Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Onions


These are my brother's prizewinning onions from last year. He grows proper onions, great big ones, and fantastic leeks as well.







And he's kindly given me some of his seedlings to try. I don't suppose my leeks will approach the size of Superman's biceps like his, but I've potted them on and am hoping for the best. The leeks are Musselborough and Prizetaker, and the onions are Kelsae and Red Baron.
On the subject of onions, or alliums to be exact, I noticed this yesterday in the herbaceous border


around the new growth of the Allium Purple Sensation bulbs that I planted last season. The seedheads of the purple alliums are tall drumstick-like and remain decorative as they fade, so I left them in situ until they more or less fell off at the end of the year. And obviously all the seeds that fell out have germinated into hundreds of tiny new plants.
According to the RHS who have awarded Purple Sensation an Award of Garden Merit, the seedling germinate best after being subjected to winter cold (and there's been plenty of that this year) but they also say that the seedlings may not come true and may have a paler colour than the parents. I hate to waste plants, so I think I will try to move a couple of spadefuls of them to an out of the way spot and see if they make anything.
There are literally hundreds of them though, so the rest will have to go on the compost if I'm not to end up with the Lonely Little Petunia In An Onion Patch, of the old song!

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