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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: 14,635

    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

     

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • 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: 14,635

    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.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,635

    Verdun bought plants and had a good crop.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • 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 Leicestershire, UKPosts: 9,734

    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: 14,635

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

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • 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: 14,635

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

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
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