Vegetables can be propagated from tubers, sets and cloves as well as from seeds. The tubers, sets and cloves are larger stores of food for the new vegetables to make a flying start growing for the new season. This is a vegetative reproduction process which means that the new plants will be exactly the same as the original plant that produced the tubers, sets or cloves. On the other hand when growing from seeds, the new plants may not be exactly the same as the plants that produced the seeds, due to the possibility of cross pollination.
Potatoes tubers are the usual means of propagating a new crop of potato plants, for the most common varieties. However, for some of the rarer heritage varieties, such as Highland Burgundy Red, they can be started from vegetative cuttings to grow the first plants, and in subsequent years, replant the tubers that have been saved from the first plants.
For detailed planting and growing instructions, see potatoes.
Jerusalem Artichokes are propagated by planting tubers grown the previous year.
For detailed planting and growing instructions, see Jerusalem Artichokes.
Onion sets are a frequent starting point for the growing of Onions by amateur growers. The mini-sized onions, whose growth has been suspended over Winter, are reasonably priced and make a quick start in the Spring.
There are also hardy varieties of Autumn Onion sets, which can over-winter in situ in the ground and make a quick start as soon as the weather warms up. Sadly, they do not always withstand the cold, wind and wet in the Glasgow Area, but can do better further South in the UK. Onions can also be grown from seeds, either directly sown in the ground as is common with sybies or salad onions.
For detailed planting and growing instructions, see Onions.
Shallot sets are the usual starting point for the growing of Shallots by amateur growers. These are full sized Shallots that have been saved and dried from the previous year’s harvest, and replanted in the Spring to grow and multiply into new Shallots. It is a relatively expensive way of growing Shallots, and you should only use disease free, certified stock to prevent bringing disease into your ground. Shallots can also be grown from seed, but each seed only produces one Shallot.
For detailed planting and growing instructions, see Shallots.
For Garlic and Elephant Garlic, cloves are the usual way of growing new heads of Garlic. You should only use disease free, certified stock, not supermarket bought garlic, to prevent bringing disease into your ground.