Category Archives: Onions

Rose de Roscoff Onions

If you are going to grow those vegetables that are essential staples in the kitchen but not that expensive to buy it is far better to search out superior or difficult to obtain varieties

One such variety is the wonderful onion Rose de Roscoff, also called rosé” oniona French variety that the is considered so unique and superior it has its own A.O.C  (appellation d’origine contrôlée)

You may not have heard of them but you parents or grandparents probably did as they became famous thanks to the “Onion Johnnies”, onion sellers who travelled from Roscoff from the 1800s  till just after the second world war to sell their produce further afield, notably in England. These “Johnnies” travelled the country on bikes, wearing strings of onions and dressed in their Breton striped tops are the source of our stereotype for the bike-riding French man!

Very versatile with their unique flavour,the Rose de Roscoff can be used as a vegetable, a side-dish or as a condiment, raw the onion is crunchy with a slight sharpness, this transform‘s  and is sweet soft and fruity when cooked.

They have high vitamin C content and their long shelf-life which was also the reason they were stored in “Onion Strings” which you can platt yourself, the largest onion at the end is referred to « penn kapiten » – the Captain!

The easy to grow from sets sown either into the ground or module’s in spring and like all onions is important to keep   competition  from weeds down



Winter Salads

One of the great pleasures of growing vegetables is to be able to harvest fresh salad in the cooler months,the flavor seems fresher and more welcome through autumn and Winter

its important to use varieties that are adapted to growing in these cooler conditions

The varieties that work for me are Continue reading Winter Salads


Garlic, Onion and Leek Rust

There are endless types of rust affecting a huge number of plants, this article is aimed specifically at Allium rust (puccinia porri) affecting leeks, garlic,onions,shallots and chives.


Once your plants are infected with rust there is Continue reading Garlic, Onion and Leek Rust


Growing Onions from Sets

The easiest way to grow Onions is to start with “Sets” these are simply small immature onions.

Sets are produced  by sowing onion seed thickly normally in the Summer the plants are allowed to grow just until they start forming bulbs, these immature bulbs lifted and cured like regular onions.

A lot of onion sets are “heat treated ” this means they are subjected to higher temperatures which kills the flower embryo and so prevents the onions “bolting” or running to seed before forming the onion bulb.

Heat Preparation also extends the growth period which means that greater yields can be achieved.


This film shows how to plant sets into a growing bed

You can also plant Shallots and onions in the Autumn

using these varieties