Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Finding Autumn Onions

Early Tuesday morning was the coolest of the cool starts this month with the temperature down to 5.7°C. Another bright sunny morning soon warmed it up a bit but by early afternoon it clouded over eventually turning into a damp murky late afternoon and evening. We even managed a bit of light drizzle adding 0.6mm of rainfall to this month's miserly total of 8.2mm.
We spent a large chunk of the afternoon visiting nearly all our local garden centres in our bid to buy some autumn onions and garlic. On the Internet from the mainstream gardening companies there’s always a good selection of onions and garlic. Unfortunately there seems to be no control about the dispatch dates for these onions and a couple of years ago it was the middle of October before our order arrived. It was far too late for us and the onions never had a chance to grow. Winter arrived as they were planted and the tiny sets never made any attempt to grow and just rotted away over winter.

We decided then that we’d be better off buying locally and planting in September rather than October. This does however mean a very limited choice of varieties to grow. This was our collection after visiting eight garden centres. The larger establishments are now preparing for Christmas and garden products take a back seat, how sad is that, with only another 91 days to go, whilst the smaller ones have a red and brown onion variety to choose from. 

Still we had this problem last year and we are only just finishing the last of last year’s autumn onions so even though we had a limited choice we did actually have a crop of onions. It’s tempting to go back online for a better choice but with a possibility of no crop due to late delivery of sets  I think we’ll stick with the limited choice offered by our local garden centres.


  1. An informative post, you've answered my question on your previous post. My local garden shop, which is in the centre of our little town, on the high street, sells onion sets loose in brown paper bags, I love it there. A complete antidote to giant garden centres. You can try as few as you want, and a small bag literally costs pence. They sell beans and peas this way too.

    1. We have a couple of small garden centres that sell peas and beans loose and you can buy as many as you like. They unfortunately don't do it with autumn onions.


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