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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was wondering if anyone could tell me why the green tops of my onions are falling over? I thought that meant they were ready to harvest but these onions are very tiny. No where near what I think they should be. It's my first year planting them)
Thanks for any advice
 

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Since you don't give a geographic location, I'm going to assume a lot of things. One is that you are in the same onion zone as I am, long day. Two is that you planted them from sets or plants in late April or early May. Three is that you have poor or heavy dry soil. Combination of those 3 would have the bulbs mature now regardless of size. That was the situation with my Candy plants which are finished with most barely the size of hen eggs.

To get the best size for onions, plant those suitable for your zone and in the proper time span. Onions are not overly big eaters but like to have a little more than what plain soil can offer. Onion bulbs are not meant to grow underground since they are not powerful enough to move a lot of heavy soil sideways and thus appreciate lighter soils where the can pop up finish their growth mostly above ground. That soil should also be acidic, 6.0-6.5 pH. Potential size lessens as those pH figures increase.

Martin
 

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martin,

got any recommendations for types of onion for the gettysburg pa area...zone 6 (i am a bit west of gettysburg and gettysburg is near to a spur of zone 7. it is definately a little warmer and has an earlier spring than i do...about a week or two according to the morels, lol.

also, i read the info about sheetrock and calcium sulfate. maybe that would be a better option for calcium than lime if onions like it acidic. my onions are a little bigger this year than last, but not quite as large as i would like.
 

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For growing onions, USDA zones do not apply. Since most are sensitive to the length of day, the 3 US onion zones are Short Day, Intermediate Day, and Long Day. Pennsylvania is at the bottom edge of Long Day and top edge of Intermediate Day zones. For varieties which would do best in your area, check out www.dixondalefarms.com for the best advice.

As for using recycled sheetrock for the calcium sulfate, it's a known fact that onions need both calcium and acidic soil conditions for optimum growth. Sheetrock does have the qualities needed to supply both. However, I have yet to see a "rate of application" when using such material for onions.

Martin
 

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Whether it's a fluke or not, I don't know. I "fertilized" my onion sets with used coffee grounds all summer, and we're looking at the biggest onions we've ever grown this year.
 

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Suburbanhmstedr said:
Whether it's a fluke or not, I don't know. I "fertilized" my onion sets with used coffee grounds all summer, and we're looking at the biggest onions we've ever grown this year.
It's no fluke. Onions benefit from a side-dressing of nitrogen every 3 weeks during their active growth period. Coffee grounds are about 2.25% nitrogen. That's where your extra growth is coming from. I'm using fresh horse manure as the side-dressing for my onions. Same effect.

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the info I am in a long day situation with very hard poorly draining soil..(it's dry here this year too) I am going to be harvesting hen's egg size onions this year also but will try nitrogen with those that seem to be holding out a little longer!!
 
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