Regular onions

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by athome in SD, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. athome in SD

    athome in SD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    I have a hard time getting my onions very big.
    They are tasty but usually small and then start
    going to seed.

    Any suggestions? We use lots of them threw
    the year so I would love to be able to grow
    bigger or more of them so that we could not
    have to buy so many.

    Thank you-
    Christina
    athome in South Dakota
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Christina, your problem is that you are starting from sets. That used to be about the only way to have any regular onions. Sets are fine for early green onions and some keepers. However, you need to keep a close watch on them and not allow them to set blossoms. They are rapidly falling out of favor as more and more gardeners are discovering that sets aren't the only choice these days. Now it's plants. Every garden center nursery has them and even many Wal*Marts have them along with their normal plants. Best mail-order source is Dixondale Farms in Texas. Not only are they good, they are the ones who supply most of the nurseries! If you don't think that you will be able to find plants locally, try them. Prices may seem high but results are worth the extra costs. www.dixondalefarms.com

    Martin
     

  3. stuckinsd

    stuckinsd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Yep, I was gonna say the exact thing as Martin.

    To get the big onions, start with plants, or oven start seeds indoors in January to grow your own plants to transplant.

    make sure you get the proper type of plant also...one for the Northern states with a short growing season.

    DixonDale Farms has the best onion plants that I've found. And they categorize them by the day length too, so you're sure to get the right ones for your area.

    stuck...
     
  4. athome in SD

    athome in SD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Stuck- I am in South Dakota too, what kind do you use?
    cd
     
  5. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,610
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Location:
    Maine
    Here in Maine I've found that the 'First Edition' white, and the 'Greek Salad' red from Gurney's work well. I start them from seed in February and get nice sized onions toward the end of August. And they keep really well, I've still got some from last season and they are still firm and delicious.
     
  6. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    329
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    I also start them from seed -- very easy to do. You can crowd them into a small sprouting tray and when they get about 5" tall, you can either trim them back down to 3" if not ready to set out, or go ahead and set them out. They are very tough and can tolerate the transplanting very well. Result: big onions if well fertilized and watered.
     
  7. stuckinsd

    stuckinsd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    South Dakota
    I have the greatest success with

    Big Daddy

    Walla walla

    and Yellow Spanish

    last years Daddy onions are still good-other words they keep well.

    I also like Sugar, but they don't get as big

    stuck...
     
  8. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,440
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Missouri
    Plants give the best and biggest result but onions are super easy to grow from seed. Once they get 4-6" tall we cut them down to about half with a pr. of scissors and they thicken right up. We grow them ourselves as we don't want them to be full grown until late Oct. here in MO as our root cellar isn't cold enough to store them. Also, onions really can't take weed competition. We plant in blocks of four...a tip learned from Eliot Coleman and you get really lg. onions and less weeds than planting in long rows. DEE
     
  9. athome in SD

    athome in SD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    51
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Oh what wonderful advise you all have given. Thank you so much! I will
    get busy and get some going in a tray. :)

    Thank you!!
    Christina
     
  10. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,801
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Christina, you don't have time to start onions from seed now. That's why I only mentioned plants at this time. They need to have about 10 weeks growth before setting them out. That would mean starting them in early February. You can't condense those 10 weeks into the next 4! I'm only 3 weeks away from setting out plants and it takes almost that long just for onion seed to germinate! You can start from seed now but expect to eat most of those as green onions this summer. They won't have time to produce any decent bulbs. Buy plants in order to have any keeper bulbs.

    Martin
     
  11. Phantomfyre

    Phantomfyre Black Cat Farm Supporter

    Messages:
    1,357
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    N. Illinois
    What the others said, and when/if they start to set seed, pop those seed heads off to force them to focus their energies into making a bulb.

    Diana