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? for any of yall growing onions #7609406
06/21/22 08:15 AM
06/21/22 08:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,197
West Virginia,age 49
cathryn Offline OP
aka "Cathy"
cathryn  Offline OP
aka "Cathy"

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,197
West Virginia,age 49
Are there any tips for producing large bulbs?

My grandma used to grow huge onions but I've never had any real success at producing large onions for storing and use over the winter.

I'd appreciate any tips or advice you might have that could .help me.too produce large onion bulbs.

Thank you in advance. smile


IF IDIOTS GREW ON TREES THIS PLACE WOULD BE AN ORCHARD !

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609414
06/21/22 08:30 AM
06/21/22 08:30 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 6,840
NC
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bowhunter27295 Offline
trapper
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NC
1. Get a soil sample analysis. top priority. Adjust your nutrients based on report. Add maple leaves and/or compost to loosen soil.

You need to plant intermediate day onion varieties.

Plant in late winter for an early summer harvest. Start bulbing when day length reaches 12-14 hours.

Onions are heavy feeders and need a lot of water. Fertilize with ammonium sulfate (34-0-0) every 3 weeks. 1 pound/50 ft row.

Bulbing process is to stop feeding and continue watering.


ďIf freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.Ē George Washington
Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609417
06/21/22 08:34 AM
06/21/22 08:34 AM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 2,456
NNY
0
080808 Offline
trapper
080808  Offline
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Posts: 2,456
NNY
An Amish guy told me this yesterday. At this time of the year, Northern NY. Pull soil away from bulbs so mostly exposed to sunlight. Never heard this but will try but looking for other suggestions.

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: 080808] #7609427
06/21/22 08:52 AM
06/21/22 08:52 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 442
WV
G
garymc Offline
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WV
Originally Posted by 080808
An Amish guy told me this yesterday. At this time of the year, Northern NY. Pull soil away from bulbs so mostly exposed to sunlight. Never heard this but will try but looking for other suggestions.


I had heard the same thing about exposing the bulb as well as keeping the tops clipped so that they did not go to seed. I currently am keeping one row with the tops clipped to 6" or so and the other row I'm not clipping, but exposing part of the bulb. Then I have one final row that I have done nothing but hill up and weed.

Cathryn I live in WV as well and have always struggled to grow large onions.

As I get closer to retirement which hopefully will result in some more time to dedicate to my garden I want to try to increase the yield of several of my vegetables.

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609429
06/21/22 09:00 AM
06/21/22 09:00 AM
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Posts: 13,289
Green County Wisconsin
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GREENCOUNTYPETE Offline
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Green County Wisconsin
I had also heard the only thing you want in the ground is the bottom of the onion then it can grow out without needing to push soil , but you also almost need a mulch to keep the moisture in the soil


America only has one issue, we have a Responsibility crisis and everything else stems from it.
Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609430
06/21/22 09:00 AM
06/21/22 09:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,203
central Missouri
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Bigfoot Offline
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central Missouri
We couldn't get big bulbs when we planted sets now we plant dry root plants and the onions and potatoes are the pride of the garden

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609432
06/21/22 09:06 AM
06/21/22 09:06 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,178
ny
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gcs Online content
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gcs  Online Content
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ny
Never had large onions from sets, but the medium ones seem to last longer

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609437
06/21/22 09:10 AM
06/21/22 09:10 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 234
Georgia
sportsman94 Offline
trapper
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Posts: 234
Georgia
Cathryn, Iím not sure about your growing conditions compared to zone 8 where I am. I start mine from seed in September inside of a 162 cell tray. I let them grow a month and then transplant into the garden. I Try to put down a balanced fertilizer pre plant/shortly after planting and then switch to nitrogen heavy fertilizer after that. Ammonium sulfate is a good choice because the sulfur helps the flavor develop. Stop fertilization when they begin to bulb. I havent noticed a big difference between pulling the dirt away from bulbs or not, but I am careful not to plant to deep from the beginning so that may be why I donít notice an issue with it. We grow short day varieties down here and have little problems overwintering. We also are prepared with some liquid copper or something similar when the spring rains come because of blight.

