mattie g
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Onion Transplant Fertilization

Hi, all! I'm loving the fact that I'm getting into the real planning mode for this year's garden. Plants have been ordered, prep has begun, and the brain is starting to creak while slowly getting out of winter mode!

So...this year, among other things, I'm going to attempt to plant some onion plants (i.e. not sets or seeds) - Copra and Super Star. I don't have a ton of space or anything, but I think I can plan well enough to get a harvest to last me much of the year. Anyways, I'm curious as to what kind of fertilizing I should do prior to planting and immediately upon planting. I prefer to do everything organically, if possible, and I do have my own source of homemade compost to use for tea and the like. I'm in Northern VA (Zone 7A or thereabouts) and have fairly good soil - a mixture of native red clayish soil along with compost and organic planting mix that I've added over the last couple years.

So what does feedback the collective HG braintrust have to offer?

DoubleDogFarm
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Re: Onion Transplant Fertilization

mattie g wrote:
So what does feedback the collective HG braintrust have to offer?
Manure :lol:

Eric

tomc
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Onion have fairly small feet so manure, mulch and regular watering are in order. In fact often I've side dressed onion after eight weeks in the ground.

I suspect you are south enough to want to grow short day onions planted in the fall...
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sepeters
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Location: AZ, zone 9

yeah, manure. You want to give them a nitrogen heavy fertilizer, rather than a balanced one because you just want them to veg, not to bloom; the bulb is part of the stalk, not the root, so try to promote "green" growth. I have to fertilize often (raised bed) I rotate between fish emulsion for the nitrogen and compost tea for the microbes and to promote strong roots.
As Tomc said, you live far enough south that you'll want to plant some short day onions in the fall and let them overwinter, then you will have nice big bulbs in spring. Your onions will do well this time, but the bulbs might not get huge, which is just fine; you can eat them at any point!

Mike F
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I agree with the manure, however know that onions are heavy feeders, as much as corn I think. I give weekly waterings of compost tea, or even better tea made from chicken manure.

mattie g
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Re: Onion Transplant Fertilization

DoubleDogFarm wrote:
mattie g wrote: So what does feedback the collective HG braintrust have to offer?
Manure :lol:

Eric
Manure for brains? :lol:

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. So should I "till" in the manure with the soil as I plant them, or should I start adding manure now? And no compost tea during the growing season? Use manure/manure tea instead? Kind of a pain to do two different teas for my garden given the relatively limited time I have to spend out there, but I suppose if I have to...

I don't believe I'm far enough south for short-day onions, as I'm pretty much as far north as you can get in Virginia, so I'm growing both an intermediate-day and a long-day variety. I may be near the southern limit for the Copras, but I'm going to give it a whirl.

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applestar
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So, Manure, manure, manure, fish emulsion, manure.... :lol:

I'm assuming fresh manure worked into the bed previous fall and composted manure before planting, and maybe composted side dress in a trench past root zone. Some manure tea and fish emulsion.... When do you STOP adding manure/fish? -- I assume you have to prior to harvesting?

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