Onion tops fell over early

mersmomMay 24, 2009

This is my first year to grow onions. I ordered from Dixondale Farms, planted on their earliest recommended planting date. They were doing great until about a week ago. We has lots of rain, folled by several hot sunny days. Now, all of my beautiful onion tops have fallen over. From what I have read, once the tops fall over the bulbs are done growing. I am super disappointed since they are only about golf ball size at the largest so I am trying to figure out what I did wrong so I can correct the problem next year. Did I plant to early? Or was it just the weather?

Also, can I just leave the onions in the ground until I am ready for them? Or I do need to harvest now?


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You can leave them and some may perk back up since the mostly likely cause for early fall is excess soil moisture leading to root rot. Is your soil well-draining or hard and compacted?

Onions do best is loose, friable soil that drains well so some soil improvement may resolve your problems. I assume these were short day varieties, right? Long day varieties won't work in the south unless winter planted.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 3:55PM
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Many times they fall over as they go into full bulb development. Unless you have some type of disease, just ride it out.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 4:02PM
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anney(Georgia 8)


A great many of mine have fallen over too, but they're still green and vigorous. According to their DTM, they should be ready sometime in June. I plan to leave them in the soil until the tops begin to turn yellow and the area above the bulb isn't rigid, has softened some. Many of mine are about the size of an orange, though there are some smaller ones, too.

Give them time. Some of them may straighten up, and I'll bet they all continue to grow. (This sounds awfully confident, doesn't it, for somebody who's growing them the first time, too? But mine may be a couple of weeks ahead of yours, so take heart from my experience!)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 4:11PM
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