[Linked Image]

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609450
06/21/22 09:21 AM
06/21/22 09:21 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,197
West Virginia,age 49
cathryn Offline OP
aka "Cathy"
cathryn  Offline OP
aka "Cathy"

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,197
West Virginia,age 49
I have planted only the roots like they say and I've also planted where I pulled the dirt back from them but haven't had much success.

I've only gotten bulbs to hen egg size.

I appreciate all yalls tips

Garymc it can be done cause my mamaw did it but I swear she had some secrets I didn't catch on too.

Sportsman thanks for your info..I think you gotta an unfair advantage being from Georgia when it comes to growing onions.

I just got 2 ten lb bags of vadalias on sale for
5.00 each...i.dont have much faith in mine.lol


IF IDIOTS GREW ON TREES THIS PLACE WOULD BE AN ORCHARD !

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609459
06/21/22 09:35 AM
06/21/22 09:35 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,628
SE Iowa USA
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AKAjust Offline
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SE Iowa USA
I've the same trouble as you.
Check out Utube." How to grow onions."
They cut the tops back and quit the N . Pull the dirt back too. Lots of water.
just

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609466
06/21/22 09:53 AM
06/21/22 09:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,502
Manitoba
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Northof50 Offline
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Manitoba
if you notice in the above picture the top is krinked probably 2 weeks before pulling

cutting the tops make them go into multi chambered onions which do not store well

if you really want big onions wait till Trapperles is out ratting in the fall and raid his pantry eek

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609497
06/21/22 10:40 AM
06/21/22 10:40 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 7,607
Oregon
beaverpeeler Offline
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Oregon
Getting onion sets in early is the big trick. Bulb formation is day-length related so you need to get lots of early growth since no matter what size the plant is it is going to bulb up according to day length. AS others have mentioned push them hard early and then back off with the fertilizers.


"Semper la caccia dei castori"
Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609567
06/21/22 12:46 PM
06/21/22 12:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,585
Georgia
warrior Offline
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Georgia
I can't grow them well but I got a neighbor that can. The difference is he babies them.

As said they are heavy feeders. They can't handle any weed pressure, keep the row spotless. And pull the dirt away as they bulb in several steps. By harvest the bulb will be sitting on top with nothing but roots holding it up.

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609715
06/21/22 05:13 PM
06/21/22 05:13 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,364
mo.
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nate Offline
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mo.
You need to be sure to buy the right plants for the size you want,then get some compost from cow manure or other source, there's lots of variety in them such as sterling that get huge in a short time but don't keep well or copra that get the size of hard balls and keep really well, so do a little research on/ before they plant, you can also use man made fertilizer if you trust it.

Last edited by nate; 06/21/22 05:21 PM.
Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609732
06/21/22 05:50 PM
06/21/22 05:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,578
IA
T
teepee2 Offline
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IA
Like Bigfoot said. Number one, plant onion plants not onion sets. Onion plants are the ones that have a little green on the top, and aren't any bigger around that a pencil.

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609736
06/21/22 06:09 PM
06/21/22 06:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 961
New York
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nyhuntfish Offline
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New York


Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609737
06/21/22 06:11 PM
06/21/22 06:11 PM
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Posts: 6,025
Three Lakes,WI 71
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corky Offline
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Lot of good info on this site:

https://dixondalefarms.com/

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609745
06/21/22 06:29 PM
06/21/22 06:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,074
Missouri
K9Wolfer Offline
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K9Wolfer  Offline
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Missouri
Originally Posted by cathryn
Are there any tips for producing large bulbs?

My grandma used to grow huge onions but I've never had any real success at producing large onions for storing and use over the winter.

I'd appreciate any tips or advice you might have that could .help me.too produce large onion bulbs.

Thank you in advance. smile



Here ya go


https://youtu.be/Y9mvA21dAns


BMI 2K9Wolfer

Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7609750
06/21/22 06:34 PM
06/21/22 06:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,074
Missouri
K9Wolfer Offline
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K9Wolfer  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,074
Missouri

Onions are often billed as one of the easiest crops to grow. They donít have many major pest issues and can be grown anywhere in the garden where the soil is well-drained and there is full sun exposure. Despite these advantages, gardeners are often dismayed when their onions fail to form large bulbs by the end of the season. If your onions didnít size up as much as youíd like this season, consider the following tips for next year:

Choose the Right Variety

Onion varieties can be divided into three distinct categories: long-day, short-day and intermediate-day type onions. Onion plants rely on daylength to determine when they will start to form bulbs. Long-day onions start forming bulbs when they receive at least 14 hours of sunlight each day. These varieties are best for New Hampshire gardens, where summer days are long, and onions will have plenty of time to grow multiple leaves before bulb formation starts.

