Calling all Onions!

Calling all Onions!


An important group with many varieties - appear in the Herb, Organic and Vegetable sections of our range.
Allium means onion like.
Most of our varieties are NZ Intermediate day length and can be sown in spring for an autumn harvest especially in coastal and northern regions.

Different styles of Allium:
Garlic Chives Allium tuberosum or Chives Allium schoenoprasum
  • day length sensitive and become dormant in winter
  • sow spring through to late summer
Leeks Allium porrum
  • cool weather plant, sow late summer for autumn/winter harvest
  • for long white shanks, sow in trenches (like potatoes) to avoid exposure to sunlight and mound soil up around them
  • or use a broomstick to form holes and drop seedlings in, not closing in the sides to effect the same result
  • for baby Leeks, use Lungo della Riviera and plant closer together to get thinner stems
Onions Bulbing types Allium cepa
Thin skins = Shorter storage time – examples Walla Walla, White Sweet Spanish, Yellow Sweet Spanish
Thick skins = Longer storage time – examples Red Brunswick, Italian Longkeeper
Small types (aka Cippolini) – small bulbing onions suitable for pickling – examples Borettana, Pearl Drop, Purplette
Shallots – normally grow from division but hybrids do set seed

Onions Bunching types Allium fistulosum
Not winter dormant, can be sown when Chives/Garlic Chives cannot.
aka Scallions – examples Ippon Negi F1, Ishikura and Tokyo Long White (spring onions), Red Bunching/ White Welsh (multiplying onions which keep growing side shoots)

Onions are very susceptible to disease and insects!
  • Don’t grow in the same spot for more than two seasons in a row – rotate with another crop.
  • Onions don’t like to grow alongside beans
  • But do like to grow alongside carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and beet
  • Onions are easy to transplant
  • They enjoy constant soil moisture with irrigation of around 2.5cm each week
When the onions begin to develop skins and the tops are falling over, pull them up and sun cure them for a week before removing the tops.
However, if they have started flowering, make sure you eat these first as they will not store well.

Other notes:
There are other onions that don’t set seed – example Tree Onion AKA Walking Onion – this is like a tasteless, stringy spring onion.
Garlic should be sown on the shortest day (June) and harvested on the longest day (December).
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