Your onion sets should be planted in early spring, with the tips just showing, roughly 5-10cm apart for medium to large onions respectively. Shallots should be planted at the same time of year but about 20cm apart as they produce bulbs on the surface in early summer.
If you have access to a greenhouse or cold frame you could give your onions and shallots a head start by setting them away in plug trays so the roots have a chance to develop before putting them into the cold ground.
Watch out for Birds pulling at the necks of your newly planted sets and bulbs.
Find our varieties on the back page of the price list below:
. . . to start setting away your Dahlia Tubers to enable you to take cuttings for this years season (that is if you haven’t already). Bring them into a light and airy environment with a bit of heat. This should encourage basal growth from which you can take cuttings.
If you are reading this thinking ‘I wish I’d ordered some to give it ago’ we still have a range of over 100 varieties available. Check here for our most up to date list of Sold Out varieties. We update this page as well as the online shop regularly.
For us, we don’t really store the tubers over winter. When lifted, generally by mid November, we wash them to get excess dirt off then heap them upside down on benches, each variety in its own pile. This allows them to dry off. By mid December we have generally got through all 6000+ tubers cleaning and trimming up and by Christmas Eve they are all planted up on the benches in a Clover professional bedding or potting compost with a slow release fertiliser mixed in, ready to set away in the New Year.
The heat gets turned up when we get back in the New Year. Bottom heat seat at 18-20 degrees celsius but air temp kept no higher than 10 degrees Celsius (unless we have a nice day of course!) until growth starts. Air temp is now at 15 celsius dropping back to 10-12 at night. Once watered in, which is done when we first turn the heat up, they are left on the dry side, certainly around the crowns, with any watering, if needed, directed at the “channels” between each variety.
To start your seed potatoes off or ‘Chit’, pop them in tray or box in a light, frost free area with good ventilation, I have mine in an egg box on the office window. The potatoes need to be in a single layer with the ends with the most eyes pointing upwards. They will be ready to plant when the eye growth is about 2cm and the risk of a harsh ground frost is gone.
Of those varieties we had available as tubers at the begining of the season we have now SOLD OUT of the following. All but Willo’s Violet are still available as Dahlia Mini Plants or Garden Ready Dahlias.
Giant and Large Decoratives: Elma E, Hamari Girl, Jocondo, John Hill and Sir Alf Ramsey
Giant and Large Cactus: Our Dad
Medium Decoratives: Purple Pearl
Medium Cactus and Semi Cactus: Hillcrest Candy, Hillcrest Royal, Le Feu du Soleil, Ruskin Michelle and Terrie Bandey
Waterlily: Duddon Grace, Edwin’s Sunset, Gwyneth, Harriet G, Ken’s Rarity, Kilburn Glow, Olivia Marie, Sam Hopkins, Sandia Rose and Taratahi Ruby
Collerettes: Anne Breckenfelder, Fashion Monger, Pink Pat and Perc and Pooh
Miscellaneous: Hadrian’s Sunlight and Trelyn Red Dragon
Small and Miniature Decoratives: Abbie, Blyton Golden Girl, Blyton Romance, Brian’s Dream and Ryecroft Jan
Small and Miniature Cactus and Semi Cactus: Ryecroft Pixie
Small and Miniature Ball Dahlias: David Digweed and Lemon Zing
Pompon Dahlias: Nuland’s Josephine and Willo’s Violet
We have also SOLD OUT of the following Chrysanthemums
Late Incurve Bloom: Stockton
Large and Medium Exhibition Bloom: Gigantic and Harry Gee
Greenhouse Fantasy: (All varieties) Chesapeake, Coral Reef, Golden Rain, Kiyomi No Meisui, Salhouse Joy, Senkyo Kenshin and Symphony
After a busy few days lifting the Chrysanthemums a few weeks ago they are now coming away nicely in our poly tunnel. We keep them in there for a period of cold but will be bringing them into the prop houses in the next couple of weeks.