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Onions, onions, and more onions

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Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  ander217 on 2/20/2011, 7:57 am

Our temps were in the 70s, the mix in the beds was perfect, so even though it's the middle of February we went all silly yesterday and planted onions. And more onions. And then some more onions. And we finished off with some shallots.

We had a 4' x 10' bed which had potato onions growing in eight squares at one end. Hubby finished off the entire bed with onions (except for one square which he is saving to plant in Nantes carrots in competition with my Nantes square in our deep box.)

He planted over 100 sets of Stuttgarter, over 100 sets of Red Wethersfield, 60 plants of Granex, one square of mixed-color, unnamed sets, and a square of shallots.

I was surprised that Wal-Mart sold long-day onions for us. I thought here in the mid-range we would do better with short-day onions such as the Granex, but we are giving the long-days a shot. They probably won't get as large, but it's what we had available so we went with them. It will help that we're getting them out this early. At least we have plenty of straw for mulch for when the freezing temps hit again.

If they do well, you're all invited to my house for French onion soup next winter. We should have plenty to go around.
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  Megan on 2/20/2011, 8:02 am

Wow, that's a lot of onions! I still have mystery sets out there from last year. I need to get out there and plant the rest of my potato onion starts, too.
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  camprn on 2/20/2011, 9:05 am

I am jealous Ander!!! A respectable sowing! I m growing my own sets this year; we shall see if this works.
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  Old Hippie on 2/20/2011, 4:19 pm



I still have 12 WEEKS to the usual planting week here which is about two or three weeks ahead of my last frost date.

Gwynn

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RE: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  Goosegirl on 2/20/2011, 5:10 pm

Ah, 9 weeks to go here before my onions can go in, but it shall go fast, it shall go fast, it shall go fast....

It's not going fast enough.....
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  miinva on 2/20/2011, 8:22 pm

French onion soup is so heavenly! I look forward to hearing how your onions turn out. We tried them last year but didn't have much luck.

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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/20/2011, 9:05 pm


That is a lot of onions. And here I thought I was over doing it with 60 onion transplants.
Granex
We eat a lot of onions, wish i had room for more, and this is the second time I ever grew onions in the garden. I am curious if yall can tell me how well onions keep in the ground weeks after blooming and dying down. Will they rot?
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  ander217 on 2/21/2011, 1:19 am

@CarolynPhillips wrote:
I am curious if yall can tell me how well onions keep in the ground weeks after blooming and dying down. Will they rot?

Yep.

My dad's saying was, "Never let a July rain hit your onions."
I don't know how that timing would translate to your region.
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  bowlwoman on 2/21/2011, 1:36 am

You have seriously got onions on the brain. Very Happy

We planted one of our 2X2 boxes all in onions and leeks a month or so ago, so I have a total of 48 onion sets (16 Texas sweet 1015s, 16 red, 16 white) and 9 leeks in the box. If you're planning to harvest that many onions, I call dibs on the French onion soup for Christmas. I think it would be quite tasty with the prime rib and Yorkshire puddings.

And here I was feeling guilty that I hadn't sent you the rest of my leftover onion sets. Do you even still need them? If not, I'll give them to the girls' school.
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Sets to go

Post  ander217 on 2/21/2011, 6:48 am

Speaking for myself only, please donate them. I'm sure if we had them your father would find someplace to plant them. Smile
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  FarmerValerie on 2/21/2011, 9:08 am

We picked some up yesterday at one of our local mom and pop feed stores, we try to shop local when we can. I will admit, onions don't like me, they swell my eyes shut, yes totally shut, reek havoc on my nasal cavities, and let's just say I'd rather have a hang over the day after eating them. I can eat dehydrated onions, and I can get away with salsa, if not overloaded with them, but onions just don't like me. BUT I read they help deter some pests so I bought 2 bunches of 100 plants to set out, and I bought them purely on their name. I got Texas Sweet Onions, and Texas Super Sweet Onions. The Super Sweet are supposed to get fairly big, the others looked average, but I may be way off base here. But hey, at least I got to stick a few things in the ground, got broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts out too.

