Tips for growing onions on a very small commercial scale

Andyt880

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Co. Down
We grow 1.5/2 acres of potatoes to sell though a few honesty boxes locally. I have a small bit of space left in the potato field this year so I decided to buy a few KGs of onion sets to give them a go. Hoping they would be sellable in the honesty box along side the potatoes

I know very little about growing onions or any veg really. I plan to pull up a few drills with the drill plough and set them in manually.

Any advice on spacing, fertiliser, spays, harvesting and storing or general things to do or not do etc would be appreciated.

Like the title says this is small scale, only planting 4/5 kg of sets, just to give it a go, test the water and learn a bit more about simple veg growing
 

Lincs Lass

Member
Location
north lincs
If you planting by hand,firm the ground first ,,make a hole no more than an inch deep ,push the set in and that's it ,,4 inches apart ,no fertiliser,they don't like it and no top dressing else you will get loads of leaf and no bulb.
Keep them watered else they will split .
When you come to lift ,,just pull them and leave out to dry ,the tops will shrivel to nothing,,then store them dry .
I'm still using mine from the garden that were lifted last October,,just about had the best of them .
 

Andyt880

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Co. Down
You can plant them late September and grow over winter ,very hardy but they can bolt in spring and run to seed
If I manage to get these first ones any where close to the point of harvest I might plant a few more behind the early spuds in late summer. Or maybe by the time I get these first ones planted and weeded all summer I will be ready to fire the remaining sets in the bin :banghead:o_O:)
 

Bogweevil

Member
We grow 1.5/2 acres of potatoes to sell though a few honesty boxes locally. I have a small bit of space left in the potato field this year so I decided to buy a few KGs of onion sets to give them a go. Hoping they would be sellable in the honesty box along side the potatoes

I know very little about growing onions or any veg really. I plan to pull up a few drills with the drill plough and set them in manually.

Any advice on spacing, fertiliser, spays, harvesting and storing or general things to do or not do etc would be appreciated.

Like the title says this is small scale, only planting 4/5 kg of sets, just to give it a go, test the water and learn a bit more about simple veg growing

You have probably left it a bit late, onions bulb in response to short days once they have enough leaves, and that daylength has passed, but to be fair I have not yet known anyone plant them in May, so you never know! They to whack in before April in future.

Autumn ones are OK mature in July but don't store well, so unless you are selling potatoes in July and August might not be a good choice.

Allow 40-45cm between rows if hand or tractor hoeing and 10cm between sets. Sets are relatively expensive so you might as well make each one count. People buy with their eyes favouring larger bulbs.

Good luck. Next year swedes?
 

Andyt880

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Co. Down
Yes was thinking it might be getting late.

I don’t know about the swedes. Really would need to be investing in machinery etc to get into the veg properly. Hard to know if it would be justified on a small scale. I know very little about growing any veg apart from potatoes.
Ground would get fairly wet here in autumn and through winter so anything that needs lifted late isn’t ideal. Might end up more work than it’s worth
 

Andyt880

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Co. Down
The old popular varieties ,,Stutgard and Sturon keep very well just don't store any that run to seed ,chuck them
If they start to bolt at all is that them past storing or is it just if they are allowed to bolt and get to seed. What causes them to bolt before they are ready?
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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