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Blackthorn Meadow


Although onions can be grown from seed it is by far easier - though more expensive - to purchase immature bulbs also known as onion sets or shallots. These shallots are less prone to mildew but more prone to bolting however if they are planted early spring they produce around 8 or 12 bulbs by summer. Onions come in different varieties that differ in taste and size but they come under two main categories:

  • Onions - These are usually large round onions with a strong or mild flavour. They are perfect for onion rings.
  • Shallot - Milder in flavour, smaller in size and harvested in July or August. Great for garnishing or pickling.


Onions require good well-drained soil. The ground needs to be prepared early winter and compost added if available.


Onion sets should be planted 4" apart mid-March and April while shallots should be planted 6" apart mid-February to mid-March.


Netting should be used to protect them against birds and onions checked on a regular basis to watch out for any that may have been lifted by birds or weeding. The bulbs should be kept weed free.

Gardening Tips

  1. Onions should be kept weed free.
  2. Store them in trays, net bags or tie them to lengths of cords (as French Onion sellers do).

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