Help with onion sets please

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by nostalgia, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    The only time I can find onion sets (green onion) around here is in the spring time. I plant them every couple of weeks right up till the weather gets really hot in July, when they usually die away.

    In early fall the weather cools down enough to plant them again, but I cannot find onion sets in the fall. Is there a way to keep the sets till fall if I buy extra ones now? Will they keep in the crisper of the refrigerator and grow if I plant them in the fall? If I sow seeds in the spring or summer, will they reach maturity before fall? If so, what kind of seeds do I get to grow green onions?? I have seen lots of onion seeds like spanish, etc. but not sure I have ever seen scallions or green onion seeds. :confused: I would appreciate any help you can offer me.
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    If you only want fall scallions, sow seeds directly in your garden early in July. No onion planted after midsummer will form even a medium bulb. It does not matter what variety seed is used. Walla Walla and Ailsa Craig make very mild scallions. Yellow varieties tend to be sharper.

    If you want scallions without messing around planting sets or seed at all times during the season, plant Evergreen bunching onions. They don't make bulbs.

    Martin
     

  3. Johnny's sells "Evergreen Hardy White" scallion seeds. Perennial onions might be of interest to you: they form a cluster of onion sets on the top of the stalk in the fall that you can plant in the spring or allow to drop and reseed your patch.

    Regular onions are reliant upon the day length to form bulbs. Varieties are appropriate based on their requirements; that's why we have a hard time growing Vidaleas in Maine, for example.
     
  4. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,047
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Location:
    NY - Finger Lakes Region
    Paquebot said it all (if you're located north of about 35°N, like we are).

    I have only two points:
    1. The "Evergreen bunching onions" that I'm growing (I think I got the seed from Territorial about 7-8 years ago, can't remember what the variety name was) are quite a bit bigger than the 'green onions' you see in the grocery stores. And they're pretty hot.

    2. The varieties called "Perennial onions" by unregistered are more commonly called 'Egyptian' or 'Walking' onions.​
     
  5. LWMSAVON

    LWMSAVON Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    448
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    I was reading through some of my old Organic Gardening books and there was a reader's tip in one of them about taking a green onion (that you bought in the store) that had some of the roots left on it and cutting that off along with the last inch of the white part. Then palnt the remainder (white part with root) in the garden so that the cut end is level with the soil's surface. In a couple of weeks, you should have a whole new crop of green onions.

    That was from Organic Gardening, September/October 2001



    I have some green onions in the fridge, and I'm going to give this a try too and see what happens.
     
  6. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    I'm really big on companion planting and found when I planted onion sets, if I sprinkled poppy seeds on the mounds, the onions developed bigger bulbs than the rows that didn't have any poppies.

    It's always fascinated me how some plants are so synergistic.
     
  7. Manny

    Manny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    308
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I've done this before and it works. But instead of directly planting the cut ends in the ground outside I give them a start in containers in the house. Sometimes I'll get a bunch from the store that will not sprout, maybe they were frozen at some time, but as a rule the others seem very eager to grow----Some even produced bulbs, albeit a little on the smallish side.
    Bill
     
  8. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,193
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Hi, I have the same problem of getting onion sets for Fall planting. As Paquebot said they will not form bulbs but as I like to use the green part in cooking that's O.K. with me.

    I buy extra sets in the Spring and put them in a paper bag and keep them in the vegetable crisper and the majority make it thru. DO NOT put them in a plastic bag. I did that once and they all rotted. Hope this helps. Rita
     
  9. LWMSAVON

    LWMSAVON Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    448
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Thanks Bill. It's reassuring to hear someone else say that it's worked for them.



    I haven't tried it yet but am going too. I even had some laying on my counter the other day to do this with, but oldest dd came in behind me and threw them in the compost bucket before I knew it. I honestly didn't want to dig in that glop for them. LOL
     
  10. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Thank you everyone for your helpful suggestions. I am looking forward to having green onions in the fall. :)
     
  11. WV Rebel

    WV Rebel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    Zone 7
    So, Bill,

    Am I to understand that the new onions will grow... one from each root hair on the bottom... or just HOW DO they grow? One, or more, to a stalk (planting)? This is interesting. Sorta like "having your Kate and Edith, too." :haha:

    We're trying an experiment on Dave's Garden. Cut the top ½" off carrots, put them in a shallow bowl with water, and if the tops start growing good and they root, we'll plant them in soil and see what happens. Any ideas? It's like free carrots, if it works. It MAY save all that time from germinating the darned slow seeds and waiting for the seedlings to grow.

    Onion sets will keep better in a cool, DRY place, in a net bag. Maybe around 50° - 55° F.
     
  12. Manny

    Manny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    308
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    The onion will start sending up a green shoot from the center of the planted bottom, it will act just like you planted an onion set. You will see quite rapid reaction to the planting by the appearance of a shoot-----or you will see a like quick reaction toward compost. I have had no incidence of the onions sending up any side shoots or any shoots from the root hairs. A whole lot of years ago I tried the carrot top in water trick and got a very nice looking fern but I never saw any elongation of the main carrot root, a lot of fine root hairs, but no main tap root growth. I don't think that planting the carrot outside would gain you anything.
    Bill
     
  13. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Planting a carrot under those circumstances will get you seeds...so you wil lget free seeds, but you wont be getting any more carrots, until you plant those seeds. I've tried it, just to see what happens.