A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL READERS
So, there I was busy planting up my shallot bulbs when I tripped over a tray full of water, put my arm out to break my fall and went through the glass side of the greenhouse. The lucky bit is that the only part of me that got in the way of the breaking glass was the fingers of my right hand. The bad news is that the cut to my middle finger is quite bad and I won't be able to do much for a while. The good news is that my retired nurse wife managed to put me back together with assaulted dressings thus avoiding sitting in casualty for hours on end with all the NY walking wounded. Lessons will probably not be learnt!
So, as the picture shows, there's now a bloody (literally) great hole in the side of the greenhouse which needs a couple of new bits of glass. Thanks to my mate Andy, who kindly did a temporary polythene patch up for me. He's back on Sunday to clip in the new glass, as it's unlikely I'll be able to get the clips in place by then. The cost? The glass + several light and bitters!
Obviously, the above mishap meant that I couldn't get much done. I did manage to finish planting the exhibition shallots, which just leaves a few smaller bulbs which will grown purely with the kitchen in mind.
I had a difficult year with my shallots in 2012. True, I won the class at the village show, albeit with quite small bulbs, but that was primarily down to the fact that everybody else had similar problems. Consequently, my plans of being completely self sufficient shallot-wise didn't happen. However, I was fortunate in that I was given a bag of around 30 'Hative de Niort' bulbs of varying sizes. The largest 21 bulbs are now in 3½" pots. I've also planted up 9 'Jermor' bulbs from Medwyns and 15 of the largest of my own stock of H de N and 'Aristocrat'.
For the past 4 years I've started off my onion seeds in heated propagators and once they've germinated they've been moved to my homemade growing chamber. It's a system that's worked well for me, so I could see no reason to change my routine. I'd got the 4 bits of the chamber out of storage on New Years Eve, so it was just a matter of screwing it back together, placing it on my office work surface by the window, and fixing up the light above. Fortunately, I did all this before the aforementioned mishap to my hand.
The onion seedlings are now in the chamber and growing strongly. I'll thin them down to one seedling per station over the next couple of days.