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ONION-AILSA CRAIG

ONION-AILSA CRAIG

A$3.50

Availability: Only 1 left in stock

Seeds Per Pack: 170

Allium cepa
ONION-AILSA CRAIG is an old-fashioned heritage variety that is as useful as it is delicious.  Ailsa Craig Onions are well-known for its large size, sweet flavour, and mild aroma.  These onions have a beautiful globe shape and a rich, golden-brown colour. They are a versatile vegetable that can be used in a wide range of dishes, making them a great choice for any garden. The plants can be harvested young & eaten as salad onions, up to when the bulbs begin to develop. The green tops in time become tough and inedible, though by then, the plants have produced large, mild-tasting bulbs that are ideal for cooking & using raw in salads.   They are biennial, meaning they take two years to complete their lifecycle. In their first year, they grow leaves and store energy in their bulbs. In their second year, they use that energy to produce flowers and seeds.

Sow seeds in a good seed compost, just covering the seeds with compost. Higher temps may prevent germination. Transplant seedlings when 3.6cm high into 9cm pots. Making sure the tiny bulb is not covered. When well-rooted plant out in early spring at 38cm apart in a sunny spot in a rich fertile soil with a dressing of fertilizer applied just before planting. Keep the soil moist during dry spells. As the leaves start to yellow bend over the tops leave 14 days then lift and store when thoroughly ripened.

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How to Grow Ailsa Craig Onions

  1. Choose high-quality heritage or heirloom seeds they are often preferred for their superior taste and hardiness.
  2. Pick a sunny spot with full sun, but they can tolerate some shade. Ensure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter.
  3. Plant the seeds directly into the soil, approximately 1cm (0.4 inches) deep and 10cm (4 inches) apart. If planting in rows, space them 30-45cm (12-18 inches) apart.
  4. Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.  Water deeply once a week, or more often if the weather is particularly hot or dry.
  5. When raising seedlings, thin the seedlings once they emerge emerge, to give them more room to grow. Space them 5-7.5cm (2-3 inches) apart.
  6. Fertiliser is not required with Ailsa Craig Onions, but a balanced fertiliser can help promote growth. Apply a slow-release fertiliser once a month.
  7. Harvest Ailsa Craig Onions when the tops begin to yellow and fall over. Lift them out of the ground using a garden fork or shovel.

Heritage of Ailsa Craig Onions

The heritage of Ailsa Craig Onions can be traced back to the Scottish island of Ailsa Craig, were the production of granite is used to make curling stones for the sport of curling.  The onions were first cultivated in the 1800s and have since become a popular variety around the world.  Prized for their flavour and size which can weigh in at 0.9kg (2 pounds), their unique shape is due to the growing conditions on the rocky Island of Ailsa Craig.  Their high sugar content is what makes them so sweet and easy to eat raw.

One of the first vegetable crops to be grown in greenhouses on a large scale, with production beginning in the 19th century.  Today, Ailsa Craig Onions are still grown in Scotland, as well as in other countries such as the United States and New Zealand.

With these simple tips, you can easily grow your own crop in your garden or in containers on your balcony or patio. Enjoy the taste of fresh, homegrown Ailsa Craig onions all year round!

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Category Colour Guide
Planting Guide for Australia

Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Plant Height (cm)

45 - 60

Season of Interest

Summer

Temperature Range (°C)

10 - 20

Determine / Indeterminate

Annual / Perennial / Biennial

Biennial

Frost Hardy / Tender

Hardy

Full Sun / Part Sun / Shade

Full Sun

Sow Direct / Raise Seedlings

Raise seedlings

Soil

Well-drained, fertile soil

pH

60 - 7.5

Soil Temperature (°C)

15 - 20

Seed Preparation

No special preparation required

Sowing Depth (mm)

1

Plant Spacing (cm)

10 - 15

Row spacing (cm)

30 - 45

Watering

Regular watering. Do not let soil dry out

Germination Time (Days)

7 - 10

Harvest Time (Days)

120 - 150

Good Companion Plants

Carrots, Beetroot, Lettuce, Chamomile, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme

Bad Companion Plants

Beans, Peas, Brassicas (such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower), Corn

Pests

Onion fly, Thrips, Onion maggot, Cutworms

Diseases

Fusarium basal rot, Botrytis leaf blight, Downy mildew, Pink root, White rot

More About Us

ABSeeds is an Australian owned business trading under the umbrella of Direct Compost Solutions which is owned and managed by Victoria Brun.

We as a company endeavor to provide to the public, Organic, Old Fashioned, Heritage, and Open-pollinated seeds that have not been genetically modified.

We purchased the business in November 2018 and renamed it to ABSeeds (All ‘Bout Seeds) to make the title shorter and represent what we hope to achieve with this business in the years ahead.

Seeds that we can’t grow ourselves we will acquire from people who grow for us, or we may purchase seeds from reputable heritage seed companies.

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