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The onion bed is growing

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The onion bed is growing

Post  ander217 on 3/17/2011, 10:30 am

I took this photo of hubby's onions yesterday. The sprouting sets are Yellow Stuttgarter or Red Wethersfield long-day onions. The plants on the center right are transplants of yellow Granex, a short-day onion. The deeper green at the back are my potato onions.

(Hubby experimented with using heavy wire to make the grids on a couple of these beds. We don't like it and are changing to something else for the remainder.)

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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/17/2011, 2:36 pm

That's a lot of onions!

I just ran by the stores up here today to see if they were putting transplants out because of the run of weather we are getting. Of course...calendar be damned. They have all sorts of tomatoes out.

But, I did notice onions. Walla walla, Sweet Red, Texas Sweet, and another "sweet" variety that's name is escaping me. Any experience with those?

A "bunch" of 15 was selling for $3.69 and I didn't buy onion seeds this year. I may give them a shot.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/17/2011, 2:44 pm

BYBG are you serious, 15 for $3.69, we get them locally at our little mom and pop grocery store for $1.19 per 100. I got Texas Sweet and Texas Super Sweet. I hate onions, and they hate me just as much but they are supposed to help keep bugs away, they had better work, I'm still sneezing and snotting from planting the little buggers.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  camprn on 3/17/2011, 3:07 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote:BYBG are you serious, 15 for $3.69, we get them locally at our little mom and pop grocery store for $1.19 per 100. I got Texas Sweet and Texas Super Sweet. I hate onions, and they hate me just as much but they are supposed to help keep bugs away, they had better work, I'm still sneezing and snotting from planting the little buggers.
+1
That sounds like the price of onions but doesn't sound like the right price for onion sets. They should look like the little ones in the photo. and they are usually sold by the pound or per 100.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/17/2011, 3:34 pm

I'm still a newbie by most standards, but these came with little white bulbs with roots and some greens at the top, not sure what they are called, but the sign said "onions, $1.19 a bunch of 100"....
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  kimbertangleknot on 3/17/2011, 4:33 pm

Onion sets are the ones you have FV. The other ones look like the mini cooking onions you can get in the produce section in grocery stores. Like the tiny ones in the picture. I bought a package of the later for $2.00 at Lowes, but I got 90+ in that bag. They aren't a special kind, just a yellow onion. So I can see where it might be a bit more expensive for something a bit nicer?

Have to say that after seeing the onion bed and learning a bit more about onions in general, I'm hoping that I'll have at least a few I can pull up later in the year and use for cooking. Would be great.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  Smartchick on 3/17/2011, 4:38 pm

I'm wondering if those weren't onion plants, not sets. I have not had good luck with sets for some reason, but have been wildly successful with plants (and my Gram who has the greenest thumb of anyone I know always uses plants - yep she's still gardening at 90 years old!). I paid $3.49 for a bunch at Earl May and planted about 40 this morning and had maybe 10-12 left over.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/17/2011, 4:51 pm

I hope I haven't mis-spoke. They were rubber-banded in bunches of 15. They had snipped stalks and were with the tomato transplants. They obviously weren't for eating yet. It would be equal to buying a bag of bulbs that had 15 bulbs in the bag for $3.69.

Still a ripoff? If so, I'm sure glad I said something.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  Smartchick on 3/17/2011, 5:07 pm

Well, BBG, either yours is a ripoff or mine is the deal of the century! Shocked I was trying to find a good pic of "onion plants" and it appears that I did get a pretty good price compared to what I have found. Onion plants/transplants look like mini green onions - they usually have a couple green leaves at the top and roots on the bottom (sometimes I have seen them with the tops snipped) and they are usually rubber banded together in bunches. Last year I bought two varieties and didn't have a single "dud". This year I bought White Spanish Sweet which are supposed to keep longer than the yellow sweets I bought last year.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/17/2011, 5:20 pm

Whoo-hoo !! Great onion garden.

My plants came just today (mixed bunch of 75) and I'm not even going to tell you how much I paid (OK, it was just under $15)

-Borrettana cipollini (the mini flat yellow onions that are SO good in a roast)
-Red Torpedo (sweet red that I see Lidia using all the time)
-Lancelot leeks (like King Richard but virus tolerant)

Debs....wishing she had put garlic in last fall, getting hungry for scapes.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  camprn on 3/17/2011, 5:25 pm

All onions are not created equally. The following links are to some good information about onions:

Illinois Uni

Mother Earth News

Santa Clara Master Gardeners

Onion Wiki
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  kimbertangleknot on 3/17/2011, 5:26 pm

@Lavender Debs wrote:Whoo-hoo !! Great onion garden.

My plants came just today (mixed bunch of 75) and I'm not even going to tell you how much I paid (OK, it was just under $15)

-Borrettana cipollini (the mini flat yellow onions that are SO good in a roast)
-Red Torpedo (sweet red that I see Lidia using all the time)
-Lancelot leeks (like King Richard but virus tolerant)

Debs....wishing she had put garlic in last fall, getting hungry for scapes.

