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gixxerific
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Planting Onions in the fall for next year?

Rainbowgardener recently was suggesting planting onions in the fall. I don't think I have aver heard of this but am going to try it this year with my garlic.
Applestar brought up a question I was thinking about do you plant seeds or sets in the fall.

I did recently read I believe it was in the Territorial seed catalog that some places plant short day variety's in the fall to bulb in the spring.

Any experience or advice on fall onion planting.

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I'm going to try fall planting with onion seeds. I've been researching the subject and you want to time the planting of the seeds so that the plants will be close to the size of a pencil but not larger when late December and January comes. If they are larger than a pencil when the cold comes, they will flower since they are biennials. If they are smaller than a pencil, they usually don't flower but if they are tiny, they will probably die from the cold.

I may be too far north to have much success with this method, but I will try anyway. I hope my onions don't get confused in February and March when here the weather often goes from near 70°F one day back down to the 30s the next day.

This method works with short day onions and Walla Walla long days. It probably won't work with regular long day onions.

I think if you plant sets, the plants will flower because they will be too large when the cold weather arrives.

If you want to plant seeds, right now would be the time for your area. I plan to sow my seeds around September 20 to allow enough time for them to grow before it is too cold. In central and southern Texas, they plant onion seeds around October 15, which would be too late up here.

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soil
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we have always planted our garlic and onions in the fall. to do otherwise would be insanity!
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applestar
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Onion seeds or sets, soil?

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Ozark Lady
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Interesting topic.

The only onions that I seem to be able to grow is Egyptians and green onions.

I will be fall planting the Egyptians, simply because alot of them sprouted with the recent rains and won't keep over winter. But, I am moving them to a new location, so it is necessary to replant them this fall.

Garlic works great over winter, I hope that onions do too. Worth a try, since I have some seeds, and can't grow onions any other way!
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soil
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applestar wrote:Onion seeds or sets, soil?
both. but i tend to plant more seeds now rather than buy sets. more fun to collect my own seed and cheaper. with the same results. ill be starting onion seeds in about 2-3 weeks here. garlic goes in ground early November
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applestar
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Oh, then I DEFINITELY have to find my Red Wethersfield seeds!
Now, WHERE did I put them! :roll:

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gixxerific
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It's going to be a seed only year for me this year. Since my sets are near dust and all I have are seeds and no money. :lol: :(

Red Wethersfield huh? Not sure why probably just a better onion for my environment (variety wise) but the reds did better for me this year. Pl;us I just love red onions.

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I, too, have heard of this before, but didn't give it much credit. I'm going to test it out sometime......I want to hear how you all do with your fall onions, first :).

Soil, it says you are in CA, so your winters are probably a lot more mild than some of ours, though I could be wrong. Our fall onions will have to make it through snow, ice, and frost-jacking.

Which makes me wonder, would it be a good idea to perhaps set up row-covers or low-tunnels over the onions to help protect them through the winter? Surely it would be good to at least mulch them?

Gix, If you have a ton of seeds, do a succession planting. Plant some each week for a few weeks, label/mark the rows, and see which one did best come spring, this way, it will give you a good foundation to start from next fall :idea:. Good luck with your onions, all.
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Onions often winter over in the ground. I have never tried planting seed in the fall. Garlic, shallots and Egyptian onion bulbils do just fine fall planted. In fact Garlic and shallots must be fall planted for a good crop. I think now would be a good time to plant some seed and see how it goes. Spring planted onion seed will also do well for you.
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soil
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Soil, it says you are in CA, so your winters are probably a lot more mild than some of ours, though I could be wrong. Our fall onions will have to make it through snow, ice, and frost-jacking.
yea i do live in cali, but i also live in the mountains. we get snow, frost, ice all winter long.
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soil wrote:
Soil, it says you are in CA, so your winters are probably a lot more mild than some of ours, though I could be wrong. Our fall onions will have to make it through snow, ice, and frost-jacking.
yea i do live in cali, but i also live in the mountains. we get snow, frost, ice all winter long.
Wow. When are your first and last frost dates?

So, you've successfully grown the large bulb onions this way? I guess it is possible. Do you use the same day-length bulbs that you plant in the spring, or different?
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soil
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garden5 wrote:
Wow. When are your first and last frost dates?

So, you've successfully grown the large bulb onions this way? I guess it is possible. Do you use the same day-length bulbs that you plant in the spring, or different?
our first frost dates are usually in late november. last around mid may( but this year was a bit off and the last frost was late may).

i don't start any in spring. all of them are from seed i saved the previous year. not sure what daylength they are, i just select seed from the best of the garden each year. usually let the biggest onion go to seed. this years onion for seed was 6-7 inches diameter. got about 400 seeds off of it.
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garden5
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Wow, Soil, you got about a 1-1/2 to 2 month longer growing season than I do. We have the same last frost date, but my first-frost is about mid-Oct.
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