Can I Plant Onions in the Fall?

KendraSchmidtAugust 11, 2012

I have seeds that I purchased recently, a packet of Red Hamburger Onions, and a packet of Yellow Sweet Spanish Onion.

I'd like to know if it's possible for me to plant them in August (I'm in Zone 8a), and if so, do they stay in the ground over the winter? Do they sprout anything before winter comes? Will the growth die back by the frost and the onions begins to grow again in the sprint for a spring harvest?

This is my first time growing onions (I've only grown green onions) and I don't have clear instructions at all on the packets. Searching online has yielded unclear results for me, especially for these varieties.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks GW.

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AiliDeSpain(6a - Utah)

I also had this question when I planted onion sets about three weeks ago. I'm in zone 5a Utah. I was told that the season wouldn't be long enough now to grow full size onions but that I could get green onions. Not sure if they over winter. Alot of the sets I planted didn't sprout, I only got about 7 sprouts right now which is a high failure rate considering I planted like 50 sets.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:46PM
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dhromeo

Yes, you can, and you can harvest green onions from them all winter long, and next summer they should set large bulbs for you.

But I have to caution you, I tried seeding some onions this spring, and I Didn't get a single sprout to come up from the onion seed, So I'm cautious to direct seed onions again (like I might've needed to start them in flats). I only mention it because I remember the feeling I had when my two rows didn't come up at all, and I seeded them somewhat thickly.

What I mean to say is, check and double check how to sow the seeds, because I followed the package directions and got squat. Hopefully someone else on here knows the tricks of onion seeding.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:49PM
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denninmi(8a)

To the OP, in Zone 8a, yes, it is SOP to plant them in fall, that is how the commercial growers do it, fall planting, harvest in about April -- the Vidalia onions come in usually mid-April.

To AiliDeSpain - Your summer-sown green onions, if they overwinter, would bolt and try to make seed heads instead of bulbs the next year, that is just their natural life cycle. In harsh winter climates we have to plant in spring.

The sets you got were probably mostly dried out and dead by mid-summer. That is why such a poor survival rate. They often show up in the stores by the end of February, so it is asking a lot of them to survive that long dry on a shelf in a mesh bag.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 3:39AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)
    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 1:16PM
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