growing onion sets

wokney57(7b)February 26, 2011

I grew way too many onion seedlings and was wondering if I could plant them close and grow them as sets for next year. So how do I space them (I assume very close) and when do I harvest them? Also, is it even possible to save them because they are sweet type (granex hybrid - short day) and the bulbs don't store well so I imagine the same goes for the sets?

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If it was me. I would just plant them close 1" to 2" apart and eat them as green onions. There is know set time when you can pull a onion and just eat it. Only if you want to store them, let them go to the end.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 3:16PM
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Thanks, but I'm not interested in green onions and I know they're edible at any point. Anyone know about growing them into sets.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:09PM
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spiced_ham(z5 OH)

I googled "how to produce onion sets"

and found this among others

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 10:23PM
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A really, really useless link, as usual with ehow. It doesn't answer the three basic questions that I asked, spacing, harvest, storage. Absolutely no help at all. I was hoping someone had some experience with actually growing them. Anyone have real-world experience they can share?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 9:19AM
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Is it worth the time?

a) the seedling grow better bigger onions than sets. you've grow seedlings at the right time this year, why not do the same next year?

b) did you even use up the seed packet? do you have more seeds for next year? worried about wasting less than a dollars worth of seeds? or you just having a hard time killing your seedlings? culling is part of vegatble gardening.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:36AM
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Ok, I didn't know seedlings produced better than sets. I prefer seedlings for cost, variety, and I just enjoy starting seeds.

And as for the cost, if I could produce sets from my seedlings and save them for next year and have everything else be equal then yes, I would be happy to save less than $1. That's how I roll.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 8:12PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Here is a much better link,
See below:

Here is a link that might be useful: Grow Your Own Onion Sets

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:25PM
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The glitch is you have already planted your seeds and have seedlings. If you want to make your own onion sets, you don't start them early with the rest of your seedlings. You start them later. The reason being, onions bulb up (and that is after all what a set is, a very young onion plant bulbing up before you'd normally want to harvest it) in response to day length. You'd think you could just harvest some of your onions as they begin to bulb, but that's going to make storage time for your sets too long. You want to get your seedling in the ground as late as possible, but still early enough to grow a little and bulb up. Even if you do succeed, and you manage to keep your sets over winter, if the timing isn't spot-on what you will end up with are sets who won't produce much of anything next year but decent green onions. The sets folks buy in stores sometimes are those sorts of 'victims' and that's why so many of us will use only seedlings. It's a pain in the tush, for questionable results unless you just want to see if it can be done. Seed is too danged cheap, LOL.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 10:13PM
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