We moved to this house two years ago. I dug up some of the lawn to enable us to grow some vegetables. Last year things mostly worked okay. The onions we planted (very small onions) grew and we had a good number of tennis ball sized items. Early this season, I doused the area with an organic fertilizer, an odd material, quite large, hard brown pellets about 15mm long and 5mm in diameter, which I raked into the topsoil before planting this year’s small onions. The above ground parts of the plants have died back now, and I lifted one to see what they looked like. They have grown a little, but are still very small, only about 15mm in diameter. Can I leave them in the ground to grow for another season, or is that a bad idea? I am guessing the fertilizer was not very good.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Check the label or the manufacturer's website for the fertilizer. It is possible that you applied too much or that it should have been dissolved or broken up before adding to the soil.
If left in the ground over the winter, the onions won't be good to eat next year, but they may reproduce, giving you more onions. This will be either in the form of onion seeds next year, bulbils, or underground spread leading to new plants, depending on the variety.
To fix the soil problem, you could get a soil test to see what is going on with the nutrient levels. Or you could add more soil and mix in the fertilizer better to dilute it.
Okay, I guess my wife can always pickle them. Kind of off topic, but the beetroot I planted, (seed), have also been very slow, a couple are getting taller now, they'll stay in for a couple more months. Radish and spring onions seemed okay.