Vidalia or sweet onions here in New England?

mmqchdygg(Z5NH)April 13, 2009

I see yellow onions, and red ones, but I don't recall seeing a sweet onion or Vidalia. Is there such a thing as growing them here in NE, or are they limited to south of here? I tried onions from seed last year, and that was a waste of time. Can I grow these from grocery store onions, or are there ones in the feed stores? Sorry, onion newbie here.

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anney(Georgia 8)


Vidalias and many sweet yellow onions do grow only in the South, but that does not mean you can't grow great onions in New Hampshire.

You folks in New Hampshire must grow long day onions. Alisa Craig looks like a sweet long-day onion, and there are several red ones.

Dixondale Farms (in the links above) is a premier supplier of onion transplants. I'm not sure if your time for planting them is over, but if you put in your zip code, the shipping dates for your area will display.

And no, the grocery store onions can't be planted to make bigger ones! Local feed stores may certainly have long-day onions that will grow well in your area.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 11:04AM
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Anney gave you very good advice above.

Another onion, also carried by Dixondale, which makes a very large onion with the POTENTIAL to be sweet, up here in the north, is Wala Wala. Those and the Alisa Craigs were my largest and sweetest onions last year. I had quite a few of both well over a lb, and some must have been approaching 2 lbs (although I didn't weigh any of them).

You should realize that more than just variety goes into making an onion "sweet" or "hot" -- a lot of it has to do with care and soil chemistry. LOTS of moisture (but well-drained soil and attention to disease control) and fertilizer makes onions grow fast and large, making them sweet and juicy. And, soil that is very low in sulfur also helps a lot, since the "hot" components of onions are sulfur compounds.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 12:24PM
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Excellent! Thanks so much, anney & den-
I placed an order for the Wala Wala...hope that supplies are still available. I got there just in time; my ship-date is April 27- yay! I don't get too much into the chemical composition of my soil- we have 'good' soil, and live on farm property. The fields have been hayed, or grown corn all the years I was growing up (hay in the last 20 or so), and our house sits in the middle of a 100-year old apple orchard, so I 'think' I'm all set.

I realize that a lot more goes into the 'science' of gardening than what I'm willing to put in, but overall, I've had decent results even when I'm NOT paying attention. But this onion thing is new to me, so if results are that bad, I might be inclined to think about getting out the chemistry set next time. I'll 'wing it' this time, and keep the note in the back of my head for now. Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 12:32PM
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If you end up with sweet onion that aren't all that sweet check your soil (get a soil test done) for sulfur.

The really sweet onions at the grocery are generally grown on soils with little sulfur. It's difficult to replicate in the home garden.

Some of the chili heads looking for the hottest peppers possible add sulfur to their soil to get them hotter, but when you want sweet onions, avoid adding anything with sulfur in it to the soil (no epsom salts). If you are fertilizing with anything, check to see if it contains sulfur (any sulfates)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 12:55PM
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So there's something sorta 'right' about that commercial with the guy dumping stuff all over his onion patch to make them hot, huh? LOL.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 2:34PM
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