Garlic & Onion Growing Trial

It seems to be a great year for overwintering garlic and onion on our plot. A prolonged period of cold weather could yet change things, but the relatively warm autumn and winter has lead to excellent germination rates.

Garlic

Overwintering Trial - Elephant Garlic 2nd February

The star of our garlic growing trial is elephant garlic, shown in the picture above (it is not too late to plant – see Suttons Seeds). It is now the size of the leek plants overwintering on our plot. We are excited about the prospect of an early harvest of vary large bulbs.

(Click to see our introduction to our garlic trial here.)

At the other end of the performance scale is our homegrown variety L2LA. We saved some of our crop from the 2013 harvest – stored in a bowl on our kitchen windowsill – and planted this at the same time as the garlic sourced from a specialist nursery.

The nursery sourced garlic got off to a flying start, with strong healthy shoots emerging less than four weeks later. However, our garlic did nothing – for months! Now though, things have changed. Nearly four months later, and after a few hard frosts (and of course lots of rain) our garlic looks in fine health. A whole row of garlic has germinated with no gaps.

L2LA Garlic

The other varieties of garlic we are testing were shop bought:

  • Avignon white
  • Champion white
  • Champion purple

See the range available from Suttons Seeds. At this stage there is nothing to choose between the varieities above. The germination rates have been excellent and all the plants look to be in good health.

Overwintering Trial - Garlic 2nd February

Garlic Varieties

See all garlic varieties currently available on Suttons Seeds.

Hardneck Varieties

Garlic Purple Wight

Purple Wight


Crops early (June) and stores reasonably well (until Christmas).
Reed more on Suttons Seeds.
Garlic Sultop

Sultop


High yielding variety with a strong taste and easy to peel cloves. Virus-free French variety.
Reed more on Suttons Seeds.
Garlic Vayo

Vayo


Large cloves with a great flavour.
Reed more on Suttons Seeds.

Softneck Varieties

Garlic Arno

Arno


A first-class softneck variety that has won the RHS Award of Garden Merit. Virus-free French variety.
Read more on Suttons Seeds.
Garlic Germidour

Germidour


Violet coloured skin and white cloves. RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. Virus-free French variety.

Reed more on Suttons Seeds.
Garlic Messidrome

Messidrome


An excellent cooking variety owing to its flavour. Virus-free French variety.
Reed more on Suttons Seeds.
Garlic Solent Wight

Solent Wight


Large bulbs that are well adapted to the British climate.
Reed more on Suttons Seeds.

Elephant Garlic

Elephant Garlic

Elephant Garlic


Mild flavoured garlic with jumbo sized bulbs. Excellent baked in oven (roasted in skin).
Reed more on Suttons Seeds.

See all garlic varieties currently available on Suttons Seeds.

Onions

(Click to see our introduction to our onion trial here.)

Overwintering Trial - Onions 2nd February

All our onion varieties are growing well. The picture above shows a typical example. The advantage of overwintering onions is an earlier harvest. At the moment it is too early to say which of our varieties is doing best.

Traditionally onion sets are planted in the spring. See onion sets available on Suttons Seeds.

The only disappointing performer in our trial are the shallots. The germination rate is currently around 20%. It may be that the shallots have not enjoyed the damper than usual conditions, the warm winter, or simply that our sets were not in excellent condition at planting.

The picture below shows a shallot that has germinated. It is distinguishable from young onion plants by the number of shoots, and by its size. Compared to our onion plants, the shallot plant is about a third of the size.

Overwintering Trial - Shallots 2nd February

Onion Varieties

The following onion varieties are suitable for overwintering. These have been selected from Suttons Seeds, or see their whole onion range here.

Overwintering Onions - Early Crop Radar

Early Crop Radar


Harvest from mid-May. Mild taste. Pale mid-brown skin.
Read more on Suttons Seeds.
Overwintering Onions - Electric

Electric


Harvest May/June. Good flavour. Pink flesh.
Read more on Suttons Seeds.
Overwintering Onions - Senshyu Yellow

Senshyu Yellow


Harvest in July. Japanese variety. Heavy crops. Straw coloured.
http://tinyurl.com/olcnmc6
Read more on Suttons Seeds.
Overwintering Onions - Troy

Troy


Harvest June/July. Heavy crops of yellow skinned onions.
Read more on Suttons Seeds.

See all onion varieties sold by Suttons Seeds.

Sutton Seeds 720

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