? about onions going to seed

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Mrs_stuart, May 22, 2008.

  1. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    Well, my ? is...what to do with them when the start going to seed.
    Do you just clip off the seed head?
    chop off most of the greens?
    Dig them up?

    My onions seem to go to seed early each year and I am never quite sure what to do with them. I have been clipping off the seed heads...but an old lady told me to "beat the green parts off of them"... and yet I have also heard that once they go to seed, the bulb quits growing... :shrug:

    anyone really know???

    Belinda <-----who's onions are going to seed already!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Nip the seed stalk off as soon as you see it begin forming. Then the plant will still form a bulb. If you wait until the stalk is fully grown and the flowers begin to open, you may as well pull the plant since all you'll get are the flowers.

    Martin
     

  3. ai731

    ai731 Jan

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    I just pinch or cut the flowering ends off. Also, I find they tend to flower early when they're stressed, particularly drought & heat stressed - more water might help.
     
  4. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pinch the seed head off and then immediatly rake the dirt away from around the onion head, just leaving the roots in the ground and this will make the head grow bigger. Then when the tops die back you can then pull the onion heads up for storage.

    Unless, you want to collect some seeds for next years onion patch. Then go ahead and let the seed head develope into a flower.
     
  5. mommagoose_99

    mommagoose_99 Well-Known Member

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    Onions go to seed the second year. When you plant sets (tiny onions) they are already a year old and they begin to make flower heads as soon as you plant them. keep the flower stalk cut off and they will still bulb up. If you buy onion plants from a place like Dixondale farms you won't have that problem since they were just started from seed. good luck.
    linda
     
  6. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    Thank you , thank you, thank you!

    I appreciate all the help with this...I really want my onions to produce well this year, cause I planted a ton of them.
    Thanks again!


    Belinda
     
  7. Rowena

    Rowena Wishing for more green

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    My onions always grow great, but never get very big heads, so to increase I should be pulling the dirt away, I thought I was not getting heads because I was not hilling the dirt up when they start to develop?

    So to confirm if I go out and pull away to roots I will develop nice large bulbs?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  8. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    It might be less confusing if we knew exactly what you were after here. Heads are formed at the top of the flower stalks while bulbs are formed at or below ground level!

    Pulling some of the soil away from the bulb only applies in heavy soil. Most of the time it is not necessary as the bulbs will pop up out of the ground on their own. Removing soil from around the bulbs is not a guarantee of large bulbs since that depends upon available nutrients, water, and length of daylight. Since I maintain my soil with at least 15% sand, there has never been a time when removing soil around the bulbs was needed. The bulbs have always very nicely located themselves on top of the soil without my assistance.

    Martin
     
  9. crafty2002

    crafty2002 Well-Known Member

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    I am really confused here now, which isn't unusual at all. Does the onion it's self grow above ground and only the roots stay under ground????
    I always thought the whole onion stayed under ground and the greens were all that was to be above ground.
    Where I have mine planted the dirt is heavy. I tilled some compost into it but two drums didn't make a lot of difference in the rows as long as they are.
    I have probably 2-300 sets in the ground and the tops are looking good, but I don't know what the onions look like themselves. I have been keeping them pretty moist and was going to try and get some cardboard around them tomorrow but I don't know if I'll get to it or not now. Everything is haywire again.
    Thanks for any help
    Dennis
     
  10. Rowena

    Rowena Wishing for more green

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    Thanks for the advice Paquebot. My bulbs are popping out partially, but I guess I just need to wait for my soil to improve over time to create larger bulbs.