Question for onion growers

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by HilltopDaisy, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you ever grown a huge amount of onions? Successfully? I need your words of wisdom. Dixondale Farms sells onion sets at a great price (ex.-1800 for under $60). I am very tempted but I've never grown onions. How difficult are they to grow? I'm in NY, chilly, wet spring, beautiful summer growing weather. Decent but rocky soil.

    Forgot to say that a lot of these would be harvested as scallions.
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    HTD,
    Since discovering hybrid onion seeds, I haven't bought a set in years.
    Onion starts from seed are very easy to get started, and take to transplanting well.
    I grow them in a flat about 2' x 1' and 2 to 3 inches deep. Distribute the seeds about 1/4 to 1/2" apart and let them grow. When they get up about 6" and spindly, I trim them down with scissors to about 4" and as they get thicker, I let them get back up to a few more inches. By the time they are the thickness of a pencil, and about 8 to 12 inches high, it's time to transplant to the garden.
    It's cheaper than sets, and you can pick varieties that are almost impossible to find in sets. I liked copra and sweet sandwich. For the sweet ones that don't store as long, I like Kelsae Giant and Walla Walla. Red ones like burgermaster, and one called Ringmaster for a 'specialty' onion that makes great onion ring slices.

    I also grow shallots from seed the same way. Red shallots and others you can buy in seed packets are terrific additions to the garden.
    If you have room, light, and heat to start the onion seedlings around March in my neck of the zone (3/4), they are about perfect to set out in the garden by early May.

    You can grow a LOT of onion seedlings to transplant in a flat. It is a bit more tedious than setting out bulb sets, but not that much. I find it very satisfying to grow onions from seed. try it.
     

  3. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I always forget what we order but it is at least 6 bunches from Dixondale farms and if you follow their planting instructions onions are very easy to grow. Their bunches tend to be larger than they say, sometimes by as much as 50%. Onions are heavy feeders and like regular water. They do best when kept weed free, but what doesn't? We use corn gluten meal in the beds, but not the one they sell as we get it cheaper locally.

    Buy the onion varieties for your day length for best results.
     
  4. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Forgot to say, we grow most of our green/spring onions from seed, but we do plant a few of the Dixondale plants closer together for a small bulbed salad onion.
     
  5. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    Hilltop,
    When you buy sets locally you get about 80 in a pound. They go anywhere from 99 cents to maybe 1.29. Using the math, you get a much better deal buying them locally, if you can find the right varieties that you want.
    I'm looking into buying a 50 pound bag from the local farm store to see what they'd charge.
    Ann