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Salad Onion Guardsman is a F1 Hybrid White Lisbon / Japanese cross. It is vigorous and high yielding, medium green foliage, tall and erect plants which are resistant to bulbing and Botrytis.
Probably the best salad type for later sowings, it has very good Winter hardiness.
Seeds can be sown indoors from early February or sown directly into prepared beds outdoors from late March onwards. Seeds that are sown indoors can give you a head start of up to 3 weeks over plants sown directly outdoors. Place some compost into seed trays, firm and water well. Lightly sprinkle the onion seeds over the wetted compost and cover with about 1.5cm of sifted compost. Ensure the compost is firmed down and do not allow the trays to dry out. After germination the seedlings can be transferred outdoors into well prepared beds or transplanted into pots or containers.
If sowing directly into seed beds outdoors, ensure the growing area has been well prepared before-hand, incorporating generous amounts of organic matter. Rake the soil to a fine tilth and sow the onion seeds thinly directly into drills 15cm apart. Cover with 1.5cm of soil and water the drills with a watering can and fine rose attachment. After germination, ensure the seedlings are kept watered and the planted areas are weed free.
Growing in containers
If growing in containers, ensure the soil is rich in organic matter. Transplant the seedlings to about 2cm-3cm apart and water them in. Keep the plants well watered during the growing period.
Growing in beds
Seedlings that have been started off indoors can be planted out into prepared beds from March onwards at 2cm-3cm apart and watered in. If overnight frosts are likely then the seedlings can be protected by cloches or poly tunnels. Further sowings can be made throughout the summer months, and if sown outdoors in September this should produce a very early crop the following spring.
The main points of aftercare are watering during dry spells and keeping the areas around the plants weed free.
Pests and diseases
Onion white rot is a soil borne fungus, for which there is no cure. Symptoms include yellowing of leaves and wilting. If the disease is known to be present in the soil then it is advisable not to grow onions on that particular plot.
Onion downy mildew is a fungal disease caused by excessive damp conditions, a lack of light or both. Avoid over watering and keep the area free of weeds.
Harvesting and storage
Spring onions are ready for harvesting after about 8 weeks from sowing and can be continually harvested all year round. There are several varieties of seed available, including winter hardy varieties. Once picked, Spring onions do not store well for long periods but placing the plants in a vase or large glass of water will keep them fresh for up to a week.
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