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nes
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Zone 5 - Onions

I suck at growing onions... I tried to start indoors and that didn't work, then I planted out my red-beauty seeds a month or so ago.

Did anyone else plant onions this spring? How tall are they? Do you have a picture?

I think I killed all my seeds - I don't know what is going on except a whole-lot of weeds!
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

garden5
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Nes, you're not at all alone. Myself and Gix are trying to do the same thing. Neither of us have had very much luck with onions from the store so we both started some from seed indoors and planted them out along with some of the store-bought transplants.

One thing that I'm going to say about the ones bought from the store is that you must get the "long-day" variety if you want to have large onions. You will find that there are usually long and short day varieties. Long day for the north, short day for the south. Don't ask me why norther stores carry three times as many short day onions as they do northern onions.

I never knew this before so I'm hoping that it will make all the difference this year and that I will get some big onions.

When you plant yours, be sure not to go more than 1in. deep and make sure you keep them well weeded.

Good luck with your onions.
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jal_ut
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Is there a local nursery where you can get some onion sets to plant?
Sometimes the nurseries also have small onion plants in a bundle that do quite well.

Onions from seed look like a little green string. Not much to them for a while.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/onion_seedlings.jpg[/img]

They are bent over when they come up. The snow didn't do this to them.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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gixxerific
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I have planted seed (direct seeded), my own transplants, store bought transplants and sets.

So far the only things doing much are the sets. All of my transplants (both my own and the store bought) and direct seeded plants are barely growing to fading. The sets are doing okay I do have some big ones I started early in pots that were from sets.

Here is one of the pots
[img]https://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj185/gixxerific/Gardening/DSC03586.jpg[/img]

My in ground sets (planted early march) are about 1/2 the height and a 1/4 the width of these. The direct seeded are maybe 2+ inches the transplants are maybe 3-4 inches tall. I must say my transplants are doing better than the ones I got from the store and the store bought ones were bigger when I planted them.

Still hoping for the best but not expecting much. I did just pull 2 out of that pot that went to seed. The bulbs were very small maybe an inch or so across.

Garden5 another member here is in the same boat I am with transplants. We have been discussing our progress for quite some time.

Some people can grow great onions, I believe Jal_UT does very well, however I have not got it down yet. I have been trying for a long time.

Good luck

LOL look at that the 2 people I mentioned were posting while i was. :lol:

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applestar
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Onions are curious creatures. I've been trying too and have had varying results. Last year, I tried starting onions seeds on March 1 in paper egg cartons. It quickly became obvious that the containers were too shallow, when the seedlings stood up, they grew roots that were as long underground. Never-the-less, I had a few standing toothpicks to transplant by mid-March and I did. Out of the dozen, 3 or 4 survived and produced golf ball to billiard ball size onions.

Last fall, I planted Egyptian onion sets and Yellow Potato Multiplier Onion sets. I only vaguely remembered where I planted them when spring rolled around. I think some I planted around the apple tree have rotted as that area stayed wet during the early spring thaw. Either that or I trampled them when I walked around the tree pruning in early spring. :roll: :idea: I'm pretty sure that the onion-y shoots growing in the same row as garlic ARE Potato Onions though.

I also went around tossing onion seeds among the mulch around 2nd week of March when I sowed my first pea seeds.

I planted onion sets too.

I also had some onion seeds started on Feb. 5. using toilet paper tubes as bottomless paper pots. Come planting time, these were a little bit sturdier than last years seedlings -- about 4" tall -- but they suffered from lack of nitrogen mid growth. I think because the cardboard locked it up (I overcame this by watering with oyster mushroom substrate leacheate. When mycelium started to grow on the cardboard, I watered with liquid fish fertilizer and the seedlings turned around.) Anyway, so I have those planted around.

I also planted out some of my onion bottoms that had been growing in containers indoors all winter.

Guess what? I haven't kept notes. :> I have onions growing everywhere except near peas. Some doing well, some not. I don't even know which one's which except that I grew some Red Robin onion seeds and planted Red Whethersfield sets. So the red ones that are much, much bigger are the Whethersfields. :wink:

I can tell you, though, that you know you're growing direct seeded onions in the garden when you have to adjust your "mental weed filter" so as NOT to pull up grass-like "weeds" when they are tubular. :lol:

I have leeks from seeds too. They're still in their flats because they're so small. But I'm going to pop them in the ground this weekend.

