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Onions Start to Swell

Just a quick update on the multiplanted onions, they are starting to swell and are looking very healthy at the moment.


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Overdue Update

I haven’t posted in about 5 weeks so there is much to update on. I just started selling my first produce this week, just lettuce and spring onions at the moment, with new potatoes, cabbage and broccoli coming into maturity in the next few weeks.

The new potatoes are well up and doing well, this picture is looking down a row of Duke of York.

The cabbage (Greyhound) is looking very healthy and should be ready for cutting in two weeks.

The first broccoli (Kabuki F1) seen here to the right of the cabbage is about 2-3 weeks from maturity. There has been a little bit of catterpillar damage so far but nothing major. I’ll start using a caterpillar predator called Bacillus Thurengiensis in the next week or so.

This is a row of mixed salad leaves with a row of butterheads to the left.

Little Gem, a cos lettuce.

Multiplanted spring onions.

The multiplanted blulb onions are also doing well. Weeds tend to congregate close to the base of the onions as this is the trickiest to weed with a hoe, this means tedious hand weeding.

The brussels sprouts (Wellington F1) are also looking extremely healthy. There’s about 160 in this bed for selling around Christmas.

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Out in the Field

Over the last two weeks I have continuted to plant a succession of broccoli, cabbage and spring onions. I have also begun planting lettuce.  I am growing a cos lettuce called Little Gem, a butterhead called Cobham Green and a mixed baby leaf selection. The above photo is of my first planting of cabbage on April 1st.

I am planting the lettuce in beds 75cm in width and 50m in length.  The cos lettuce is planted at 9″(between row) by 9″(in row) spacings, the butterhead at 9″ by 12″ and the baby leaf mix at 9″ by 9″ again.

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Planting Broccoli,Cabbage and Onions

I planted out my first batches of broccoli and cabbage on Wednesday.  I have divided the field up into 1000m2 areas, 50m long by 20m wide. There is also a 1.5m path between areas. These areas are again divided up into beds 1.5m wide and 50m long with a 30cm path between each bed. I plant two rows of cabbage to each bed and the same for broccoli. The rows of cabbage are 75cm apart and again the same for broccoli.  Cabbage is planted 45cm apart in row and 60cm apart for broccoli. I mark out the planting spacings using a row marker. Firstly, I mark out the two rows 75cm apart, I then mark out the in row spacings across these two rows.  Planting is then easy as I don’t have to check spacings and whether or not I am planting straight.

I also started planting the multi sown plugs of bulb onions this week.  the onions are planted 30cm apart in rows also 30cm apart with 4 rows per bed.

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Broccoli, Cabbage and Onions Near Planting Time

I have been hardening off broccoli (Kabuki F1), cabbage (Greyhound), onions (Rijnsburger 5 and Kamal F1) and spring onions (Eiffel) in preparation for planting during the week. This simply involves bringing them out of the polytunnel in the morning and placing them outside on pallets for the duration of the day. I put them back into the polytunnel in the evening. I do this a week prior to planting. The weather forecast suggests a possibility of frost early in the week so I will delay planting until Wednesday.

These are some of the Greyhound cabbage plants, they were started on February 23rd. They will have been 5 weeks in the plugs by the time they are planted, their growth was probably checked by the late frosts as they were being grown in an unheated polytunnel. Under better conditions I will be aiming for 4 weeks between sowing and planting out. I’ll post again during the week when I plant them out.

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Onions Are Go

Just an update on my multi-plug sown onions, they are up and looking well. I’ve got 35, 72 cell trays with four seeds in each cell. That gives me approximately 10,000 onions (7,500 yellow and 2,500 red), obviously they won’t all succeed though. I’m thinking about sowing some more in the next few weeks!

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Starting Spring Onions

I started my first seeds of the season yesterday, a spring onion called ‘Eiffel’. I will be growing spring onions using the multiblocking method. 10 seeds are sown per plug and are grown on and transplanted without thinning.

This cuts down on work and makes growing spring onions from seed much easier in a number of ways:

1. Onion seedlings do not grow well in competition with weeds, so starting them as transplants gives them a head start.

2. Transplanting out is much quicker as 10 seedlings are planted at a time instead of 1 individually.

3. When harvest times comes, the onions are already in a bunch ready to be tied together and taken to market.

I will be sowing the spring onions successionally. This means that I will be starting 2 72 cell plug trays every two weeks in order to provide a continual supply for market. The multiblocks will be planted at 6″ spacings with 12″ between rows. I will also be growing leeks using this method, 4 seeds per plug and then planted out with 8″ between plugs and 16″ between rows. The leeks will not grow as large as they would have if grown in their own individual space but I think the time saved in planting compensates for this.

I was just wondering whether people refer to spring onions as spring onions or do they call them scallions. I would think of the names as being interchangeable and would use both in conversation. I’ll start a poll to see what people think.

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