Ted sorry to double up but is that by seed or what. I have seed but no sets or plants. I could buy plants I have never planted anything but sets and that may have been my problem.
I hope I'm not taking this off topic too far.
I feel your pain, Gix.
I've tried for two years to have some good onions and have yet to getanything bigger than a golf ball. Both times I planted starts. I think that my main problem is that I planted them too deep the first year (good for green onions, bad for storage onions) and planted the wrong day-length variety last year. This year, I'm starting from seed!
I've researched a lot on growing onions, there's plenty of information on the web, although some of it contradictory when it comes to planting time and method. I can tell you, though, that onions are heavy feeders and like a lot of nitrogen in the beginning, but phosphorous after that. Their soil should be rich, but well draining. They don't compete well with weeds, so make sure you keep the weeds down. Be careful while cultivating so you do not bruise the bulbs. Plant them only .5 to 1 in deep and 4 in, apart at the closest if you want the big bulbs. You can plant them closer to begin with and thin them for green onions as they get larger.
Now, then, as far as when to plant goes...it depends where you are. Now, I don't know how the south does it (I think they plant them in the winter months), but here in the north you plant the sets (long-day only) about two or three weeks before your last frost. For me (and my zone is like yours) late March to mid-April.
Seeds, now those are another story, and a bit of a mystery story at that. Some say you can plant the seeds in the ground if February, others say to plant them the same time you plant the sets. Now, I don't have any proof to back this up, but I think that if you plant your onion seed the same time you plant the sets, those seeds are not going to grow into the big onion bulbs that I'm looking for. Of, course, I could be totally wrong on this since I have yet to try it.
One interesting thing I cam across is a person in our zone who grew onions from seed and kept a sort of a journal on it. These onions were stared indoors in the beginning of January and I believe that the person said that she would have started them the first of February (it looks like you're right on schedule
) since the beginning of January was found to be a little too early. Long story short (well, a little late for that
) the onions grew well and to a good size.
I will be going by this person's experience for my seed starting this year.
I hope these help you out Gix, and anyone else who's had any onion trouble.
Good luck with your onions!