Tuesday, 3 July 2012

All about Alliums

On Sunday I planted out the maincrop leeks: Musselburgh
Maincrop Leeks
A neighbour quized me about filling a watering can in this weather, but you need to puddle in the transplanted leeks to settle their roots into the dibbed hole.

Here's all I've got to show for my onions sown from seed.  They may be "spring onions" by autumn!
Onions from seed
The garlic is still growing but has rust. While this won't do much harm to the garlic, I fear the rust will spread to the leeks earlier than it otherwise would.

Garlic - a bit rusty
A nice surprise has been the Red Baron onions planted as sets in spring.  Here I have to own up that I bought them to sow in autumn but never got around to doing that until the spring. Despite the lack of attention they have done surprisingly well.  Again there is a worry that these are developing white rot which could spread.  Given the weather conditions it would be amazing if they didn't succumb to some rot or other. I'm half tempted just to pull them all now and dry them off indoors.

Red Baron from sets
For good measure here are the early leeks. I think the slugs got most of them next to the path. It will be worth it if we get a few earlier leeks this autumn.
Early Leeks - Blue Solaise
For years I've restricted my alliums to leeks after disappointment with white rot.  This year I've beeen a bit more adventurous.  I'm just hoping it's going to prove to be worth it!

Meantime back in the kitchen, it was time to bottle up the Elderflower Champagne:

Bottling the Elderflower Champagne
It's now in the coal cellar for a couple of weeks. I hope there aren't any explosions!

Tany.  I don't really know what it tastes like because I've never made it before, but I'm hoping it will be nice and flowery as well a lemony, with plenty of fizz.  I'll let you know if it lives up to expectations.


  1. Can't wait to find out your verdict on the champagne!!

    The onions are looking well and I think the garlic should be fine. I have never had any problems with rot on the alliums, or rust fr that matter but if you think you might lose those wonderful red onions then I say pull and dry them now.

    My leeks went in a few weeks ago...I always plant them out in June. I also always water in whatever seedlings I plant out...no matter what the weather. I find filling the hole with water and letting it drain down before you plant the seedlings gives them a great start and helps train the roots to go down from the start.

  2. Hope your onions come through for you Mal. Mine are such a disappointment lately. I just don't think its warm enough here for them, although I have seen some huge ones round and about. Wonder what I am doing wrong...? Your Reds are looking good though!

  3. Co-incidentally I posted all about our garlic rust too. WE are eating out autumn planted onions - they won't store and so it's a case of did up and use them.

  4. Those red onions are looking great! Ours are just starting to swell up a bit, but were planted well after yours I reckon. Good luck with the rest of your alliums.

  5. The Elderflower Champagne sounds really good, hopefully some warm weather in the coming weeks to enjoy it. I planted leeks out in June. I noticed slugs loved sleeping in the holes the leek were planted into so I closed up the holes around the leek.

  6. I also love everything allium lol do you do shallots also?

  7. My lovely wife used to make this - absolutely wonderful stuff! It's like fizzy, mildly alcoholic lychee juice. Yum! You are in for a real treat hopefully.

    Must get said wifey to make some more at some stage. Oh, and for those interested, the critical part is picking flowers that smell really nice. When they get too old they have a distinctly unpleasant smell and are unsuitable for champagne making.