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Know Your Onions

September 19, 2011

This sweet water colour of an onion was painted by my sister-in-law Ruth and is one of several of her paintings of garden produce. It has just been framed and I feel so delighted with it I am about to ask her to do a series of vegetable images to sell on  We will have to decide on either  limited edition prints or possibly paintings but either would be gorgeous simply framed and displayed in a group.

Whilst on the subject of onions now is a good time to sow autumn sets. These can be planted anytime up until the end of November and are hardy enough to withstand winter weather.  I always sow the individual onion sets -they look like bulbs with a pointed top-in modules to start them off.  As soon as the green shoots emerge through the compost I plant them in rows  on the allotment. It is also possible simply to push the individual sets directly into prepared ground without  the module sowing. Keep an eye on birds who sometimes pull them out and either re-plant or fill the gaps. They should be ready to harvest in June and I tend to use them up throughout the summer since autumn sown onions don’t store well.  And I have just found a supplier of the highly esteemed French shallot  Echalotte Griselle from  These can be sown in late autumn as for onions and one bulb will produce a clump of six shallots the following spring/summer.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2011 9:24 pm

    I love the onion painting- your sister-in-law is a talented woman!

    • October 3, 2011 7:58 am

      Thanks Naomi, yes Ruth is multi-talented. She did the paper cut-out of a vase of flowers in another blog post, probably Backlane Designs. I have just persuaded her to do some Valentines cards in a similar vein for early next year.


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