Onions in the cosmic garden

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Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Blossom on Thu May 29, 2008 8:15 am

Commercial onions are loaded with fungicide - my daughter's ex grew them under contract to Roberts and had to use 5 different chemicals. We've never had a bit of mould on ours and grow brown, red, white every year. They are one of the easiest things to grow. Here's a pict. just after planting - they stand erect the next day. I've got 8 rows of brown, 8 rows of reds and 8 rows of white each with about 18 onions in a row so we should crop well.



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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Lomatia on Thu May 29, 2008 9:51 am

Blossam, don't forget the range of herbicides as well!! I grew onions once too and couldn't believe the chemicals needsd to keep them weedfree. That's why I wonder about the voracity of large scale commercial organic production.

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  The Estate on Thu May 29, 2008 10:28 am

LOL, patience is needed there, I even get bored planting a punnet of spring onions Embarassed They are just SO fiddly What a Face

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Blossom on Thu May 29, 2008 10:43 am

I don't use any chemicals at all. By rotating the crops the same bed only gets planted every 5 years. Most of the diseases of onions are soil born and so hygiene is important. I think that the farming on onions require them to put them in the same paddocks year after year so it's no wonder they need to use fungicides and other pesticides. The thing is that most of the fungal disease occur after harvest and during storage. Neck rot is really common and this occurs after the leaves have been cut off for market. At home, the leaves are left intact and used to plait the onions, so there isn't the same risk. Cutworms will chomp the seedlings but I plant them quite thickly. This too prevents disease from spreading because there's less soil splash in watering. The onion thrip is the worst thing but with predatory insects like lacewing they can be well controlled. I plant fennel and marigolds near the plantation. You can't actually see on the photo but there is an insectorium planting just past the onion bed. This is where I grow asparagus so also plant flowers and herbs that are annual but also provide hosts for beneficial insects. They don;t worry the asparagus the ferns of which themselves host hoverflies. So do give them a go - I generally pull up the first onion of the season around Christmas and eat it like an apple it is so tasty!


Last edited by Blossom on Thu May 29, 2008 10:48 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Blossom on Thu May 29, 2008 10:47 am

TheE - I am nearly 6 feet tall with most of my height in the legs. I can straddle the bed and arse up don't lift my head until each row is planted! Not a pretty sight by all accounts but they still eat my onions. The trick I've found is to gently grab the seedling by the 'hair' pull them out of the punnet, give then a shake until all the soil drops off, then it's really easy to separate them. I make a furrow, lay each onion against one 'wall' of the furrow, then run my fingers along the other wall and the soil just covers the roots. Next couple of days they spring to attention.

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  The Estate on Thu May 29, 2008 10:55 am

Thanks for the tip, I will put my pencil away now clown

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  guzzigirl on Thu May 29, 2008 2:25 pm

I don't have problems planting them - it's keeping them weed free and growing them larger than cocktail size that is a problem for me.

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Raymondo on Thu May 29, 2008 4:07 pm

I don't have problems with weeds in the onion patch. Not sure why. Possibly the mulch. I know most authorities don't recommend mulching onions but our winters are dry so it works well here. I pull it off once the rains start, usually November.

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Lucky1 on Thu May 29, 2008 4:10 pm

Gee lot of onions in that plot........ Very Happy

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Fran on Sat May 31, 2008 5:21 am

How big should the onion patch be to make it worth your while eg how many punnets.

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Lomatia on Sat May 31, 2008 12:08 pm

The value of growing onions at home is that you know what chemicals have been added or not.

Regarding how many - I imagine that you need quite an area and variation of varieties. 40m of row??
Reds and non-keeping browns like Odourless and Early Brown which will be early and mainstays such as Creamgold (Pukekohe) as keepers. They should keep at least until next year's early browns come in.

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Raymondo on Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:29 pm

This year I ordered 3 new (to me) varieties of bunching onions, Allium fistulosum, which are hardy and grow to about 2cm across, quite thick. If they work out, I'll stop growing onions as these multiply in situ. The varieties I chose are Evergreen Hardy White, Franz Bunching and Stevenson Multiplier.

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Lomatia on Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:17 am

Ray,
they look interesting onions. My bulbers are in (except Ailsa C and Exhibition) My daughter is in Scotland so I might get her to send me some Kelsae if they are around. Wrong time of the year over there and Johnsons sell out quickly. They are a bit huge. The multipliers seem to be very hardy. There are some nice pics ("zeedman") of your selection in GW (US) under Unusual Vegetables thread in Vegetable Gardening. (Don't know whether we are allowed to put the link on this site)

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Re: Onions in the cosmic garden

Post  Lucky1 on Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:29 am

I grew onions one year...not a lot. But was very happy with the end result. I did find though I was looking to use the area, before the onions were ready for harvest.

Big onion users in my house..... so what I did grow...didn't last that long.

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