Shallot Zebrune

Heritage variety, otherwise known as Cuisse de poulet du Poitou the gourmet's choice. Torpedo shallot with brownish-pink skins.

How to Grow Onion from Seed

There are several different types of onion that can be grown successfully from seed including bulbing, bunching and spring varieties. By choosing the right types and sowing at the right time you can have a steady supply of onions practically all year long.

Growing onions from seed rather than sets (or immature onions) requires a longer growing season, but the crops are less prone to bolting (flowering to produce seed) and the range of varieties avaialable is more extensive. 

When harvesting onions for storage, don't bend the ageing tops over! Allow the bulbs to mature naturally and lift when the foliage is almost dry. Store bulbs in a well ventilated area, with temperatures between 0-8oC, do not allow them to freeze.

Bulbing onions are the most common culinary onion, usually round, globe shaped or elongated bulbs with yellow, brown or white skin and white or pink flesh. Bulbing onions are widely used raw in salads, or cooked in a whole range of dishes, the flavour, size and storage capabilities varies between varieties.

Open, fertile, well draining soil is essential to produce bulbing onions, drainage is especially important for overwintered crops. Cloches can be used to warm the soil prior to sowing. Early crops can be sown indoors, into trays or modules, during late winter at a temperature of 10-15oC. Main crop sowings should be made in early spring into warm, dry soil. 

Sow onion seed thinly into rows 25-30cm apart and then thin out the seedlings in stages. A maincrop sowing will provide fresh onions from mid-summer onwards, with storage onions being lifted in late summer. Overwintering varieties should be sown in August allowing them to reach a height of 15-20cm by mid autumn. Much taller than this and they may bolt in spring, much shorter and they may not survive the winter.

Spacing dictates the final bulb size, for a good crop of medium sized onions space 5cm apart and allow 25cm between rows, and for larger bulbs space 10cm apart in 25cm rows. 

Pickling onions, also known as cocktail onions or silverskins are bulb onions grown at a high density to provide small onions suitable for pickling. Pickling onions are best direct sown in early to mid spring for harvesting late summer.

Salad or Spring Onions are also known as scallions or bunching onions. These varieties are grown as much for their green leaves as for their small bulbs, they are used mainly in salads, Oriental recipes and as garnishes.

Spring onions are sown from early spring to early summer, successive sowing every 2-3 weeks ensures a constant fresh supply throughout the season. Overwintered crops of hardy varieties can be sown in mid to late summer for harvesting the following spring. 

Salad onions grow best in similar soil conditions to bulbing onions but only require a spacing of 1cm between plants and 30cm between rows. Sowing depth should be approximately 2cm.

Shallots are small mature bulbs that multiply to form clusters of small bulbs. Shallots have a wide range of culinary uses and can be used raw, cooked or pickled.

Shallots can be planted outside from February onwards, spaced 15cm apart and allowing 30cm between rows. Harvest from July to August when the foliage turns yellow.

£2.60

Item Code: 0229B

Variety: Zebrune

Type: Vegetable

Packet Contains: 200 Seeds

Sow: February - May

Germination: Up to 14 days

Harvest: August - October

In stock? Yes

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