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Eelworm in Onions

I have an allotment in Stoke on Trent, and several of my fellow gardeners and I discovered today that we all have a problem with our onions. After much consultation and reading of favourite allotment books - and several cups of tea! - we have come to the conclusion that we have stem/onion Eelworm. After further discussion we discovered that we had all bought the same two varieties (Stuttgarter Giant and Sturon) from the same well known high street household store. Is it possible that the eelworm came in the sets when we bought them, dormant and fairly undetectable or something? If so, any advice as to what to do about it? We have examined the onions, and compared them between ourselves. There is little discolouration when the bulbs are cut open (several did contain onion fly grubs, though we have concluded that they are a sort of 'secondary infection' because the plants are weakened) but they all have severely distorted foliage, flattened and wavy leaves, and are generally unthrifty. We wondered whether it was the weather at first, but it seems a bit of a coincidence that at least five of us have this for the first time when we all bought our sets from the same place... Anyway, has anyone else had this problem? Any advice as to what to do about perhaps claiming a refund or whatever, I and my fellow allotmenteers would greatly appreciate it, Amanda and the Newford Farm gardeners


  • dannyboy10dannyboy10 Posts: 127

    Are you sure it is eel worms?

    Eel worm infections normally happens end ot the summer months or early autumn,

    I do not think the eel worms were in the sets when you bought them because eel worms infections acure when it is very damp.

    best to dig up and burn the onions sets but the worms could be in the soil as well,depending on the size of the area you could use a weed burner to heat the soil up and kill the eel worms in the soil.

    Good luck.

  • Raven48Raven48 Posts: 8

    Thanks for taking the time to reply image

    After a lot more discussion (and lots more tea!) we have decided that it's more likely to be onion fly - a pain, but apparently not as serious! We don't know if we can still use the onions, though, or whether we have to dig them up and burn them. I don't use chemicals on my plot though, so I won't be spraying them with anything - some of the 'old boys' have drenched theirs in J***s Fluid, but I'm sure that's not good for you, even if it will be a couple of months before harvest! I'll probably have to write off this year's crop I suppose, but that' one of the gambles you take when you grow your own organically!
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