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Onion – Planting Season Has Just Begun

On Sunday I arrived back to find a little parcel of onion sets – and some garlic sets – both of the same family [allium] anyway, had been dropped at my door.

I’ve spoke here about onions and garlic before, but for me its massively important as it marks the start of the growing and planting season. Some say that

…it must be too cold to be doing anything in the garden

I say take this advice at your very own peril. If, you wish to have some produce within the next couple of weeks then now – as versus in hindsight is the time to start spending 20 minutes or so in the great outdoors.

And you really can’t get anything simpler to start with. I’ve planted mine in large window boxes and tubs and dropped them at the back door of my house.

How Do You Do It…?

  • Last week [as the podcast would have told you… 😉 ] I cleaned out my planters.
  • I replaced just the top 6 inches of compost and added in some new stuff
  • Give the soil a light firm down and even it out
  • [image 1 above left] Place out your sets just so you can see them laid out…
  • Happy ?
  • make a hole to the left of it with your finger tip
  • Then tip each your onion set in so its just below surface level
  • And brush some soil over to cover them in
  • I didnt water the soil – but if you must, do so before you pop your sets in
  • easy peezy chalky cheezy
  • any hassles just leave a comment
  • About 6 inches apart for both garlic and onions

And now all you have to do is wait….

Why did I plant mine in pots ? Honestly, most people I know do it this way because they haven’t and aren’t going to turn their entire gardens to allotments and become farmers. If you only want to spend 20 minutes in the garden then this should be right up your street.

Remember about 10 should be enough for a large window box.

Like I said above, the same rules apply for garlic. And they are, in very simple terms, just sisters from the same family.

In a couple of weeks you should be doing a bit of this… 😀

allium ursinum.. eh…? allium triquetrum

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This is wild garlic. It is the ultimate in free food. You’ll find it in most hedgegrows and damp woodlands. Go and grab yourself a little clump… a *little* clump I said! Plant it in and around the base of some hedges, near a ditch or a damp patch.

Around this time it is a simple blanket of white flowers. And so very pretty. You’ll know it because the beautiful waft that will come your direction…. will let you know.

Here’s the low-down so I don’t bore you to absolute botanical tears

  • it’s related to this little beauty, the Allium rosenbachianum 😯
  • it’s also related to supermarket garlic clove, the Allium sativum
  • the difference here is the leaf is used for the flava’.
  • because of that you can crop away to your hearts content, forever!
  • it tastes a lot milder
  • great substitute for garlic & spring onions & you won’t be ‘stinky breath’ 😆

Unknowns to most all of the photos above look the same… maybe? What you have is two brothers than can do the same job. Because for thr purest, there are two types of plant in those 6 images. The wider leafed single flower is the Ramsons or Allium ursinum….. images number 4,5 & 6. While the ‘3 cornenerd leek or the Allium triquetrum is more grass like in leaf and the flowers come in little clusters [rather than in singles] – see images 1,2 & 3.

A little ode to Calvin for reminding me all about this… funny how he managed to do so… 🙂

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Sowing the seeds

I can only really buy seeds and the paraphernalia required in the same places as you. This week I bought [in woodies: i emailed them this post] mustard, pumpkin, carrott, sprouts, cabbage, brocoli, onion and sweetcorn.

I didn’t buy lettuce seeds because the man said: ‘did you see them there?’ ‘no, I couldn’t find any’ I said. ‘well then they must not be there?’ I said ‘I suppose you’re right…. thanks for being so helpful…’ and then he continued talking to his mate behind the counter. So I asked the girl on the cash register but I forgot [and she reminded me!] that ‘no I don’t do customer services…’

Anyhow; Fill the trays with compost. Pop two odd seeds into each plug cell. Don’t forget to label them! Drop into a sink and allow the water to be drawn up from the bottom. And wait for nature to take its course.

In the meantime we may as well dream……

Allium Rosenbachianum

allium rosenbachianum - peter donegan file

This allium, also a member of the alliaceae/ lilliaceae family, the same as kitchen garlic [allium sativum] is probably my favourite bulb.

My favourite variety is this and of course Allium globemaster – mainly because of its yellow centre spot on a mre purple flower; akin to that of the solanum crispum glasnevin.

These guys do cost a little more han your average daffodil but well worth it and amazing as a cut flower on its own.

The stems of these guys can grow up to about 24″ tall upon which a 4″ diameter head sits on top.

I still look at it to this day and wonder ‘how on earth can your sister be stinking garlic… ?!!’. How inspiational life can be from such a breathtaking little piece of natures finest beauty. A fine specimen and well deserved of entry in my favourite plants list.