Where did you get yours from if I may ask?
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/17/2011, 5:36 pm

Smartchick, that sounds like what I got for $1.19 per 100.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/17/2011, 5:59 pm

@kimbertangleknot wrote:Where did you get yours from if I may ask?

TSC
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  middlemamma on 3/17/2011, 6:56 pm

I paid a lot more for potato onions which look like a shallot, or garlic clove when you plant it, and when I got PLANTS last year I paid about what BYBG did for about 50...So I wonder if it is regional?

Jennie
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sets v. transplants

Post  ander217 on 3/18/2011, 9:24 am

The small, round, onion bulbs without roots or tops about the size of a nickel are onion sets. They are usually sold by the bag or scoop.

The miniature onion plants with tops and roots are transplants. They are sold by the bunch.

Difference between onion transplants and sets


We paid $1.29 for 75 yellow Granex onion transplants at a local grocery store. I've seen them as high as $2.99 for 50 at a local farm store, so the price can vary widely.

Granex is the usual variety of onions which are marketed as Vidalia onions. Vidalia is a trademarked name used by people raising onions in several counties in the vicinity of Vidalia, Georgia, and only onions grown in that area are supposed to go by that name since it is the soil in the area which is supposed to make the onions so sweet. But they usually plant the Grano or Granex varieties for Vidalia onions. They are a short-day onion.

BYBG, we get both short-day and long-day onions here since we're sort of in the middle between the two regions. I'm not sure if you could get by with short-day onions in St. Louis or if you need to grow long-day, but usually the stores in your area will carry the type that is best for your area. We would both probably do best with the medium-day varieties requiring about 13-14 hours of daylight to trigger bulbing, but there aren't many of those available.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/18/2011, 12:02 pm

This is probably better for row gardens, but I am old and have too many starts to be poken holes all day. Gonna give it a shot...or is that a shove?

Deborah....doing the dance of joy, trying to not step on the onions.

Digging Food's Onion Planting
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/18/2011, 12:52 pm

Thanks for the help, Ander....and others.

It's beginning to look a lot like a rip-off....everywhere I turn. (Sung to the tune of ...look like Christmas)

$3.69 for 15 is sounding plain old stupid. And, I have the time to find other places that may sell onions. I'm glad I checked with you all first.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  staf74 on 3/18/2011, 2:05 pm

I planted 3 types of onion sets about 3 weeks ago.

Local farmers exchange had red, yellow and white short day varieties. All were $2.99 per pound. I bought a pound of yellow and a half each of red and white.

All are poking through the soil and some already are a few inches high. Some i planted at 3 or 4 inches apart for larger bulbs and some around 1 or two inches apart for smaller spring onions for salads. In total that was around 160 onions.

I did rows though Embarassed
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We be lazy

Post  ander217 on 3/19/2011, 8:36 am

@Lavender Debs wrote:This is probably better for row gardens, but I am old and have too many starts to be poken holes all day. Gonna give it a shot...or is that a shove?

My grandmother used to plant her Bermuda onions in a trench, but we are lazy onion gardeners, Deborah. We just take our sets or transplants and press them down in the soil. We don't poke holes or dig trenches, or bother with spreading out the roots of transplants. We aren't too particular about how deep we plant them, either.

We've found onions to be very forgiving. If we accidentally drop one on top of the soil, it will root and start growing, too.

If we lived in a different climate it might be another story, but in our area they seem to grow regardless of how we treat them.
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Re: The onion bed is growing

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/19/2011, 9:45 am

Ya know ander I tell folk all the time (I'm older now so I'm practicing using words like "folk"), you cannot kill a onion with a hammer and yet I am still careful with babies. Duhh! You are exactly right.
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did you notice...

Post  dmsandlin on 3/21/2011, 4:52 pm

...all the forks in the picture? How handy! As soon as it's ready, why waste the extra time going inside to get a fork, just have several handy in the garden.

Or is this some new plant I'm unaware of?

We got 100 Red Wetherfield & 100 yellow (?) onion sets (the small bulbs) from a bigbox store for $6.
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Forks

Post  ander217 on 3/21/2011, 5:34 pm

@dmsandlin wrote:...all the forks in the picture? How handy! As soon as it's ready, why waste the extra time going inside to get a fork, just have several handy in the garden.

lol!

If you look closely, you'll also see a few knives and spoons, too. Now if I can fashion a napkin into a shade cloth I'm ready for lunch. Smile

I learned that fork trick from someone here on the forum - plastic utensils make great plant markers. I keep a felt marker and forks in my planting kit. Another great tip was using forks because it helps deter kitties from "visiting" the beds. (Sorry, I've forgotten who passed along those great tips, but stand up and take a bow if you read this.)
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