Hmm....I think the soil is good, and I usually get the bag of sets from my local box store. They usually have three varieties...a red, a white, and a yellow, and they all seem to grow about the same...DoubleDogFarm wrote:The main "trick" is to grow the proper variety for your climate / day length. Day Neutral is another choice.
Proper spacing and fertile soil
PLANTING: Use sets, seeds, or transplants in spring for bulbs and for green or bunching onions. Seeds may be started indoors eight weeks before setting out. Use sets in the fall for perennial or multiplier types of onions.
SPACING: standard 1 to 6 inches x 12 to 24 inches; wide row 4 x 4 inches in rows up to 2 feet wide. Plant close, then thin using thinnings as green onions.
HARDINESS: bulb onions, hardy biennial; green or bunching, hardy biennial; Egyptian or perennial tree and multiplier, hardy perennial
FERTILIZER NEEDS: Apply 3 lbs. 10-10-10 per 100 sq. ft. before planting, use starter solution for transplants, and sidedress four to six weeks after planting with 2 lbs. 10-10-10 per 100 sq. feet (repeat four to six weeks later if needed).
Onions are often grouped according to taste. The two main types of onions are strong-flavored (American) and mild (often called European). Each has three distinct colors - yellow, white, and red. In general, the American onions produce bulbs of smaller size, denser texture, stronger flavor, and better keeping quality than European onions.
Onion varieties have different requirements as to the number of hours of daylight required to make a bulb. If the seed catalog lists the onion as "long day," it sets bulbs when it receives 15 to 16 hours of daylight and is used to produce onions in Northern summers. "Short day" varieties set bulbs with about 12 hours of daylight and are used in the deep South for winter production. Seed of short day varieties started indoors in January should produce a harvest in June. Seedlings or sets of long day varieties set out in April will produce a harvest in August.
For scallions or green or bunching onions, use sets, seeds, or transplants of standard onions for spring; plant seeds of bunching varieties for summer scallions; or use Egyptian (perennial tree) and the yellow multiplier (potato onion) sets in the fall.
For bulb production, plant sets or transplants in early spring. Set 1 to 2 inches apart and 1 to 2 inches deep in the row. Thin to 4 inches apart and eat the thinned plants as green onions. Avoid sets more than an inch in diameter as they are likely to produce seed stalks. Too early planting and exposure to cold temperatures also cause seed stalk development. Some people have best bulb production using seedlings or transplants rather than sets. Egyptian tree or multiplier onions should be set in late October or early November. Plant 4 inches apart in rows 1 to 2 feet apart. Distance between rows is determined by available space and cultivating equipment.
Bulbs compete poorly with weeds due to shallow root systems. Shallow cultivation is necessary; do not hill up soil on onions as this can encourage stem rot. Insure ample moisture especially after bulbs begin enlarging. Onions should be harvested when about two-thirds of the tops have fallen over. Careful handling to avoid bruising helps control storage rots. Onions may be pulled and left in the field for several days to dry, then cured in a well-ventilated attic or porch for one to two weeks out of direct sun. Tops may be left on; if cut off, leave at least 1 inch of the top when storing. Thorough curing will increase storage life.
I planted both intermediate- and long-day plants around March 20 this past year, and ended up with mostly racquetball- to tennis-ball-sized onions, The intermediates did better for me, no doubt.JayPoc wrote:I usually set a bunch out very early, then replant periodically throughout the spring and early summer, harvesting as I go along. I always leave a few of the earliest ones to try and get a good sized bulb, but again...golf ball size is about the norm. I'll pay closer attention to variety type and see what happens next year.