For spring planting, in March, I planted 500 grammes of a variety not known to me at all - "Hercules". Immediately after I'd bought them, Gardening Which printed a study of onion varieties (January/February 2012). Hercules was "recommended", the comment being "a decent crop of big bulbs, spoiled by a couple of bulbs with rot" - which was exactly what I got when I harvested them last month. The biggest point in their favour, though, was that not a single one bolted. I'd definitely grow them again, though I'll look out for the "best buys" Autumn Gold, Centurion and Forum (what's with the Roman thing? They all come from the Netherlands!).
I laid the newly lifted onions out to dry on racks so that the air could circulate around them. Actually the racks are old bakery delivery trays in galvanised steel that we found in a skip at the allotment. These have a wide range of uses; the other way up they are great for collecting and drying off potatoes!
|Two racks of onions drying nicely - 10th August|
|Ready to start - an onion on a string. Trimming the roots ready to start twisting|
|Cross the necks - and twist!|
|Onions with a twist|
|First pair of onions on the string|
|That's heavy enough I think|
I got about 10kg of Hercules from my 500g, after a month of drying, which I think is pretty good. That was 9kg on strings and 1kg in the "use now" bag. Not all of the "use now" were "iffy" - a couple were too dry in the neck to twist properly and broke off. And of course there was an odd one. These all go very rapidly now the tomatoes are on line, mostly in the form of bottled pasta sauce!