Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Everlasting Alliums

I have been experimenting with the Allium family this year, trying to produce everlasting crops.  I am not too sure how successful it will be, but it can do no harm in trying.

Instead of digging my Leeks up I have been cutting them off at the base to see if they will re-grow.
As you can see from the photo it is sort of working.  The green part of the Leek is pushing up again.  Whether or not the white part of the Leek will come back is a matter of wait and see.

The same can be done with Spring Onions, or if you dig them up, you can then re-plant the base bit that you cut off.

As for normal Onions, well, as I have been using them I have cored out the root end of the Onion and soaked it in water to re-vitalise the roots, then planted it in a pot, to see if it sends new shoots out. 

It is all a bit speculative and a case of waste not want not - I will keep you posted as to whether it has been successful.  I have been wondering also about Garlic and whether that too would become a perennial if it was handled the same way.

Time will tell.

The late planting of Broad Beans I made in an old crate has been successful so far, but even though they are at the flowering stage, I doubt if they will start to form pods now, with the weather turning colder.  Maybe, if I protect them against the weather, they will continue growing throughout the winter, to give me an early crop next Spring.

Again, we shall have to wait and see.

This is my pathetic grape harvest - just half a dozen small bunches - hardly going to set the world alight is it.  It is the first crop I have had for a number of years - I don't think I prune it back correctly, so  last year I left it to its own devices and bingo - grapes.  I think there is a lesson to be learned here.

 These are some of the French Beans that I left to dry on the plants - a few of which I will save for planting next year - the rest I can soak overnight and use in cassoulets and the like.  I still have a few late sown plants in the garden which have podded up nicely, but I think by now they will be  too tough to eat, so I will leave the beans on the plant for a while, then bring them in for drying as well.
You can never have too many beans - that's what I say!


  1. I'm very impressed with your grapes even if it is a small harvest. I had some amazing white grapes from a local fruit grower who comes to my local farmers market. They were the sweetest grapes I've ever had. I'm going to get the name of them from him on Saturday. Haven't got the space for them at the moment but it's worth knowing for the future. Interesting experiment with your alliums. I pulled a leek the other day and it snapped off leaving the base in the ground so maybe I'll get something sprouting.

  2. I'll be following the progress of your aliums with interest, I wonder if you'll get another crop from them. You may have only got a few bunches of grapes from your vine but I bet they taste delicious.

  3. What a clever way to extend your alliums! Going to have to try that myself :)

  4. Pushing the boundaries again, Elaine! Sounds like a very good experiment, I'm intrigued. I'll watch with interest, especially your onions! Beautiful grapes, they look delicious. x

  5. Thinking outside the box (crate) again, Elaine... The prospect of fresh Broad Beans in November is very appealing! Perhaps with a glass (thimble?) of home-made red wine?

  6. interesting! i do like your onion experiment...please keep us posted

  7. I love the way you experiment, and look forward to the results of your quest for the everlasting allium. I love beans too, and was delighted to have grown enough to blanch and freeze a load. Until I tasted them. Whether steamed or boiled, from frozen or after defrosting, they have that awful soggy taste I remember from School Dinners. Is there any way round that? I ask because you seem to know your onions, and beans...

  8. It will be interesting to see the results of your Alliums experiment!


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