Today was the last day of our holidays and after being cooped up inside for a couple of days we really needed some fresh air as well as some positive memories to take us forward into what is decidedly a dismal January.
Sadly, we arrived too late at RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate to have a wander round the gardens, although through the garden centre window they looked magnificent as dusk fell. And I came home with 50 sets of overwintering onions.
Last time I tried to grow onions over winter they were a dismal fail. Winter 2012-13 was a lot colder and the onions clearly weren’t having any overwintering nonsense. Considering what has already decided to bring spring forward (cf The primroses are out!), it seemed a good idea to try out onions at this time of year once again.
By the time we got home, it was already dark but I couldn’t resist planting at least a few of the sets. On the other hand, I did manage a bit of daylight sowing yesterday before it started raining.
In view of the possibility that the spring blooms will either be damaged by later frosts or flower too early, thus leaving a gap where bees and other insects are left without food, I thought it was worth trying to get some phacelia to grow. I’ve got so much seed from last year, anyway, it would hardly be a terrible loss if they didn’t germinate.
That said, there is every chance they will, considering they had already started to do just that in the patch where I planned to plants some garlic seed – another success from last year.
The Internet has a dearth of information on sowing garlic bulbils and I wasn’t sure where else to find any. However, what I did come across suggested they should be planted in the spring. I couldn’t quite see why, unless the advice was for somewhere in North America perhaps.
In any case, as the temperatures are currently quite spring-like and we don’t generally have harsh winters even under normal circumstances, it seems that this time is as good as any to get them in the ground. As with the phacelia, I’ve still got some bulbils as back up, so I’ll see if the first lot sprout before finding a space for the rest.