Onion – Fasto F1
Onion – Fasto F1 is an early maturing onion variety which produces an excellent yield of delicious onions. These onions store extremely well. Produces perfectly globe shaped onions.
Late January to March (with heat)
Sow 4 seeds per cell in modular trays and plant out 8-10 weeks after sowing without splitting up the seedlings.
Between rows: 30cm
Between plants in the row: 30cm (4 plants per station)
Approx. seed count: 70sds
Growing Onion – Fasto F1
Onions are amongst the most versatile of vegetables. They are easy to grow are also very productive – from a relatively small area you can get enough onions to last for many months.
In my opinion, onions are an essential part in any garden and indeed in any dish.
Types of onions
There are two types of bulb onions – spring and autumn types. Either of them can be grown from seed or planted as onion sets. The spring planted crops are generally more reliable but a few autumn planted sets will extend the harvesting season of onions especially if grown in a polytunnel. Onions have brown, yellow, white, red or purple skins and also come in different shapes.
Soil and site
Onion – Fasto F1 requires a reasonably fertile soil with a good tilth and excellent drainage. If you have a heavy, wet soil it is essential that you make a raised bed to avoid potential disease problems. Spread one bucket of well-decomposed garden compost per square meter. Onions prefer an open, sunny site.
Sowing and planting
Growing from sets:
Growing onions from sets is a lot easier for a beginner. Onion sets are small immature onions. You simply plant the little bulbs around mid March-mid April in a well prepared, firm seed bed. Plant red varieties only in mid April – they are less prone to bolting then.
Autumn onions can be planted in September to early October.
The general recommendation is to plant them so that the top half of the bulb is still showing above ground. In areas where birds like to play with them (or mistake them for some insect) and pull them out you may need to protect the young sets with a netting for a few weeks.
Onion sets should be firm, rounded, no shoots or roots visible and of small to medium size – the better the sets the better your crop will be.
Growing from seed:
Onion – Fasto F1
If you grow onions from seed you have a wonderful choice of varieties but you need to start the seeds early (late January/February) on a heating bench at 18°C. Onions grown from seed tend to be healthier and less likely to bolt.
I usually sow 4 seeds per cell in a modular tray and place the tray on a heating bench in a greenhouse or polytunnel. Around mid-March I move the tray off the heating bench but still leave it in the tunnel. In early April start hardening off and in late April they can be planted out. I plant each module containing the four seedlings (do not split them up) into the garden.
Modular grown seedlings (4 seeds per module) are spaced 30cm x 30cm apart each way and staggered.
Between rows: 25cm
Between plants: 10cm
It is absolutely essential to rotate onions in order to minimise various soil borne diseases such as white rot.
Apart from regular hoeing and weeding there is little else to do. Be careful, however, that you don’t hoe too deep as onions have a very shallow root system.
Harvest Onion – Fasto F1 in July/August when around three quarter of all leaves have turned yellow and fallen over.
The best way to dry the bulbs is to lay them out on the soil not touching each other, in full sun for as long as possible. Before the weather turns move the bulbs into an open shed with good air circulation and lay them on chicken wire or pallets in a single layer. Tidy the bulbs and remove any loose skin and soil.
Once dry they can be tied in bunches (plaits) and hung in a dry, frost-free shed or even in the kitchen. If properly dried, onions will keep until March the following year.
Never cut off the stalks of your onions before they have dried otherwise they will rot within a few weeks. If you want to store them loose wait till the stalks are papery and pull off easily. This is possible about 2 months after pulling.
Onion fly, onion eelworm and birds.
White rot, neck rot and downy mildew.
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