Okay, since you have so much fun with onions I have a question or two, or three (LOVED your article by the way).

Spacing, SFG book says 16 per square, now some of the onions I have seen down here could easily grow 1 per square, but we just want a few for onion rings, and seasoning so I'm not looking for bloomin' onion sizes. I did 9 per square of the Texas Sweet, and 4 per square of the Super Sweet, they looked quite large. How do you do yours? I'm not sure what they will do or what type they are, they just came in a bundle of 100 and were abut 5" tall. Is the best guide when sticking these in the ground common sense and size?

I had planed on putting onions and garlic with my corn, beans, and summer squash (Three Sisters Method) just to try it out, but I read in companion planting not to put onions and garlic with beans and peas, is it because they add nitrogen to the soil? How far away can I get away with planting these 2 from beans if I use the 3 Sisters method, garlic and onions are supposed to help deter squash bugs. I'll use radishes as a deterrent if I must, but we are not radish fans and I'll have to find them a home when they are done and I cannot find Tansy (another supposed deterrent) anywhere. I am wondering if since I have corn with the beans would my garlic and onions be okay as they will be in a square next to the corn and beans, maybe I could put down a border of some type. As I said in my comments on your article I research things to death, chasing rabbits is an occupational hazard of mine.

I'll leave you alone now, but any tips on planting onions (& garlic) would be much appreciated.
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/21/2011, 9:37 am

Ander, Great article! It answered all my questions and then some. Loved it.
You are the Onion Queen.
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  Megan on 2/21/2011, 6:05 pm

Ander, that was a fantastic article, thank you!!!

@FarmerValerie wrote:I had planed on putting onions and garlic with my corn, beans, and summer squash (Three Sisters Method) just to try it out, but I read in companion planting not to put onions and garlic with beans and peas, is it because they add nitrogen to the soil? How far away can I get away with planting these 2 from beans if I use the 3 Sisters method, garlic and onions are supposed to help deter squash bugs.

I tried planting onions in with my Three Sisters set-up last year for the exact same reason. Perhaps I just don't have a green thumb for onions, but it did not work out well. A very few of them are still in the ground and I may yet get something from them, but most of the many (many!) sets I planted just didn't make it. I think they were shaded and strangled out before they ever got a chance.
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  FarmerValerie on 2/21/2011, 6:50 pm

I just read on another post that peas, beans, and onions stunt each others growth, so if you had beans in there blame it on the beans, works for me.
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Re: Onions, onions, and more onions

Post  Goosegirl on 2/22/2011, 7:13 am

Just checked my Henry Fields order online for tentative delivery dates. 150 onion plants and my 2 yr asparagus crowns set to deliver MID APRIL! My calendar shows my 'in ground' date at 4-23-11. YeeHaw!
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Onion questions

Post  ander217 on 2/22/2011, 8:32 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:

Okay, since you have so much fun with onions I have a question or two, or three.
Spacing, SFG book says 16 per square, now some of the onions I have seen down here could easily grow 1 per square, but we just want a few for onion rings, and seasoning so I'm not looking for bloomin' onion sizes. I did 9 per square of the Texas Sweet, and 4 per square of the Super Sweet, they looked quite large. How do you do yours? Is the best guide when sticking these in the ground common sense and size?

The way I plant my onions is 16 to a square if I want green onions. I pull every other one for scallions, leaving eight in the square to reach maturity. I stagger the rows so that the first square below eventually looks like the second:


. . . .!. . !
. . . .! . .!
. . . .!. . !
. . . .! . .!

For larger onion varieties I plant nine initially, then pull four scallions from one square and five from the next in such a way as to leave five in one square (like the fives on a pair of dice) and four in the next - one in the outer middle of each side. This makes them spaced evenly in a series of squares. Sort of like this:


!. .! . !. .!
! . !. .! . !
!. .! . !. .!

Hope that helps.
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