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Onions I planted in Spring....

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Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  middlemamma on 8/27/2010, 4:35 pm

are not developed yet. Would they be able to continue on through the winter and be harvested early next summer? or are they too far along in their growth to survive the winter? They are all about the size of a shallot.

I stunted them because I didnt seperate them when I planted. Some of you might remember my post where I planted the whole clump of them and then about a month or 2 ago I seperated them and they are still alive just never going to make it to mature before fall comes......

Opinions? Experience?

Thanks guys.... Smile

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  sceleste54 on 8/27/2010, 11:25 pm

I planted some from seed end of last summer . They came up but didn't make bulbs, looked like "spring onions". This spring they really came on and finally made small onions..Small but tasty !!

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Onions

Post  ander217 on 8/28/2010, 9:40 am

Commercial growers make their onion sets by sowing long-day onion seed thickly in late summer, and just when the onions start to bulb they dig them, dry them, and hold them over the winter to sell as onion sets for planting in spring.

You might try that with some of yours and see how they do.

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  jenjehle on 8/28/2010, 10:00 am

I planted some from onion sets this spring. The tops were browning and falling over, so I dug them up. They range in size from a golf ball to a little smaller than a baseball. Haven't tasted them yet but plan on it soon.

Not sure if I was supposed to dig mine up yet, but it seemed like a good time since it didn't look as if they were going to grow any more.

Jenny

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  Blackrose on 8/28/2010, 3:49 pm

I've had similar issues with my onions. I planted them from seedlings that I got at the nursery. They are red onions, so should have grown to a decent size. The tops are starting to brown and fall over on all of them and I don't think there is one that is bigger than a cherry tomato. Sad

I may just skip onions next year.

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  Chopper on 8/28/2010, 4:15 pm

I think you can probably overwinter them. Not sure if you would want to cover them with anything - that I would ask around locally for.

My onions are starting to fall over - planted from sets around St. Paddy's Day. I was thrilled that the first one bulbed at all. So I am easy. But I have seen supermarket onions the same size, so I am happy.

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  Old Hippie on 8/29/2010, 11:29 am

My onions never seem to get very big either which is sort of disappointing. But I dig them up, dry them and use them anyway. They taste fine and last year I had enough to last until middle of January even if they were small.

According to the book I use as my guide, once the tops fall over they are done growing so I just let the tops brown and then pull them up. They look nice braided and hanging in my cold room. It also says that the secret to growing large onions is to plant them as early as you can get into the garden or in fall. If you plant in fall, expect to lose some over the winter and fill in with transplants in the spring. They are also very heavy feeders and like LOTS of organic content in the soil.

Some of mine that didn't grow last year got left in the garden and they grew more this year. We get VERY cold winters so I don't imagine it would hurt to leave them over the winter where you are. I let some of them go to seed and they put out a huge wonderful flower. They are in the allium family so that is the type of flower they put out. The ones I let go to seed had a very tough stem that went right into the middle of the onion, but I took that out and used the rest of the onion. It was kind of cool to see what happened to them.

I am going to try planting some seeds this fall and see what kind of results I get next year. Trying new plants and planting methods is all part of the fun of gardening and even though mine don't get as big as supermarket stuff, I still enjoy growing things for us to eat.

Something that is really strange in my garden.....I planted the onion sets and a couple of days later would find that some of them had been pulled/pushed out of the ground and lying a couple of inches away from where they had been planted. They showed no signs of being chewed or pecked so this completely baffles me. Some of them I replanted several times. As weird as it sounds, do you think earthworms are pushing them out of the ground? I have LOTS of earthworms. It is the only explanation I can think of.

GK

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  Blackrose on 8/29/2010, 6:20 pm

That is good information. Thank you. I may do as you all suggest and leave them to overwinter.

As for the sets being pushed/pulled out of the soil; where I am, I would blame chipmunks. Little troublemakers!

