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(Old?) Onion Sets

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(Old?) Onion Sets

Post  Fireopal36 on 2/1/2012, 3:11 am

I had a friend give me some packages of onion sets, but as I've never planted from sets I don't know if they are too old or still viable...
Oh and I can't find dates on any of the packages.

I have Stuttgarter, Red, and White. and they all seem to be in the same condition.

They all are "flaky" (outside papery skin falling off) and the bulbs themselves are "squishy" for lack of a better word, like they are hollow inside.

Is this normal for dried sets or are these useless and to be thrown out? I don't want to waste precious space planting any of these if they are rubbish!

Any thoughts/tips?
Thanks!
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Fireopal36

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Re: (Old?) Onion Sets

Post  Chopper on 2/1/2012, 4:19 am

I planted what I knew to be past season flaky squishy onion sets in an area that was going to be empty for awhile and was shocked at the great onions I got from them. I expected them to just turn into compost in the bed.

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Re: (Old?) Onion Sets

Post  plantoid on 2/1/2012, 5:21 am

For the types you have ( we have the same inthe UK )...

Even sets past their best can usually give a good account of themselves if planted in your correct season ,
Planting in your early spring is OK to plant them . So is late summer as the temps start to fall . Choose a fine sunny day when the ground is frost free and bung them in so the tops are just a tad below the surface .
If they are so far gone they look like dried raisins & you can't feel any flesh under all the dried skins , you can try to rehydrate them for 24 hrs in a shallow tray of water inside the house and then plant out the next day .
If they are alive you should see some green tops with in a fortnight or so.

Check over the next few days that they have not come above the ground due to birds , worms or the soil reasserting itself.. if they have come up simply replant again and keep checking for a few more days.
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Re: (Old?) Onion Sets

Post  Fireopal36 on 2/1/2012, 5:48 am

Oh thank you so much guys! Glad there's hope!!
Good to know, I'll try to rehydrate them just in case and then plant them. Wish me luck! Laughing
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Re: (Old?) Onion Sets

Post  camprn on 2/1/2012, 11:28 am

Usually with onion sets that are dry and flat, such as you described, I just compost them and buy new. When the condition of the sets is such, it's more likely than not the onions, if they grow at all, will not grow nor keep well.

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Re: (Old?) Onion Sets

Post  littlesapphire on 2/1/2012, 11:31 am

I composted some old disgusting onions last year that were mushy and smelly tongue To my great surprise, they fully revived IN the compost and became the most beautiful onions I've even seen.
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