onion stalks falling over

mambertgardenerJune 5, 2007

I've got white and stuggart onions planted from sets (on apr 23) in a raised bed with pretty good clay soil. the stalks keep falling over, is this normal? if not, how can i fix the problem?

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My onions fall over every year once they've flowered. Never bothered me. They keep growing.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 11:33PM
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Mine do that too, and have not flowered. I've never raised onions before so I have no idea if it's normal, but it bugs me too.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 9:55AM
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The stalks falling over is completely normal.

It is a sign that the bulbs are nearing maturity.

When 75% of mine have fallen over on their own I push the rest of them over so that the bulbs will all be ready at essentially the same time.

After pushing them over I let them remain in the ground for another couple of weeks or so and then pull them all up.

Leave the tops on them, don't wash them, and don't worry too much about getting all of the soil off of them. Just get the bulk of it off.

From there you have a couple of choices: You can either lay them out flat in a cool, dark, dry place with plenty of air circulation so they can dry or you can braid the tops and hang them in the same type of location.

The important thing is to allow them to cure (dry) completely before you store them.

I usually braid the tops of mine and sort of bind them with a bit of string. I have a small utility type room on the back of my house where I hang them up until dry.

I leave them in their braided groups and just clip them off as needed for cooking.

**Keep an eye on your onions once you dig and cure them. One rotting onion will rapidly rot the others around it.

The ones that have flowered will be especially quick to rot. I don't normally even try to store those because it turns out to be such a waste of time.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 12:45PM
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jbann23(6 RI)

Onion stalks aren't very sturdy. They're constantly bending, breaking and just making me nervous. Doesn't seem to bother the plant at all. It's early in the season so just keep 'em watered, fertilized and when it gets really hot the bulbs will form. Then it's time to watch the whole plant fall and the necks wither. Harvest time.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 7:26PM
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thank you for your help, once I push the rest over how can I tell when they are done?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 10:17PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Here June 9 (2005)

September 11 (2005)

Just give them time, they'll grow! That one is almost the size of a softball.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 12:25AM
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jbann23(6 RI)

Now THOSE are some kickin' onions. What was the growing medium if you don't mind sharing? Mine look like your last June and you're really giving me hope. The only time I've ever gotten onions that size I had planted them with fish buried under 'em.
Mambertgardener, don't push over your onions yet, wait 'till they fall over entirely in the late summer and the necks shrivel or wilt. You can pull them then and let them lay outside for a week to cure a little. Check the allium forum to get more info on the process.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 2:51PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Those were Spanish whatevers! (walmart seed) and i've always used the free compost my city has (its mostly from leaves that they collect in the fall, so its probably really acidic). I'm growing more this year and i'll have to take some pics soon, I'm trying the famous ALisia Craig monsters, but i might have started them too late. I really enjoy growing onions and carrots too. It seems that if you can just get them growing, your almost guaranteed a decent crop (atleast in my growing area).

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 7:25PM
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johnirwin(Zone 8)

give me great hope. Having planted some this year I can't wait until they are soft ball size.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:47AM
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My onions arent that old, but the tops are turning yellow/brown and drooping...but the ones that are shaded under the gaint zucchini plants are fine. wtf. They haven't been in the ground that long, maybe a month/ month and a half?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 1:06PM
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jbann23(6 RI)

Mickee311 - Sounds like your onions need a little more water. Give it a try.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 12:28PM
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