Getting my onions planted

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender May 3, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment No Comments

Finally got some onions planted last weekend..With the freezing cold winter weather being with us for so long I planted a packet of onion sets in modules to get them going in the greenhouse. I normally plant sets in first week of March but the ground was still frozen so the modules it was. I also planted a few varieties of seed back to January and February to try out this method as I have always used sets. In Zimbabwe we used to grow from seedlings but it was much better growing conditions there.. Just throw some seed in the small seed bed, water and water and water because of the heat and in a few weeks we had seedlings ready to plant out..

This year I also decided to grow the onions through holes in weed suppressant fabric  as my time is a bit limited  due to work commitments so hopefully there will be less weeds to deal with. The sets were sowed into 40 module trays mid Feb and they had really grown a good set of roots considering the weather and my cold greenhouse that gets shaded from mid afternoon as well.

Notice how I always use sheets of poly-carb conservatory roofing to work from to stop my weight compacting the soil. It works really well when planting potatoes because I dig the trench and place all the soil on the sheeting.. then its so easy to just scoop it off with the spade back into the trench to cover them.  also notice the scaffold planks that I use as pathways – they work really well and also stop weeds growing.


During the week I laid out the weed fabrics at the plot ready for planting. On Saturday I planted out 3 lines of module sets and also bought a packet of 100 sets which were on the half price shelf at B&M.. So I had enough for another 3 1/2 rows. I now have 9 rows left to plant out my seedlings. The module grown onions were really easy to plant out… just a small dig through the fabric hole and then plonked in the module.. For the sets I used a dibber to about 2″ then pressed them in with a bit of the tip showing. Gave them a good watering afterwards.


The onion seed sown in Jan/Feb were started in the heated propagator and moved into the shelving unit in my porch to grow on then they were thrown into the greenhouse.  I tried to prick some out and pot them up but they failed so I just left them to grow in a big bunch as sowed. They are still a bit on the small side but I have enough to play with..


My plan is to dib a hole, place a seedling in and cover with a handful of loose compost/soil mix that I have sieved and added some super-phosphate to get good strong root growth and also to protect the small fine roots as the plants are still very small.


Its now a week later and I have had a great time planting the rest of the onions and leeks.

I started off with planting the seedlings as planned. Dib a hole, put a seedling in and throw in a bit of sieved compost/soil mix and water in.  This plan really worked well. I would loosen the soil in the tray then pull out the seedlings and put them in a spare container. I had a few varieties to do and soon realized I would run out… so phoned my son and asked him to go to the B&M shop to get another packet of sets.. So I now have  all my onions planted.. Then I planted all my leeks.. Although they are still rather small they should hopefully survive.



Update… It’s now 2 weeks since I planted the onion and leek seedlings out..  I checked them today and I have lost 2 onions and 1 leek plant. Maybe a bird pulled them or maybe they died – I dont know …. but hey I’m not complaining at all with the results. I’m really pleased with the way that I decided to plant them out – really worked a treat.




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