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3 August 2012

Growing Spring Onions

I will be going out later this afternoon to pick some spring onions for tea. These will be from a row planted in a raised bed at the end of March. Spring onions are a useful crop as they mature fairly quickly and can be squeezed into a space between rows of other plants. They are also perfect for growing in containers.
Spring onions like a rich, well-drained soil, and where they are being used as a filler, benefit from an application of general purpose fertilizer a week before sowing. The soil should then be raked to a fine tilth. The seeds can be sown from March onwards, and fortnightly sowings should provide a supply of spring onions throughout the summer. Seeds can either be sown 0.75 inches deep in rows 6 inches apart or thinly scattered across the growing area and covered with 0.75 inches of finely-raked soil. You may need to thin-out your seedlings to give the required spacing, and when harvesting your onions you should pick alternate ones from the row to provide more room for the others. They are ready for harvesting when about 6 inches tall. Winter-hardy varieties can be planted in late summer or early autumn to provide a crop in the spring, and there are also red varieties available. White Lisbon is a recommended variety while Guardsman has the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
Spring onions are delicious raw in a salad or can be used in stir fries. They can also be used as a substitute for ordinary onions.
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