Late January in the Allotment Garden

Late January in the Allotment Garden: Transplanting soft-fruit and digging and dividing Egyptian Walking Onions -- perennial onions that form bulbils at the top of a tall stalk
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January is when your allotment looks like a building site

At least, that’s the case with mine. The earth is bare, the two raised beds are dug and I have a pile of wood and black plastic covering parts of my garden. Despite all of this I feel like I’m catching up with work and planning for the spring season ahead. With so many green shoots beginning to emerge, I’m feeling pressured to get a move on it though.

Yesterday I spent four hours weeding, moving soft-fruit bushes, and generally tidying my plot. I also divided and replanted my Egyptian Walking Onions. These are a perennial onion that create larger bulbs at the base and small ‘Bulbils’ at the top of a long stalk. When the bulbils get heavy enough, they fall to the ground and baby plants take root a distance away from the parent plant.

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Late January in the Allotment Garden: Transplanting soft-fruit and digging and dividing Egyptian Walking Onions -- perennial onions that form bulbils at the top of a tall stalk

Sprouts forming on the bulbil of an Egyptian Walking Onion

Egyptian Walking Onions

Egyptian Walking Onions are also called ‘Tree Onions’, ‘Top Onions’, or ‘Winter Onions’ and they tend to start sprouting in late winter and early spring. You can eat all parts of the plant but if you avoid digging up the main bulb the plant will grow year after year. Stick to just harvesting the chive-like greens and tiny bulbils to ensure they’ll keep growing.

Saying that, the main bulbs also sprout baby bulbs under the ground. This is the reason that it’s a good idea to dig them up and divide them each year. At that time it wouldn’t hurt to take a few for the kitchen if you have enough to spare.

Late January in the Allotment Garden: Transplanting soft-fruit and digging and dividing Egyptian Walking Onions -- perennial onions that form bulbils at the top of a tall stalk

Transplanting Soft Fruit

I gave up my original garden plot two years ago when one at the top of our field became available. Since then I’ve been slowly transforming the top space and moving plants up the field. I’m trying to finish all of this work now because if I wait too much longer I won’t have time to move them before spring.

Winter is the best time to move and transplant soft-fruit since the plants are dormant – they’re sleeping and awaiting warmer weather. This makes them more able to take to a new place if you have to move them. So yesterday I finally moved the last of the thorn-less blackberries and have them planted in a row at the foot of my allotment garden. I also transplanted a red currant bush and two weeks ago I moved a small apple tree.

 

Late January in the Allotment Garden: Transplanting soft-fruit and digging and dividing Egyptian Walking Onions -- perennial onions that form bulbils at the top of a tall stalk

Other Jobs for the next Two Weeks

The work never ends and before spring sowing and planting there’s much to be done. These tasks should keep me busy up until the middle of February:

  • Pulling back more of the black plastic and building another raised bed
  • Driving in supports for the row of thorn-less blackberries
  • Re-lining the pond since it looks like it’s got a leak somewhere
  • Preparing for our allotment AGM (Annual General Meeting)

Late January in the Allotment Garden: Transplanting soft-fruit and digging and dividing Egyptian Walking Onions -- perennial onions that form bulbils at the top of a tall stalk

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2 Discussion to this post

  1. Evie Wainwright says:

    Just what is an allotment garden?

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