Posted by: flat_bob | August 24, 2008

Onion Harvest

So its time to bring in the onions.

Not a bad haul this year. We put manure on the soil at the start of spring and it seems to have paid off with the onions being pretty hefty. A lot of the bulbs bolted, which means they wont store well. This was particularly a problem with the red onions, most of which bolted. I’ll have to be more careful next year when I buy the sets to get bolt-resistant sets.

So the onions will go into the greenhouse to dry before being strung up. The shallots came out a few weeks ago and have now been strung up ready for use in the kitchen.



  1. You are inspiring me to try shallots next year – yours look fabulous!

    – Karen

  2. I’ve just been reading about heat treated sets in a magazine – how it’s worth paying slightly more as they are less likely to get bolting. A lot of our red ones bolted this year.

  3. I think you’re right, easygardener. It has to be worth the few pennies more heat treated sets cost. Perhaps it’s a particular problem with red onions?

  4. Thanks Karen. This is the first year I’ve grown shallots and I’m really pleased with the results. I hope you have success with them next year!

  5. What does bolted mean?

  6. Hi Andy. Bolting means the plant has started to flower and/ or set seed. In onions this means that they send up a thick flower stem. This uses the energy in the bulb to form the stem which grows from within the bulb itself so when you cut into the bulb there is a great big stem in it rather than just the usual layers! You can still use the onion, just cut out the stem, but the onion wont store because the stem will rot away once the onion has been pulled from the ground and the rotting will spread to the rest of the bulb.

    So ‘bolting’ means it begins to set seed earlier than normal (because, of course, all onions will set seed if you leave them in long enough).

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