Friday, 27 July 2012

Pulling Onions - harvest time

Something took me out into the garden today... As I've observed I have been pretty lax recently in focusing on it as I should for various reasons.  It's actually quite depressing when you realised you've let it slide; I hope this is a kick up the backside that I need to get back into it.

Anyway, MASSIVELY overgrown grass not-with-standing, the garden has done OK without me; the potatoes are pretty ruined (as most people's are) and I seriously doubt I will be getting any yield from them at all, but as has been observed all along, the Onions and Shallots have gone great guns.

So, in a sudden fit of energy, I pulled my fork out of the (cobweb-locked) shed and decided to pull up the Karmen Red Onions.

The bed with the onions ready for pulling

These onions have died off, without any green stem left; I am reliably informed this means they are ready for pulling.

I have inserted the fork underneath the root system and lifted carefully. This was very easy and there was very little resistance.

My make-shift collection device with all the Red onions dug out.

On first inspection there is only one onion damaged; it appears to have been eaten by some insect or slug.

The empty bed, ready for something else (probably the peppers that are in pots currently.

Stuttgarter Giant Onions; these are still quite green so I am only going to dig a couple up, and will keep an eye and pull them when the green dies down more.

They're not very "Giant" are they!

Red Sun Shallots, again probably not QUITE ready in the main. I dug the one top right in the picture.

There is a clump of shallots, I'm quite pleased by this as one shallot has turned into 5 - an obvious and rewarding return on planting the damn things.

My harvest; these are now out in the sun drying though I am sorely tempted to make something with them this weekend.

So there you are, another harvest from the garden; not epic but it proves the point. With bigger beds and an organised planting schedule it would be quite easy to provide all your onion needs from quite a small area.

It is important to remember, however, that onions should be planted in a strict rotation policy as diseases and parasites will build up from one year to the next in soil.  There may be some good tricks (digging in well rotted compost) to renew the soil but everything I have seen says to definitely move your onions around your plot and don't return for at least 4 years.

1 comment:

  1. Good to know that my onions and shallots have a means of signalling their readiness for harvest. They're much less the problem child cf. the broccoli. ;-)

    Some of my shallots have already taken on a pleased 6-8 point star formation (with a shallot in the middle). They seem more productive that onions, so I thin I'll definitely continue with them next year. In fact, I think I'll reserve a few of the new shallots from this harvest for planting out next year (as advised).

    If those blasted snails, slugs, grubs and/or larvae have got to ANY of my onions I shall be very, VERY peeved though. What a waist. Still, 'tis good that only one (out of how many?) of yours has been so effected.