wooden spoon and created some incredible dishes. She braised them with pomegranate molasses and also deep fried them in ‘Fritti Misti’. This particular spring onion was quite handsome in a shy, understated way, with its deep crimson stems . We couldn’t plant enough of them, and so, in August I decided to research the humble onion.

Onions are actually quite complicated. The range of onion seed is vast compared to the onions sets that are available. The seeds need to be fresh, and require some heat to germinate. Depending on the variety sown, the bulb of the onion reacts directly to the number of daylight hours. ‘Short day’ onions start to develop when there are 11-13 hours of daylight. ‘Long day’ onions needs 14 hours, and ‘Intermediate’ onions need 13-14 hours. Research shows that regardless of when onion seed is planted, the daylight hours determine when and if they bulb. Onions also hate shade. Blimey.

Spring onions are harvested in the spring from an autumn sowing; hence their name, the Spring onion. We have decided that the rarer spring onions are the best option for sowing this autumn. The range is expanded to include North Holland Blood Red, Apache, Lilia Red, Purplette, Ramrod and Scallions. Spring Onions are time consuming to plant in large numbers, but the café will reap the rewards in early spring.

limegarden@sky.com • 2nd November 2015

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