Preparing bed for onions

I'm just about to clear a raised bed that has had mange-tout in. I'm about to plant my onion sets, but have been reading contradictory advice about using compost/manure etc before planting onions. Thoughts please image

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  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,231

    My onion bed this year had sweetcorn on last year. It had some compost last year but was dreadful- a mix of shale, clay, and sand used as a base for a pigeon shed. Pigeons now gone, so to improve it I gave it a 6 inch layer of very well rotted horse manure, with a dressing of 1kg(shovel full) per square yard of rock dust for micronutrients, 100g (cupful)per square yard of calcified seaweed, 100g per sq yard of fish blood and bone.  I then mixed it up well, forking it over twice. I then planted  onion plants  I grew from seed into it, and watered them in.

     For results see verduns onion thread

    http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/talkback/onion-update/89904.html

     

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • No expertNo expert Posts: 415

    Very nice crop Fidgetbones. I don't have a greenhouse only a cold frame, can I sow onion seed in it in February given the nights will be frosty or must I wait for better weather. Sowed onion seed for the first time this year and results were mixed. It was a bit late when I started them 22 april.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,231

    Onion seed is traditionally sown on boxing day, but I find its ok at beginning of Feb. My greenhouse has heater but only on a frost stat.onions don't need much heat, but you might struggle with only a cold frame. I moved them into a polytunnel with no heating once they were past the bent leaf stage.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,231

    Verdun bought plants and had a good crop.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • No expertNo expert Posts: 415

    Have some seeds left over will try succession sowing from Feb onwards. some must be successful. Thanks for the advice.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,475

    Sowing successionally is a good idea for many veg and is something I always try to do but often end up forgetting some things.  Or run out of labels, so I don't know whether it's 6 summer cabbage plants or broccoli etc etc when the seeds germinate  I'll get organised one day.  Maybe. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,231

    I think with onion seeds, the earlier the better. Succession sowing works for salad onions, but not if you want big bulbs for storing.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Hi Daisy

    In reply to your question I can only say that  based on that same advice I had read many years ago, I haver never planted onion sets where I have just manured.  I  usually plant them where I have grown lettuces, tomatoes,  spinach or brassicas which will have been manured/composted earlier in year or the previous autumn for those crops.That routine seems to produce a great crop of onions.  I might try planting them in a small patch of manured ground this autumn just out of curiosity to see what happens.

    Good luck. Hope this helps

     

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,231

    The manure has to be very well rotted. This had been stacked for over a year, and had the texture of peat.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
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