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Onions

Post  ander217 on 8/30/2010, 8:23 am

We planted yellow onion sets in late February or early March in soil enriched with lots of rice hulls. We grew huge onions. We planted red onion transplants in our SFG box in late April and they grew to the size of a quarter. Although onion sets are usually long-day onions, we got them out early so they had time to grow.

This article explains it :

http://www.chestnut-sw.com/fastfact/oniontypes.htm

"When you are shopping for onion varieties to plant in your vegetable garden, you will often see them listed as either short-day onions or long-day onions. Which ones to grow depend upon where you live.

Most onion varieties begin to form a bulb when the temperature and the number of daylight hours reach certain levels. Varieties listed as short-day onions bulb up when the day length is between 12 and 14 hours. Long-day onions, on the other hand, begin to form a bulb when the day length is between 14 and 16 hours.

Northern gardeners should plant long-day onions. In the North, daylight length varies greatly as you get farther and father away from the equator. Winter days are very short, but summer days are long. Long-day onions will have a chance to produce lots of top growth (hence produce bigger bulbs) before the day length triggers bulbing. If short-day onions were grown in the North, the onions would bulb up too early and they would be small by comparison.

Southern gardeners should plant short-day onions. In the South, there is much less variation in day length between seasons than up North. If long-day onions were planted in the South, they may not experience enough day length to trigger the bulbing process."

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More onions

Post  ander217 on 8/30/2010, 8:32 am

Old Hippie, I found onions sets pulled out of the ground, too. I also found seed potatoes pulled up in the row next to the onions. At first I thought it was birds pulling up the onions, but when we started finding the potatoes too, we decided it must be squirrels or voles. I don't think even night crawlers could move a piece of seed potato.

We have had onion tops grow the next year from bulbs we failed to pick up during harvest. We also overwinter our potato onions and Egyptian Walking Onions (winter onions). We add a light mulch to our potato onions to protect them.

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  Blackrose on 8/30/2010, 8:46 am

Excellent article Ander! I guess I need to pay more attention next year to the onions I buy to plant in the SFG. Also, I will plant sets instead of seedlings next time.
thanks

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  Old Hippie on 8/30/2010, 11:26 am

@ander217 wrote:Old Hippie, I found onions sets pulled out of the ground, too. I also found seed potatoes pulled up in the row next to the onions. At first I thought it was birds pulling up the onions, but when we started finding the potatoes too, we decided it must be squirrels or voles. I don't think even night crawlers could move a piece of seed potato.

We haven't got squirrels here and I haven't seen any other sign of voles or mice. It could be crows I guess. I did see one pecking the green tops on some last year and they grab the strawberries and cherry tomatoes when they are not quite ripe enough to pick. GRRRrrrrr!

Great article on the onions. I will have to check out my seed catalogues. Maybe just buying whatever they have at the local garden centre is not the best way to go.

GK

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  Shoda on 8/30/2010, 1:18 pm

I just pulled up my mini garlic and my mini shallots. They died back but the bulbs are very small. Thanks for the advice on drying them out.

I think in our area, these can be grown over winter. How long do I have to dry them out before re-planting them. Right now they are pretty dormant.

Thanks.

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Drying onions

Post  ander217 on 8/31/2010, 8:01 am

When I pull my potato onions in July, they dry and remain dormant until I replant them in November. I'm not sure if it would work the same way with regular onions which are biennials, but you might try waiting three or four months and see how they do.

From reading online it appears that success with replanting regular onions depends on which variety of onion you are growing. After a dormant period some immediately bolt to make seed. Others grow well for green onions but eventually put up seed stalks rather than bulbing, and still others will bulb if the initial growing conditions are correct. It appears that sweet onions bolt the quickest.

If you decide to experiment, keep us posted on how they turn out. At the least you will get fresh green onions to eat.

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

Post  Shoda on 9/2/2010, 12:52 pm

It is definitely worth a try. I planted them too late this year to get a real crop. I have lots of starts though.

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Re: Onions I planted in Spring....

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