Onion SEEDS?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by ceresone, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How many have planted onion seeds to grow big onions? how did it go? would you do it again? I usually plant plants-but seeds SOUND easy--
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I always grow onions from seeds in flats and trasplant when about the thickness of a pencil. They handle transplanting well even with root distubrance.

    The ones I've grown that got big, over a pound were Kelsae Giants.
    The sweet Walla Walla got to respectable size also. They aren't for long term storage like the hard and smaller onions.
     

  3. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Moonwolf, thanks--and i'm sorry--if i'd looked further, i would have found your post on how to grow seeds. think i might try that way this year.
     
  4. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    you're welcome. I also suggest looking over the seed catalogues and read the descriptions on particular varieties. It's interesting that so many onions suit specific purpose, such as some grow better for young green onions in bunches, some like Ringmaster have nice thick layers ideal for onion rings, and some good sweet red onions compared to hard pungent ones for storage.
    Some also are better suited for warmer climes like the sweet texas (with a number that I forgot) and some do better up north with our long summer day lenghts. good luck.
     
  5. DenverGirlie

    DenverGirlie Well-Known Member

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    we have grown from seed for the last two years (flats then transplant). They might not be as big as the huge ones at the grocery store, but the seed packet cost like $2 for 500 seeds... thus we have smaller onions all year for $2.

    Works for me!
     
  6. SquashNut

    SquashNut Well-Known Member

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    I accually like smaller onions for every day cooking and then we can the larger ones. They make good soups and relish.
    For larger onions plant farther apart. I plant some 2 inches on center and thin for green onions, but I also plant some along the edge of the bed 6 inches on center. These get larger.
     
  7. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    May I add that I like the varieties you can get with seed instead of the meager 3-5 choices via sets/plants. There's a whole fabulous world of onions out there when you plant from seed! (My favorite part of "the world" is Italy!)
    Ditto - seed and transplanting is the only way to go, IMHO.
    BW
     
  8. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Although pencil-size is ideal for planting, one may be almost as successful if they are only 3" tall and looking more like a single blade of grass. That was proved to many friends last year due to a labeling error. I'd already planted some lovely large Ailsa Craig plants from Dixondale and they were well established and growing. At an SSE outlet, there were Ailsa Craig and Red Wethersfield seedlings. Wanting to try the Red Wethersfields again, I bought a 3" pot with guaranteed 50 seedlings. They were crowded and stunted with nothing over 4". I get home and went to plant and they were white instead of red. Thus I had Ailsa Craig with a Red Wethersfield label! Round trip of 60 miles didn't seem worth it to exchange a $1.25 purchase so they were planted. Everyone thought that I had to be planting them just for scallions but I knew otherwise. In the end, they produced nearly as large as those which were much larger and a month earlier. And being later, we're still enjoying them despite their normal short-term storage.

    For anyone wanting a wide variety of plants, try Dixondale Farms. www.dixondalefarms.com That's where most of your local garden centers get their plants from.

    Martin
     
  9. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Martin,
    yes, one year we grew a bunch of really nice Alisa Craigs up here. If I remember, I got those seeds from Thompson & Morgan, but I think now Lindenberg's in Manitoba handle them for the canadian gardner. We also used to plant up whatever the size of seedlings if they started late, and they did well also.
     
  10. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    DOn't know how well it will end up but have a bunch of healthy (not even pencil sized now) fall sown seeds I started outside in raised bed mostly compost. Too heavy handed on my 'square foot' gardening I had 3-4 seedlings at each site so transplanted a lot to a second raised bed.
     
  11. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We always grow onion plants....seed in a flat in Feb/March and importantly, when they get to be about 5-6" tall take your scissors and cut the tops back by half . Thickens up the tops and seems to put more ummph in the roots. Don't let the tops get to falling-over tall. We always end up with a good crop. Also, you need to check what types you are planting. Storage onions generally won't be huge,they have a tight top to prevent spoiling. The big ones are for using up on the grill,etc. all season long. Also, onion plants really can't take weed competition so keep them well-weeded or mulched. I use grass clippings on mine. Elliott Coleman takes four plants and plants them in a group....they grow just fine and less weed problems then long rows. And don't forget to plant you some leek seeds--they look so cool in the garden and you can leave them out there forever until needed. We have been leaving choice plants to winter over for seed saving. DEE
     
  12. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We (in western Wisconsin) start out onion seeds in January or February in the sunroom/greenhouse, and transplant them outside in April or early May. I find that the longer keeping varieties are only readily available as seed, and of course you have many many more choices with seeds. We usually grow 6 to 8 varieties of onions from seed, plus some from sets, and usuallly have onions in usable condition all winter and into the early spring, until the winter onions or Egyptian walking onions are ready to eat. By the time they are getting tough or woody, we can start using small onions from the garden.

    I like Copra, New York Early, and a few others for long-keeping onions.