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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

OK, I've also been doing a bit of research into starting onions from seed indoors ahead of time. It seems the big difference is that in the southern areas, you don't get the long daylight hours that we get in the north during early summer (I guess this makes sense when you remember that in Alaska, sun's still up pretty high in the sky at 11PM). My source (which I can't find at the moment so this is from memory) said 12 hrs day/12 hrs night in the south. The long day onions which we're supposed to plant won't start bulbing until after daylight hours are longer than 14, but short day onions will start bulbing when daylight hours are around 12 when they're still much too young, and then finish growing alltogther, which is WAY too early for us.

What all this means is that when you're growing those long day onions from seed, you need to keep your lights on 12/12 schedule, UNLIKE the way you want to keep them at 16/8 or so for toms and peppers or even lettuce and crucifer starts which you (or at least I) would be starting in another week or so and growing at the same time as the onions (or some flower transplants too). In other words, you need to grow your onion seedlings isolated and under their own light schedule.... I'm definitely using one of my 10" clamp on lights with a CFL. If the area gets daylight, don't forget to synchronize your timer with the sun.

I'm thinking I've finally formulated my onion plans, so I'll most likely start those seeds tomorrow. :D
Last edited by applestar on Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

If you dig deeper you will find some believe it's not that they need say 12 hours of light but more like 12 hours of darkness.

Super Green Thumb
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Location: ohio


I've been growing mine in front of window light :shock:! Maybe this is why they don't seem to all grow straight ant tall. I won't have any room at all under the lights, so this will just have to do. I hope they turn out alright :?.

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Best onion production for me is to plant plants in mini-hills or ridges. Last year, we had many extra inches of rainfall, and the onions were in their hills and some in raised beds with hills. Four bunches of plants from Dixondale Farms (no connection), resulted in more than 6 five gallon buckets of prize bulbs...after the tops were trimmed. I probably 'robbed' the beds of another bucket or two before the major harvest. We are heavy users of onions and garlic.

Have raised onions from seed in the past, but this requires a longer time commitment than I can manage. Last year, I raised some overwintering bunching onions and am looking forward to having them soon. This fall, I will keep some of them under a low tunnel for winter munching.

All alliums need huge amounts of nutrients for outstanding results IMO. Weeds must be removed...often. I plant 3 rows in 3' beds with 10-12" between rows. Usually spray with fish/seaweed emulsion. Cultivation is all by hand with an 'onion' hoe. Do not cover the bulb while shallowly loosening the soil.

I also plant a pound or two of sets around other veggies and flowers for artistic and tasty contrast.

If you are looking for varieties to store to eat in Dec, be sure to study the many options in seeds or plants. Storage onions are usually stronger flavored than the Vidalia types. Vidalia types do not store as many decisions!

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