Saturday, 2 April 2011


Click here for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop

I am very excited that I have recently been bought a packet of giant onion seeds. I love giant vegetables and cant wait to impress (?) my family and friends with my onion in the autumn.  Hopefully, the size of my giant onion will match my enthusiasm for growing it.

Before you even sow your onion seeds, it is wise to prepare your bed for planting. Start this in late autumn or early winter. Good drainage is important, so add organic matter to the soil if required, or mound the bed. 

Prepare a trench 18" deep, forking the bottom of each trench.  Incorporate bone meal and potash into the trench.  Knock back the spoil, adding half a wheel barrow of well rotted farm manure for each 1 m section. Ensure that the majority of manure is near the top of the bed in order to encourage the roots of the onion to grow in it during the early stages of development. In March gently tilth the top section of the trench and incorporate hydrated lime or calcified seaweed at manufacturers recommended rates.

Sow giant onion seeds between January and February, when the temperature is about 13 degrees Celsius.  Any warmer, and the onion seeds are at risk of poor germination rates. Fill a seed tray with John Innes 'seedling' compost, compressing the soil gently and leaving a 2cm gap from the top. Evenly sow your onion seeds onto the surface and lightly cover them with some more of the compost. Water gently.

In order to keep the seedlings moist and warm until germination, place a transparent cover (glass, perspex or cling film) over the seed tray. Remove this cover as soon as the first seedling germinates, usually after 2 weeks. Move the seedlings to small (9cm) individual pots when they are at their crook stage. These pots can be filled with John Innes potting compost no.1. Prick the seedling out of the seed tray using a pencil/dibber, holding the leaf, and lift out the root ball carefully. Once potted up, only water the seedlings as required.  Ensure good ventilation or the seedlings will be prone to fungal diseases.

The seedlings can be hardened off mid-late march by moving them to a cold frame. Your giant onion seedlings can be then planted outside in the trenches during late April.  The onion is mature between August and September, when the foliage starts to turn yellow and fall over, and should be harvested a few weeks after. Lift the onions on a dry day and move them to a suitable location to dry for 3-5 weeks. This will allow them to mature prior to using in the kitchen, or impressing your friends!

For related articles click onto:
Growing herbs
Growing rhubarb
Growing potatoes
Growing tomatoes
Growing tomatoes from seed
Harvesting potatoes
How to grow broccoli from seed
How to grow cauliflower from seed
How to grow garlic
How to build a cold frame
How to grow artichokes from seed
How to Grow Asparagus from Seed
How to grow cabbage from seed
How to grow carrots from seed
How to grow cucumbers from seed
How to grow french beans from seed
How to grow lettuce from seed
How to grow onions from onion sets
How to grow onions from seed
How to Grow Pumpkins from Seed
How to grow runner beans from seed
How to grow runner beans from seed
How to grow seeds indoors
How to grow strawberries from seed
How to grow tomatoes from seed
How to make compost
How to propagate using division
How to propagate from seed

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