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Early cropping alliums

I’ve never grown alliums before. I’m planning to plant some sets of onions, shallots and garlic this autumn (probably in September) to over winter. As I have very little space, I’d need to pull them up by next May so I can plant my summer crops. Courgettes, squash and tomatoes will go in those beds.

Can anyone recommend early cropping varieties? Is this feasible?


  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    I tried to sow early onions in the autumn but lost them all in the winter despite fleece cloches.
    the seed packet did say they would overwinter, mine didn’t.
    theres an article here may help you
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • If I have too many onion sets I plant them, then eat them green like leeks
  • Also, the crops you mention may still be small come may time so you could sow them between the onions
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    Back to the OP’s original question.  Can you plant them in September and expect them to over winter?  Mine didn’t. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • I overwinter from sets every year, did electric red onions this year, plant in October usually
  • Womble54Womble54 Posts: 348
    I’ve got some fleece tunnels so hopefully they’ll make it through the winter. It was more if they’d have enough time to mature by may before I need to plant out my summer veg. At a push I could leave them till start of June.

    @bookmonster electric red was on my list of possible varieties. When do you normally pull them up?

    Although the courgettes etc will be quite small by then, I dig in some manure or compost so it would be tricky to leave the onions in place.
  • They were fully mature but a bit small in June this year, may have been early due to strange weather. Ate them green a couple of weeks before that. 
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