Showing posts from March, 2014

#2 How to Grow Great Onions

I get asked this one a lot... How does one grow really great onions that size up well and taste great?

Here comes the how-to for a really successful onion growing year...

The secret to great onions is to have really great soil to grow them in...isn't it always? Great soil is always the answer : )

Start with great soil!

You want to start with rich and fertile, well-draining soil that is loose, friable and weed-free. The onions want a garden depth of lovely loose soil to at least 6 inches deep.

Amend your bed with manure or compost and add bonemeal and sulphate of potash for great onions (yes, these are organic amendments). Do not go heavy on nitrogen fertiliser though (blood meal, alfalfa....) as it will give you all tops and small bulbs.

Ensure that you have great drainage as onions will rot if grown in wet beds. Raised beds work well for onions, but if you do not have them and tend to have heavy soil, you can simply make a raised hump for your onions to grow in. Make this hu…

Growing Shallots

Pic from
What are shallots?

Shallots are mild, sweet onions that grow in clumps, like multiplier onions do.

They can be eaten raw or cooked. The bulbs are great to use in all cooking as they are so delicate in flavour and so do not over-whelm the other ingredients.

The shallot greens can also be used much in the same way as you would use spring onions, harvested to use in salads or soups or omelets, etc... 

Shallots are easy! You can grow them! They are undemanding and so worth your while to grow! Delicious!

Shallot bulbs/sets ready for planting. Sorry, I had been painting earlier ...  and did not want to run back into the house to wash up before taking the picture.   Hah, yes, such a classy chick am I ; ) 
When to plant ...

In fall, at the same time as you plant your garlic ... OR in spring, as early as you can, so that they grow! Shallots need cool ground for 3 or 4 weeks in order to form bulbs.
You can also plant your garlic in spring, if you ran o…

March Ramblings

Holy smokes, March sure did come in roaring like a lion in most parts of Canada!

As March is a big month for gardeners in the PNW, fingers are crossed that all snow melts quickly, rains slow down, and gardens begin to dry up a bit...

So, as ever, optimistically planning for a great gardening season ahead ...

A chitted potato
What to order and buy this month ...

- Regardless of the snow, rain and cold, buy your seed potatoes this month and put them out to chit.
(I usually plant out my potatoes early to mid-April so try to get your spuds out to chit sometime between mid to late March.) It is not essential to chit your spuds, so if you do not get to it, do not fret, they will grow fine nevertheless!

Chitting is simply setting out your spuds to sprout a few weeks before planting for an earlier harvest.
Take your seed potatoes out of the bag or box and place on a tray, or in a low shoe box, or in an egg carton. Set out in a warm and bright place (though not in direct sunlight) for two or …