Onions – part deux

Carrying on the thoughts from the other day.

It has to be said there is an elephant in the room on all this – Mother Nature herself – unpredictable and changeable – but we can deal with her as a variable in the calculations.

Following the logic of the last post:

I effectively have 8 months a year when its possible to grow Onions outside – March to October – giving us about 35 weeks. The average length of growth of an onion is about 20 weeks. In the last post I explained that using 7 Onions a week would require a row of 140 Onions growing all the time – with 7 pulled and 7 planted each week to keep this going.

With our growing period this means I cannot achieve this balance. It simply does not work. If I waited until week 20 to start pulling and re-planting I couldn’t replant because I would only have 15 growing weeks left and I need 20. If I put in 7 Onions each week from week 1 I would need more than the 58′ row I had calculated – but this would still have to stop at 15 weeks to allow the 20 week growing time. Even for allowing a slightly longer growing period in a Polytunnel this still does not work

So to make sure I have enough Onions for my weekly cooking I have to go back to the last Algorithm of the last post:

Live Grow + Storage Grow = Self Sufficiency.

By working through this logic we can see that actually the problem is not the growing – we have enough of a window to grow a crop of Onions, however many we like, although we cant keep a conveyor belt of freshly grown Onions going.

The problem comes by way of the storage – can we store the Onions for all that time we are not harvesting (not just growing) them?


4 thoughts on “Onions – part deux

      • I even went on a one day course to learn from the experts about planning for year around harvest. It’s like a giant maths puzzle to work out. Must sit down some rainy day or an evening when toddler is in bed and try and get my head around it again.
        Every year I think I’ll get it right next year. 😂


      • I’m hoping to get some form of schedule worked out in the next week – I use the Charles Dowding books as a basis. Last year just got ruined by the May that pretended to be March and then the evil work taking too much time. When we had an allotment we were self sufficient in veg – since we moved here 5 years ago we have failed to get a good all round crop!!

        Liked by 1 person

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