I think my next experiment will be to try starting onions from seed IN THE FALL. ... NO WAIT! That's not what I wanted to try. I remember now -- I want to try [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=123679#123679]Gary350's Grandparents' technique[/url]

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rainbowgardener
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I planted onion seeds directly in the ground about mid-March. So far they look about like Jal's picture, skinny little green stems.

I have ONE onion that I planted last year that accidentally got left behind and never picked. It is now huge and beautiful!

I definitely want to plant more onion seed this fall!
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nes
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applestar wrote:I can tell you, though, that you know you're growing direct seeded onions in the garden when you have to adjust your "mental weed filter" so as NOT to pull up grass-like "weeds" when they are tubular. :lol:
I am trying VERY hard at that one. I do have a little grass growing in the bed and it's really hard to tell one from the other at a distance & I'm still not sure the few little "grass like" weeds I have are onions or not :?.

Jal the pic was very helpful & thanks to everyone - I think I'm going to buy some onion sets. I wanted to try seeds this year since I drown my set last year with a very wet spring - but now I have a raised bed so that shouldn't be a problem.

I also have one onion that didn't get pulled up last year (it was the only one that survived & never got very big) so I'm trying to compare my "weeds" to it.
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

kgall
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I planted 2 rows, about 12 feet each. I have 5 onions that look like the picture but that's it! Ugh...I thought this would be so much easier!
I saw sets at ACE today and I think I am going to go back and get them!
Why is this so hard???

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gixxerific
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kgall wrote:I planted 2 rows, about 12 feet each. I have 5 onions that look like the picture but that's it! Ugh...I thought this would be so much easier!
I saw sets at ACE today and I think I am going to go back and get them!
Why is this so hard???
Keep trying that's all I have to say. I normally get a few decent (read edible) onions. But nothing like at the grocery store.

pepper4
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I tried growing onions from seed with no success and planted sets with some but little success. For me onion plants have done the best. I put them in my garden, in flower beds , in pots and anywhere else I had room. Just wanted to see where and what worked best. Last year I got onions but depending on where and how much sun they varied in size which is ok . Garden 5 is right the type of onion makes a difference. When I first planted onions I didn't know there was a long and short day variety but thanks to a number of the folks I learned that. As far as how tall they are they range from 4 inches to 9 inches. They were planted about a month ago and when I got them they were about 3 inches on the average tall. Nes, hang in there and good luck with your onions :wink:
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tedln
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I proved the theory that you need to grow the onions that are correct for your area this year. Last year, I grew the Texas A&M 1015 variety and for the first time ever, I had great onions.

In early January of this year, I purchased six bunches of what I was told were the 1015 sweet white onions. Each bunch supposedly contained at least 60 small transplants. I planted them in mid January. The next week, Home Depot was selling bunched seedlings of yellow onions grown in Georgia named "Texas Super Sweet". I bought and planted six bunches of the yellow onions.

The yellow onions started growing immediately. The white seedlings just sat there as if they were waiting for someone to yell grow or maybe fire a starters gun. We started harvesting the yellow onions over a month ago and we are still harvesting them. I can see some of the yellow bulbs pushing up through the ground that are as large as grocery store onions. The white onions are still just sitting there. For the most part, the white onions have lost their tops and disappeared. You can dig the soil where the white onions were planted and you will find tiny little white pearl onions.

The interesting thing is the fact that I planted some yellow onions and white onions side by side. The yellow onions did great, the white onions fizzled.

Had I not planted the yellow onions as an after thought, I would have been on the forum asking why this has been such a lousy onion year. The truth is, I simply planted a variety which is not suitable for my area. I will pay more attention next year to make sure I get the variety I want.

Ted
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kgall
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Location: New Hampshire

I am in the north and planted long day onions just like I should have. I was out today and there are some just coming up. I have gone from 4 to 12 so maybe the soil was just too cool?

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BrianSkilton
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I always start from onions sets. I get my white and red onions locally in sets. About 50 or so plants per set. For leeks, this year I bought a set from dixondale farms down in Texas. They have some good quality leek sets (nice and big too). Should have got them in the ground in April...last second thing though. My main trouble is preventing the wind from blowing down all my onions before they start bulbing... ugh stupid wind. First 14 days of May were 25 blowing to 45, and its not like there is even a storm. Must be the stupid jet stream I dunno. However we have actually got 4 days in a row that have not been windy...YAY!! I might just have success after all. :?
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