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Onion sets - don't miss out!30 January 2012
Traditionally planted 4 weeks before the last heavy frosts, planting onions sets is easy and surprisingly rewarding. With a very limited offer of white, yellow or red onions available in supermarkets - growing your own allows you to explore a world of different aroma’s, subtle flavours and colour’s which would otherwise be missed!
The best place to start looking for tempting varieties is right here at the Garden Centre, where we have a great selection available.
Amongst traditional and well proven sets giving high quality onions are ‘Red Baron’ which can be planted from February through to May producing rich red onions with a sharp flavour and ‘Sturon’ an older variety with a traditional golden yellow skin colour.
Of course whilst browsing for onions do consider looking at shallots, which are so loved in classical French cookery. A traditional favourite which is great for cooking or pickling is ‘Picasso’ well know for its uniform crop this is an excellent variety which also can be harvested earlier than many varieties and is resistant to bolting.
Your planting bed should be sunny and well drained - If you are on heavy soils then add grit or prepared organic matter. Onion and shallot sets like fertile soils but not freshly manured sites. Once you have dug the area over rake it to an even tilth. Using a dibber make holes 10cm apart and deep enough to push the set in and firm soil around the collar. This is important, as birds are likely to pull at them, and you can net the area to prevent this. Bulbs planted in February and March should be ready to harvest from July at the earliest.