a mediateam website

See a sample issue of The Irish Garden!

Ask Gerry

  1 - 6 of 27 answer(s)


I have very large scallions can i dry and store these like onions, goldie, moate, Co Westmeath Posted: 30/09/2011


Yes, scallions or spring onions are really just immature onions.

The varieties used for spr9ng onions may not store as well as the varieties used for storing, but if well-ripened, ideally in a greenhouse, they should still store reasonably well.

  Need to harvest onions?

Need to harvest onions?

I have planted a variety of onions and scallions in a raised bed, the tips of some are going yellow, plus some bulbs are coming out of the earth. I pulled a few yesterday and it looks as though, if I leave the rest any longer the stem will grow even bigger and grow down into the bulb if that makes sense? Jopefully you can see what I mean from the photo. Does this mean they are going to seed/bolted, I should take everything out of the ground now, or am I already too late to store? Any tips to stop it happening next year? Aislingr, Claremorris, Co Mayo Posted: 09/07/2011


If the onion plants go to flower, the flower is clearly visible rising from the bulb.

The onions in the photo are 'thick-necks', probably not flowering, but a phenomenon caused by overly rich soil, possibly too much organic material high in nitrogen. These will not keep well and need to be used.

Leave in place any that look like forming a good bulb, and store them.

Try to balance off in future years with some potash which counteracts the nitrogen, which will tend to decrease anyway unless you add more. 



Winter Onions when to harvest.

I planted some winter onions last Oct/nov.. they have developed into what I would call clusters of what look like large scallions. I have misplaced/lost the info sheet and was wondering if winter onions develope into large onions or into groups of shallots and when should I harvest them? Very vague question....sorry. RiasedBed, , Co Sligo Posted: 25/05/2011


Autumn onions sown in August or autumn sets, planted in September, will be gettign large now and should be ready in July, having bulbed up.

You might also have sown spring onion seed and these would be usable scallions now or before now. 


Onion going to seed

Can you tell me what I can do to stop onions going to seed. They are planted out in my veg patch. I planted them in Feb.Why does this happen? Jackiem, Dundalk, Co Louth Posted: 15/05/2011


Onions flower early if they get a cold spell in early spring or it the weather is dry, both of which happened.

February is early for sets and runs a risk of bolting. Take off the flowers and use the onions as soon as you can. They will not store.


Growing onions in clay soil

Is it possible to plant onions from ordinary onions that have sprouted in the kitchen drawer or is it best to get bulbs? Also where we live the soil is like a very thick clay, is it best to plant in a container? We have dug in compost etc to the soil last year? geordie, Mornigton, Co Meath Posted: 24/04/2011


Onions from the kitchen or mature onions will simply flower. You could save the seed, of course, for next year.

It is late for planting onion sets, but still worth trying.


cover onion set ridges to control weeds

have been growing approx. 300 onion sets (white and red) successfully over many years. Weeds are now a major problem. Is there any type of ground cover on the market to keep the weeds covered, and say holes 6ins apart to allow sets to grow. For age and other reasons i have to reduce labour. srey, athlone, Co Westmeath Posted: 24/03/2011


You could use a sheet of black plastic to cover the soil, burying a strip around the edge to hold it down and some stones placed on it to keep it steady. Make it like a bed about two feet wide, or a broad ridge.

You could then punch out small holes and place a set within each.

There is a danger of the plastic moving over the set and preventing it from emerging, but if the plastic is well held, it will work. Later when the onion has made a shoot, push the plastic down so that the bulb will form over the plastic.

Rain will get down through the holes.

You could alternatively use a weed-free mulch such as pine needles to cover the soil between the sets.  Garden compost is too weedy for this purpose.



Garden.ie Members

Not a member yet?
Join now to:

Join Now

Existing Members

Forgotten password

Garden.ie CLUB

Join Ireland's first online garden club! Share pictures of your garden, make new friends and chat with other gardeners. It's simple to join and free! Register Here

Featured Members

Ask Gerry

Gerry DalyTry our unique advice service from editor Gerry Daly. Got a question right now? Search here to see if it has been answered already:

a mediateam website

©2018 Garden.ie. Mediateam Ltd, Media House, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18.

Tel (+353 1) 2947777 Email info@garden.ie

Website Design by KCO.ie