Onions make me want to cry

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by DownHome, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. DownHome

    DownHome Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted a little advice for next year. Our onions turned out super small, maybe 3 inches across. What did we do wrong. do they require a great deal of watering or special fertilization? Hoping to do lots better next year, we eat quite a few onions.
     
  2. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    How big did you want them to be? 3 inches sounds just about right for aorund here.
     

  3. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i only got 2 inchers tops. most are big pearl sized lol. i eat them anyway.
     
  4. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    In what sort of soil did you plant them? What kind of amendments/fertilizers did you use? Is your soil clay, sand, rocky?

    I grow my onions in loamy soil, sometimes add a little sand to make it good and loose. Onions don't like to get dry, but they don't want to be water-logged either. Mulching helps, but don't use so much that it blocks growth.

    I don't fertilize onions much. They seem to prefer being on the lean side -- at least around here.

    Pony!
     
  5. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Onions are heavy feeders and need lots of water - that and you have to plant the right type for where you live. We buy ours from Dixondale Farms and their planting instructions are pretty good.
    Of course some years it doesn't seem to matter what you do, last year ours were small I pickled them all, this year even the smallest won't fit in the jar! lol
     
  6. DownHome

    DownHome Well-Known Member

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    Hubby put a balanced 12-12-12(I think) fertilizer on them. The soil is kind of compact as it is the first year it has been worked. Maybe I could add a little sand next year to loosen up the onion area. I am by no means an gardening expert, but I love to eat fresh produce. and it don't get any fresher than your own garden.
     
  7. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    3" wouldn't be bad for many varieties but I'm disappointed at ONLY 4" to 5"! Of course, that would be Ailsa Craig Exhibition which I have grown up to 6".

    12-12-12 would have been a good starter fertilizer but best would have been 10-20-10 if you could find it. Around here, there's an 8-10-8 which is close. Then, there should be a side-dressing of nitrogen every 3 weeks that the plants are growing. Easiest to find is ammonium sulfate, 21-0-0. Better than any manufactured fertilizer is fairly-fresh horse manure. That's one of the best fertilizers for all alliums. Till in several inches of that about a week or so before planting. The onions can handle it!

    Soil should be minimum 15% sand. Figure up to a half-inch for best results. That gives the bulbs a chance to expand before popping up out of the ground. If you keep adding back the nutrients and don't come up with some strange disease, you can designate one certain area for onions all the time. That way you only have to add sand where it's absolutely needed. I have special permanent beds just for onions and garlic. All just received 2" of horse manure this past week and that was spaded in today. The onion areas will receive another inch at planting time.

    Martin