I have three lots of large onions on the go this year, the ones at the University glass house outside Bangor, there’s another 24 just been planted up in 30 litre pots inside my glass house on the land. I also have another 20 that are currently in 6 inch pots ready for planting directly outdoors when, or perhaps if, the weather improves. These are going to be planted up in the raised concrete block bed where my celery has grown over the past three years.
This particular bed has some class one soil incorporated with the some well rotted horse manure and the whole lot was rotavated together with some Levington M3 on top of the bed. Some slow release fertiliser was added as well as some of my own Leek and Onion Fertiliser with added magnesium as well as some Nutrimate powder. Once these are planted I shall erect some protection all round them using fine mesh to cut out any possible wind damage.
I haven’t grown exhibition onions outside for many years, going really with the flow of offering protection to them with either glass or polythene. It will be interesting to see how they perform without overhead protection and the result will of course depend to a large extent on what sort of Summer we get. If we have a proper warm to hot dry Summer I would expect to harvest some really good bulbs. Time will tell.
I have really gone to town on short carrots this year having 740 cored holes in one raised bed which consists of five different varieties including a yellow and a purple variety, all of course for my late display at Malvern. The other raised bed has 430 Sweet Candle sown ten days ago and these are also for Malvern and possibly for a set at the National in Harrogate, provided they have a distinct stump end.
Inside the polytunnel on the land I have another lot of around 400 growing well away now for my Tatton Park display.
They are in square containers and deep 150 litre pots. All these will remain inside the poly tunnel through until they are ready for harvesting. One square bed consists of Sweet Candle
whilst the others are again a mixture. I also have 150 round carrots growing away in 10 litre pots on the bench and these are now ready to be thinned down to one. Last Friday we finished coring and filling the twenty large grey pipes on the field. Ten pipes of Parsnips, three in each pipe of a new early variety that we may stock next year if it performs well, it’s called Pacific F1. The other ten pipes have three of my own long carrots in each one.
In my tunnels at home I also have a further two sowing of thirty long carrots in blue barrels with the first lot about two inches tall. These are meant for Tatton but with the cold late Spring they may well be a little light. So, all in all, I must a have over 1600 carrots in total.