Lex
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:51 pm
Location: Massachusetts

green onions forming fat bulbs?

This year, with our second child just six months old, I scaled back my garden a bit. I do have a nice little row of onions going that I want to harvest as scallions, and so far they're doing well...

...except that some of them are forming big fat bulbs on the surface, while the green is still quite thin and narrow. Am I doing something wrong? Did I sow the seeds too shallowly? Or perhaps a nutrient is missing?

I did eat two of them this morning, and they're quite tasty, just not the pencil-thick scallions that I was hoping for.

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I assume you planted seed? What variety? The bunching onions won't make bulbs, but any of the other varieties probably will. I planted some Yellow Spanish seed and they made some nice green onions, but then made bulbs. The bulbs are small, about like a walnut or less.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Lex
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:51 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Yup, I planted from seed. Looks like I did a mix of "Evergreen Bunching Onions" and some yellow onion seeds that actually came from you! (Thanks again!)

Maybe only one of the varieties is making the bulbs. I would expect to see bulbs if I didn't pick them early enough for green onions, but these seem to be bulbing too early, before the green parts are thick enough.

I decided maybe I hadn't planted the seeds deep enough, so I hilled some soil around them. It's like I'm growing potatoes or something :) We'll see if that helps. If not, well, the little onion bulbs taste just as good as green onions.

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jal_ut
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The onions bulb when the day length is right for the variety. You need to plant onion seed very early in the spring then they will make good growth and nice scallions before time to bulb. It is not going to help to hill them. The onion bulb is an enlarged part of the leaf, perhaps, you could say stem. Each layer of the bulb has its attached leaf. It grows just as well out of the ground as buried. All I can say is eat them and enjoy, bulb or scallion, which ever you get.

My little yellow onions from seed have made bulbs and are falling over now. I will pull them and eat the larger ones, and save the small marble sized ones for planting in the spring for large bulbs.

The bunching onions planted from seed are still giving me scallions.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Lex
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Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:51 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Thank you, that's really useful information! Considering this was a last-minute "throw in some seeds and see what I get", little pearl onions sound fine to me. Maybe I'll leave some to become full-fledged onions -- not sure if there's enough time left in the season, though.

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