Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Creamgold Onion

The year 2011 was the second year for us growing brown onions. The result was a bit better than our first time but we still have a lot to learn. I still can't get the right pace at the stage of near harvesting and storing them well (I was on my first trimester-yucky phase so did not keep an eye of it-excuses). What I observed in our micro-climate here in Adelaide plain is that by end spring the weather warm pretty fast here so I have to sow the seeds and transplant them much earlier. I should have finished sowing the seeds by mid-April (mid-autumn). Because I was learning last year I did succession sowing until end-May which cause some to be transplanted late. Due to this the younger plants produce smaller bulbs when harvest time. Onion seedlings transplanting also should be completed by mid-June (early winter) in our garden here (space has always been an issue causing transplant delay). Now I learn one thing that long-day variety brown onion does not bolt easily in our garden (FYI, I never sow seeds indoors, all outdoors expose to the changing weather). We tried growing Cream gold onion (Eden Seeds) last year.
Cream gold onion seeds just sprouted and poking out from the soil.
I always wonder why the single allium leaf seedlings folds like that first.
Seeds coats attached.

Still very tiny look so fragile after few days transplanting seedlings in winter.

Onion do grow very slowly and makes you wonder when will the plant starts to bulb.
I presumed that this is mid-late spring because volunteer pink larkspur is blooming at the back.
Still no bulb just big leaves after 4-5months from transplanting.

Bulbs begin to develop.
Dried fallen leaves from my neighbour tree help with mulching.
The leaves shoots up straight when the bulbs develop?

No photos near harvest since the photographer was not feeling well.
Our official onion harvest is January-February (mid-late summer).
Growing onion makes you wait a long time before you can enjoy it.
For us the onion growing process starts from April and ends in February.
Although it end in February, it does take sometime to cure harvested onions for them to store well.
We don't encounter any problem growing onion here with pest or disease.
Its just the extreme warm weather at onion harvest season can be challenging.
If I water them near harvest season the papery onion skin won't be good.
If I don't water them at all , the plants will die.
Any suggestion for future reference?

We did managed to harvest probably more than 70 brown onions in our small garden this year.
But not much left now, probably finish by end of this month.
Home-grown brown onion is so sweet different from the one selling in supermarkets.
Growing them took up space, but we still grow some because its different from what you get from the commercial ones.


Sunray Gardens said...

That is a really nice harvest of onion.

Cher Sunray Gardens

Daphne Gould said...

Here we plant onions in the spring. Our winters are too cold for them to survive. I planted mine a month ago. I find it interesting that we plant very close to the same time. We will harvest at very different times though. Mine will come out in August.

tina said...

I've never started onions from seed. I can see where it would be a long process as I don't like waiting when I plant them from bulbs. It looks like the wait is worth it though as those are pretty onions.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

So nice to have home grown onion..

Norma Chang said...

Nice onion harvest. Gardening does teach us to be patient, just cannot hurry things along.

kitsapFG said...

Onions seem to need "just right" conditions to produce beautiful large bulbs. We had a very cool summer the past two years and the onions were unhappy about it. I am hoping for a more normal summer and better onions as a result. I let them dry (dont' water them) for several days prior to pulling them. I wait until the tops start to fall over before withholding the water a bit and then harvesting. Seems to provide the good papery covering for the storage onions.

Nice harvest!

rainfield61 said...

Such a good harvest of onions.

When can I have mine?

Patricia said...

Very nice photos of your process. I planted onion from tiny starts this year and will see what happens. Gardening is the best lesson in patience for me. I tend to want fast results so it is a discipline for me to WAIT!

Sue Garrett said...

We always grow from sets. We plant one lot to overwinter for an earlier non storing crop and then another lot in spring to harvest in late summer for storing.
Can you get onion sets (immature bulbs).

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Great onions. I like that you put all the progress in one post to show the stages. I know what you mean about them being slooooowwww.

Mark Willis said...

I have no experience with growing onions, so I can't advise. Perhaps you should seek advice from Takaeko at "Small Vege Garden in a Suburb"? []

Unknown said...

great post. Nice of you to have posted the entire growth cycle. Now I will know what my plants will look like when I start the seeds to germinate.

Liz said...

I grew onions for the first time last year and like you was really pleased with how nice and sweet they tasted. I pulled mine too early - I just got impatient- so my bulbs weren't very big. I'll try again this year though.

Quay Po Cooks said...

I don't have green fingers. Nothing grows when I plant it. LOL! Fantastic picture of the growth process.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Cher~ That was the last batch for this year to enjoy.

Daphne~In contrast, our summer are too hot for them. We have to grow them earlier before the warm weather really starts going. Probably I should try an early-variety ones.

Tina~Yes seeds does takes a long time to grow. Bulb/sets will be much faster.

Sonia~I used not to like onions when I was a kid cause it taste kind of hot. But home-grown brown onion is sweet.

Norma~Yeah, we can only plan but nature decide.

KitsapFG~I should let them dry not to water them you are right. It probably keep or store well much longer.

Rainfield61~Oh you can grow them and enjoy spring onions!

Patricia~Yes gardening does teach us to be patience. We simply can't rush it.

Sue~Its actually hard to get onion sets here because we can't get any garlic or potato tubers interstate as well. We have strict regulation about them in South Australia. Probably the reason why most grow onion from seeds unless we have save some onion from previous season. Growing from onion sets does give better result.

Gardener on Sherlock Street~Yeah they are so slowwwwww...

Mark~Takaeko does grow lots of onions every year.

Sri Ranjani~Good Luck with your onions! Its a fun experience.

Liz~They really need long season to grow takes a lot of space when we really don't have much space to grow.

Quay Po Cooks~ But you really are a good cook. Very inspirational. Always drooling looking at your dishes.

Krishna101380 said...

this is really nice, i'll try to find some creamgold onion here. most of the brown onions i use in cooking are imported from China (that's what the vendors tell me). I like the taste of brown onions like these, milder than the red ones. thanks for sharing!

Krishna101380 said...

Thanks for sharing! I hope i can find some creamgold onion seeds here too. I like the taste of brown onion, much milder than the red ones. I'll try to plant the shallots that already has roots growing, finger crossed, hoping to have a nice harvest like you too!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Krishna~Home-grown brown onion taste very sweet not like the imported ones. Good Luck with your shallots and hope you find some brown onion seeds.