18 March 2015

Potato Onions - second season progress

I posted earlier about potato onions, and my progress with the seedlings.
Last April, austral autumn, I replanted all the cluster or 'nests' of each onion that grew from each individual seedling, and that had survived the storage over winter - ten siblings in all, some from spring sown, and some from autumn sown seeds. I planted them 'nest to row', that is, each original seedling's secondary bulbs were planted in a separate row, so all the production out of that row was the result of two seasons of growth from the individual seedling. The Autumn seedlings and spring seedlings were planted in separate patches, but after a whole season's growth, this didn't seem to have much affect on overall production, although the autumn sown 'parents' did seem to flower a couple of weeks earlier.
These were planted at garden number 2, where for a variety of reasons they got little in the way of care - water was infrequent, and virtually stopped mid-summer.

The pictures below show the results of harvest of each row - that is, each pile or bag of onions represents all the production from 2 growing years of one seedling. Colours, shapes, and productivity varied markedly, but every plant flowered producing copious seeds, most of which got collected and has been forwarded to a number of growers to try.

Some varieties were way more susceptible to rots - although how rot set in in this driest of summers is beyond me.
Nice producer on left, diseased underperformer right

marked differences in productivity

Different colours

Left, my first selection - if it's got long storage

Left, another selected keeper, but right is the result of growing out one huge, single bulb seedling. this is special, and will be nurtured
Just for comparison, a picture of the growout of one-season seedlings - again, considerable diversity. Each cluster or single bulb is the result of one year of growth.

There are also some of these misbehaving - some are still growing madly, and some have reverted to what look like clusters of perpetual onions.

And one big flat brown single bulb, that doesn't seem to want to stop growing, that might hold great potential.
And one strange individual, worthy of separate post...

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