Every year I plant a punnet of shallot seedlings and never once in 3 years have they been successful. Any advice for getting to them to go full term would be greatly appreciated. This year a small black mite attacked and wiped out the lot in the space of a few days, came out and noticed the leaves were covered in what look like tiny aphids but it was too late to do anything. Same thing has now appeared on my sweetcorn in a different area of the garden, so any advice to stop this spreading would also be appreciated.
black aphids hate soapy water, real soap does the trick but you have to do it often.
I grow those trendy long shallots and initially had trouble getting seed so i got some shallots from supermarket and let them go to seed. Sow your seed in a tray about April and let them grow to 10cms. Plant out 10cms apart. They take longer to mature than normal onions. Save your own seed, it works much better.
Thanks Muri, That could be my issue, I’ve always ended up planting around August/September when I’ve seen seedlings in the garden centre. You reckon try planting earlier (around the beginning of April?) instead?
I’ve come to the realisation in the last couple of years that the garden centre at my local mitre 10 can be a bit hit and miss in regards the seedlings they’ve got. They’ve had a few things that just look way too late in the season to get to maturity before the weather changes and kills them off
I smile when I see the advice to go to your local garden centre and see what's in season. I worked at a garden centre and spent my time (quietly ) advising customers NOT to buy the tomato plants or corn in February !
With regards to the onions I have planted shallots and garlic in autumn, mid winter and in spring and it has made no difference to their failure due to rust. I have great success with red onions and spring onions but have just spent an hour hosing off blackfly off the spring onions.
as I mentioned previously, sow seed in April in trays.
I use a Planet Junior with a plow blade to open a trench and lay the plants in, only just covering the roots. Then I use back of rake to bring a little soil over the roots and firm it with the head of the rake. It's quick and easy.
I have learned that rust is encouraged if you over water onions. Now I only water if there are signs of stress - but of course you have to water the young plants in for about a week.
Thanks for that advice Tony. I never have a lot of luck with the onion family from seed so usually buy seedlings but I might give that a go this year
Shallot seeds are hard to get but TradeMe has
Just get some seed mix and a tray about 70mm deep, scatter seed and press it down. Water and keep covered for a few days.
Easiest is to buy shallots and plant them, even though they may look dried up, they will start growing when you plant. Thats how i plant mine, I dont bother with seeds or seedlings, I save enough each summer to plant in the following winter and leave some in the ground when they shrivel up in summer because they lack moisture, and they spring back when the growing conditions are right
yes, this is how they do it in the UK, but here for me they usually go straight to seed?