TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

November 8, 2011

Planting Autumn Onion Sets

Filed under: root veg — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 7:52 am

Shakespeare is a good variety of onion to plant as sets in the autumn.

shakespear autumn planting

shakespear autumn planting

Onion sets are very small bulbs which will grow into mature onions.  Onion  sets are often planted instead of onion seeds as they are thought to produce bigger onions.

Shakespeare - this variety of onion has:

  • dark brown skins
  • excellent skin quality
  • good sized bulbs
  • stores well
  • harvest from early July
  • over winters well
Planting site:  Firm, well drained soil in full sun.  Do not apply farm yard manure to the soil before planting onions.   Onion sets grow well in raised beds, in fact they prefer this to wet ground.


Planting method:  Plant the sets so that the tip of bulb is just protruding through the soil surface.
Plant in rows with a space of 10cm (4”) between each bulb, and 30cm (12”) between each row.
onion rows marked out

onion rows marked out

Shakespeare onions  are an autumn planting set.

July 29, 2009

Potato Skins must Set for Storage.

Filed under: potato — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 12:16 pm

What is Setting of Potato Skins?

As the potato matures, the skin ’sets’, that is, it thickens and becomes tough. The set skin protects the potato from damage and infection during storage.

How to test for Setting.

When the skins are mature (set), the skin will not scuff when rubbed in the hand, or gently scratched by the thumb. Skins of new potatoes will easily be removed by rubbing with a thumb, as they have not set.



How does the Potato Skin Set?

The green leaves and stalks of potatoes, known as the haulm, will start to die down at the end of the season. The potato tubers will then stop growing and the skins start to set. It usually takes three weeks for the skins to become set, but it is worth digging one tuber up and checking
the state of the skin, before lifting. The potatoes should not be harvested for storage until the skins have set.

Potatoes should be stored in a dark place in Hessian sacks, so that the air can circulate through them.

Related articles:

Maincrop potatoes are starting to senesce
The difference between New Potatoes & Maincrop.

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