Noobie needs help: Onions---when and how to plant.

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Arielle, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    While reading this I realized what knowledge I have about setting "sets" to grow onions is only the tip of the ice burg when I read this description from SandHIll: bublets? top setting?? . . . dang, I"m lost.

    2014 Onion (Perennial)

    Egyptian Winter: A very nice treat in the early Spring when they are frequently the first things edible from the garden. This is a topsetting type, where you harvest the topsets in late August, separate them, and then plant them. The roots grow slowly all winter and you eat the tender shoots as mild green onions first thing in the Spring. The topsets will be shipped in late August. We have some left-over 2013 sets are available in the Spring of 2014. The rest of the orders placed will be filled in August, 2014. Spring planted topsets would be best left alone to develop parent plants for future crops and not harvested this year. (Approximately 15 sets/pkt.) Pkt. $3.00

     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There are different kinds of onions. They grow and reproduce in different ways. Some produce seeds, lots of small black seeds on top of the stalk when they bolt. What those in that add sound like are sometimes called “walking onions”. Instead of seeds they produce small onion bulbs on top of the stalk when they bolt. Instead of planting seeds you plant those small bulbs as onion sets.

    Bolt means they send up a stalk that flowers, then produce either seeds or those small bulbs. The onions that bolt don’t store well at all.

    Onions are biannuals. They reproduce their second year but onions are easily confused. A late spring freeze or some other type of stress may knock them into dormancy so that some bolt the first year but some don’t.

    I’ve set out the bulbs in the fall and had none bolt the following year. I’ve planted them in the fall and had practically all of them bolt the following year. I’ve planted them in the spring and had the same results, sometimes a lot bolt and sometimes a lot don’t. I don’t know what the planting recommendations are for Massachusetts but here it is pretty inconsistent whatever I do.
     
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    THe ad is from a grower in the mid west. So figured if he can grow these well enough I might try to figure out how to growth these. lol

    I'm determined to get more self sufficient, and dang we eat a lot of onions, scallions, chives and garlic.

    Interesting that certain types dont store well. Good to know!!

    "bublets" on the top of the stalk was a surprise to me. I figured the flower would produce seeds but was completely floored that the bulblets developed and could be planted. The only other info I knew about onions was that it can be grown as a flower, or at least some varieties have been developed for the large globe.

    Looks like I neeed to keep a journal and write down how the onions do when planted. Perhaps planting here in the fall is not a good thing; my mother in Maine only planted garlic in the fall , so I will take the hint from her , and keep to spring planting of onions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Garlic can easily be propagated by bulbils as well. You'll also need to add to your onion knowledge about day neutral varieties vs. not day neutral. Some varieties do best in our New England day length periods, while other varieties do better down south. Don't ask me for specifics. I'm NOT a good onion farmer.
     
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Well . . . you know enough to know there are better varieties for NEw england than others!!! I didnt know that. Hmmm, will do some sleuthing.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Order a Johnny's Selected Seeds catalog. Their catalog is a great reference book. Gives much more educational information than most seed catalogs. (All others pale by comparison) But, and here's the rub: I drool over their catalog every year, then end up ordering my seed from Fedco, who carries a lot of the same varieties for a fraction of the price.
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    lol That is frugal!!

    Maybe Johnny's is online??
     
  8. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    http://www.gardeninginnewengland.com/displayArticle.aspx?id=12

    Growing Onions in Your New England Garden is Easy



    Until a few years ago, we believed like most people that a supermarket onion was no different from one you could grow in your garden. And because onions are so inexpensive, it always seemed like a waste to take up valuable garden space for something that was so inexpensive to buy year-round. WE WERE SOOOO WRONG!
    A Fresh Onion is a Superior Onion

    Once we started growing them a few years ago, they have become one of the must-haves in our gardens each year. The onions you buy in supermarkets are often months old, having spent their time since harvest in cold storage. The result is dry tasteless onions and unfortunately most people don't know any better. When you grow your own onions, they are maintenance-free garden plants that when sliced open, juice actually runs out like a fresh tomato. And as for taste, let's just say they are unbelievably better than anything we've ever purchased in a grocery store!

    New England Gardens Need a Long-Day Onion
    What the heck is a long-day onion? Well, in its most simplest terms, onions start making the onion bulb underneath the soil depending on the length of the daylight it receives each day. Here in New England, that means using a long-day onion that starts to make the onion when it reaches 12-14 hours of daylight each day. Therefore, make sure you get this kind of onion when you purchase the sets or small live plants. It will be the difference between success and failure with your onion harvest. There are a few varieties of onion that are called day-neutral, meaning that they are not affected by the hours of daylight and can also be used in your garden. We prefer the long-day varieties, because they just seem to work better overall.
    [​IMG]
    The Easiest Way to Plant Onions is with Onion Sets or Small Plants
    An onion set is actually a very small onion itself, about the size of a marble. Onion plants are small live plants, grown from seed by a supplier and then sent to you, the home gardener. We've tried both methods and believe it or not, the live plants seem to root and grow faster than the sets. Either method will work, however. Simply use a pencil or a small stick to make 2-inch holes in your garden about 6-8 inches apart for the plants or bulbs, preferably no later than May 15 regardless of where you are in New England. Onions can tolerate low temps and even a little frost here and there. If you are using sets, its important to remember to place the root-side down in the hole (usually the more rounded end with a bunch of stubble on it) otherwise you'll have some very confused onions. Just fill them in and that's all there is to it.
    Onions Like a Good Watering Like Most Vegetables
    If you want really juicy and tasty onions, make sure you water deeply and thoroughly once a week with all the other vegetables in your garden. Onion roots are not that deep and can dry out quickly when the soil dries out around them. Keep this in mind and give them a little extra attention - you'll be rewarded come harvest time.
    How Do I Know When To Harvest My Onions?
    There's a goof-proof method of harvesting onions. When the green tops fall over and turn brown, pull the onion. Depending on the variety, this could happen anywhere between August and late September. Once pulled, lay them out in the sun to dry for up to a week. Then cut off the dried tops and the roots with a pair of sharp scissors. Wash thoroughly and allow to dry again before storing inside.
    Storing Onions
    Depending on the variety of onion you grow, onions keep anywhere from a month to about 6 months. We've kept onions for up to 5 months in the crisper drawer of the fridge with virtually no loss of taste or quality. Not bad for so little effort and the flavor can't be beat.
    - See more at: http://www.gardeninginnewengland.com/displayArticle.aspx?id=12#sthash.CcRXcGOy.dpuf
     

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