Short-day onions are a good choice for the deep south because they only need 10-12 hours of light to initiate bulb formation. Though you can grow short-day onions in the Granite State, theyíll likely only produce small bulbs, because they will put on bulb growth when they are still small and only have a few leaves. Intermediate-day varieties start growing bulbs when daylength reaches 12-14 hours. These are also unlikely to form full size bulbs in northern gardens.

Make sure youíre growing bulbing, not bunching onions. Bunching onions will grow into scallions, and they will never form large bulbs. Shallots will also stay much smaller than yellow, red or sweet onions.

Plant on Time

Planting onions too late usually results in disappointingly small bulbs. If you intend to grow onions from seed, you might want to start them indoors in the late winter/early spring to give them a jump start. Start onion seeds 10-15 weeks before you anticipate being able to transplant them into the garden, between mid-February and mid-March. Onions will tolerate light frost and can be planted in the garden in late April or May. It is also possible to directly sow seeds in the garden as soon as soil can be worked in the spring, but the resulting onions will likely be smaller.

Onion sets can also be planted as soon as the soil can be worked. Sets are small, juvenile bulbs that have been stored over the winter. Sets provide for an earlier harvest but wonít necessarily result in larger onions, just onions that mature faster. They are a dependable way to ensure a harvest. The only risk is that they might bolt (flower prematurely) if they are exposed to cold temperatures in the spring. Larger sets usually arenít better than smaller ones because they are more likely to form flowers. Onions that flower develop mushy bulbs that are no longer edible, so if you see a flower head forming, harvest and eat that onion as soon as possible.

Thin Plants

When onions have to compete for sunlight, water and nutrients, they will often fail to produce many leaves as they need to grow large bulbs. Each onion leaf equates to a ring on a bulb, so a greater number of large, healthy leaves means bigger onions. If onions are planted too close to one another they will compete with one another, resulting in smaller bulbs. Whether direct seeding, transplanting seedlings or planting onion sets, onions should be spaced 3-4 inches apart to maximize growth.

Control Weeds

Onions tend to have very shallow root systems, which makes them poor competitors against neighboring weeds. Aim to keep the soil around onions weed-free by mulching with a thick layer of grass clippings, shredded leaves or clean straw. Frequent shallow cultivation between onion rows can also be effective. Simple hand tools are often all that is needed,just be careful to avoid disturbing onion plants. Shallow root systems mean they will come dislodged from the soil with little provocation, especially when they are young.

Water and Fertilize

Shallow roots also mean onions will dry out faster than other crops. They need frequent irrigation throughout the growing season in order to grow optimally. The rate of photosynthesis and growth slows down as soon as plants are moisture stressed, thus the upper few inches of soil should be kept moist but not soggy. It may be necessary to water once or twice a week depending on the weather. Stop watering once the tops begin to yellow and fall over to encourage the bulbs to finish maturing and to avoid rot issues.

Onions tend to grow very well in rich, organic soils with a pH at 6.5-6.8.Lean, acid soils can limit growth. Get your soil tested to make sure the pH is appropriate and key nutrients are available. Onions do benefit from proper fertilization (ideally based on soil test results), though high nitrogen fertilizers should be used with caution. Excessive nitrogen can delay bulb formation, maturity and the storability of onions.

Growing large onions is quite possible in New Hampshire gardens as long as you are thoughtful about how and when you plant and how you care for them during the growing season. You may find that a few simple changes are all that are needed for great success.


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Re: ? for any of yall growing onions [Re: cathryn] #7620631
07/06/22 12:07 PM
07/06/22 12:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,197
West Virginia,age 49
cathryn Offline OP
aka "Cathy"
cathryn  Offline OP
aka "Cathy"

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,197
West Virginia,age 49
Thanks guys.

I'm going to buy some seeds and plant them this fall and see what happens.

I'd love to grow some whoppers


IF IDIOTS GREW ON TREES THIS PLACE WOULD BE AN ORCHARD !

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