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Can I grow onion sets from seed?

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Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 7/15/2010, 12:10 pm

I have a nice seed head from this year's yellow sweet onions. When/how would I start these to make onion sets for next spring?
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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  Megan on 8/29/2010, 11:22 am

Hey Squat,

I think Ander has addressed this somewhere... sets seem to come from seed, the first year, and then the set turns into an onion the year after that? I don't know if now is a good time to plant, but certainly worth the effort. Hopefully someone else will chime in with more info!
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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  camprn on 8/29/2010, 3:09 pm

I planted onion seed in march in doors. I then used the small onions as sets for a late summer planting. I could have saved the sets for next year spring too. hmm... maybe I should grow some sets now... good idea Squat! Very Happy
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Growing onion sets

Post  ander217 on 8/29/2010, 3:54 pm

Commercial growers usually sow their seed in late summer and when the bulbs are less than an inch in diameter they dig them, dry them, and save them for shipping as sets in spring.

Your onions grown from seed in spring and then dug while small would probably work okay as long as they haven't completely dried up over the winter. I think I read somewhere that commercial sets are usually grown from long-day onions, so it might make a difference which kind of onion you planted. (I'm no expert. You should probably research it to be sure.)
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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/29/2012, 3:17 pm

@camprn wrote:I planted onion seed in march in doors. I then used the small onions as sets for a late summer planting. I could have saved the sets for next year spring too. hmm... maybe I should grow some sets now... good idea Squat! Very Happy

I just bot some onion seeds. If I'm understanding this correctly, it's OK to plant them now, then I pull them up and dry them.....when? And then plant them in the spring?

CC
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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  camprn on 8/29/2012, 7:20 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@camprn wrote:I planted onion seed in march in doors. I then used the small onions as sets for a late summer planting. I could have saved the sets for next year spring too. hmm... maybe I should grow some sets now... good idea Squat! Very Happy

I just bot some onion seeds. If I'm understanding this correctly, it's OK to plant them now, then I pull them up and dry them.....when? And then plant them in the spring?

CC
may be worth sowing in place and just let them winter over under mulch, they might make it all on their own...... maybe I will try this! Good thinkin' CC! Wink

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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/30/2012, 11:18 am

"Let them winter over under mulch"

Now that's easy. I love easy. I'm on board. Let's try it.

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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  plantoid on 8/30/2012, 11:29 am

Growing your own sets from seed sown mid summers day to end of summer in 2 " of sand in a wooden tray on the shaded side of a wall is how we often do it here do it here in the UK. Though you can sow in the open providing it is a very light & sandy old unfertilized plot around this time of the year ... For me this year is far too wet & cold for me to consider sowing any seed I have left over .

There is a tendency for the sets to bolt when the sets are sown in Autumn or early spring .
The Japanese have much reduced this by heat treating the bulbs to damage the flower growth node so it takes much longer for them to bolt ...... meanwhile the onion bulb develops .

I don't know how they heat treat them , so do be prepared to have a feast of fried bolters or a shed load of onion based salads.. Wink
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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/30/2012, 11:36 am

I have lots of sandy unfertilized soil up against the house. I'll put a few seeds there and see what happens. I do water them, right Plantoid?

CC
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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  plantoid on 8/30/2012, 11:45 am

Only when youv'e sown them and once every few weeks if the weather is extremely dry & windy .
My test would be drag a scoop 2 inches deep across the soil if on the lower soil the sand runs free it's too dry
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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/30/2012, 12:08 pm

I have about 8 - 10 wks before first frost. When do I pull the sets out? Or do I leave them in?

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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  plantoid on 8/30/2012, 12:17 pm

When the bulbs reach just over 1/2 inch in diameter , dry & store them in a frost free place .

If you still have a few weeks before first frost re plant then 1 " deep after first frost during a warmer frost free period like you would with commercially purchased heat treated overwintering bulbs..
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Re: Can I grow onion sets from seed?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/30/2012, 12:37 pm

Okie dokie. Looks like I'll be doing a few experiments this fall. How fun is that?!

Thanks for the help!
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