These are my brother's prizewinning onions from last year. He grows proper onions, great big ones, and fantastic leeks as well.

And he's kindly given me some of his seedlings to try. I don't suppose my leeks will approach the size of Superman's biceps like his, but I've potted them on and am hoping for the best. The leeks are Musselborough and Prizetaker, and the onions are Kelsae and Red Baron.
On the subject of onions, or alliums to be exact, I noticed this yesterday in the herbaceous border

around the new growth of the Allium Purple Sensation bulbs that I planted last season. The seedheads of the purple alliums are tall drumstick-like and remain decorative as they fade, so I left them in situ until they more or less fell off at the end of the year. And obviously all the seeds that fell out have germinated into hundreds of tiny new plants.
According to the RHS who have awarded Purple Sensation an Award of Garden Merit, the seedling germinate best after being subjected to winter cold (and there's been plenty of that this year) but they also say that the seedlings may not come true and may have a paler colour than the parents. I hate to waste plants, so I think I will try to move a couple of spadefuls of them to an out of the way spot and see if they make anything.
There are literally hundreds of them though, so the rest will have to go on the compost if I'm not to end up with the Lonely Little Petunia In An Onion Patch, of the old song!


  1. I think that you and your brother should have a contest of sorts to see whose leeks and onions do the best--I would root for you!!! :-)

  2. where in wales does he live....noticed the welsh "cyntaf!"

  3. I too hate to waste plants so when faced with having to remove some, I pot them up and put them on the path at the front of my house, with a sign urging people passing by to help themselves. i even managed to get rid of a load of grape hyacinths that way.

  4. Thanks Kim, but I think you may be on the losing side...

    John - He has a lovely farm in south wales near Ammanford, your welsh is obviously better than mine!

    Tammyk - what a great idea, I do put spare summer veg out but I hadn't thought of doing it with these seedlings, so thanks for that thought.


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