Happy Onion Grower Here!

bcskyeMarch 9, 2013

This was a special happy day for me. I've been starting from seed for a long, long time, but I started Candy Onion seeds and figured they'd rot in the mix due to it being too wet. Knew better than to put them in soppy starting mix, but did anyway. Well, there was no germination and I thought I'd wind up buying more seed and doing it the right way. Today I had the dryer on and took the tray and put it on top of it. Later when I checked the laundry, I had germinating onion seeds all over the tray. Yippee! Happy Grower here!!!

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aquawise(zone 4 Utah)

Love these onions!! Nothing sweeter or bigger. Easy easy to start from seed and east to transplant out !!! Great job!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 10:35PM
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Thanks, aquawise. I've grown from seed for a long, long time, but this was the first time for large onions. Always bought sets locally for green onions and from Dixondale's for large onions. No more! As long as I can get the seed, I'll start my own and watch those whispy little leaves turn into fantastic veggies!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:40PM
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Yes! Yes! Yes! I never bought the 1/2 dead bunches from the big box stores. In the past I bought a little pot of Candy Onions from a great local place. And then I tried some Walla Walla from seed (but still bought the little Candy plants). This year I'm growing Candy from seed for the first time. The ones I purchased were always so small (not started soon enough for me). I know I can do better. I'm starting all the onions myself from now on. Yummy on the grill!
Brown County? I'm an hour north of Indy.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:40PM
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Claydirt, I did buy some of the 1/2 dead bunches of onion sets several times and really had pretty good success with them, however, I really wanted to plant lots of onions, specific types and not the un-named bunches that you get in the big box stores. I think everything is better if you can grow it yourself and even better if you can grow it from seed. Mine will all be grown from seed from now on, too.

Brown County, just south of the Cordry/Sweetwater Lakes. I won't even try to guess where you are north of Indy. Too many places, but I've probably been there, passed through or came close to you at some time or another. Are you planting early this year?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 9:08PM
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I'm a not-so-happy onion grower.

I have never grown onions at all before, but decided to try seeds this year. I sowed the seed (cabernet red and white lisbon bunching onions) Jan 20th.

They started sprouting at 6 days, and continued for a week. I transplanted the Cabernets into individual 4 " pots Feb 8th. They were at the 2 leaf stage.

Its now been over a month since transplanting them. two or three have died, two or three have doubled in size, the rest seem to be just sitting there doing nothing.

I have kept them on the bottom shelf in my workshop which is pretty cold 50-55 degrees, but I thought they liked the cold. They get a diluted balanced fert when I water, and the lights are on 14 hrs a day.

The White Lisbons, I just left in the in the little 3 oz cups, 2-4 per cup, and in a slightly warmer spot. They are all looking great, much bigger. I'll probably harvest them before they can go outside.

I know bunching onions are faster, but am wondering if I should scrap these cabernets and try again? Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 8:15AM
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Mandolls, I started my onions in a 12x9 foil pan filled with starting mix moistened with lukewarm chamomile tea and covered with Press and Seal wrap. I start all my veggies with this tea and usually that is all I water them with, although I do dilute it as time goes on. They didn't germinate when I thought they should so I set them on my dryer while I was drying clothes and they started sprouting. Since then, they have been on a shelf in my sewing/craft/plant nursery room, at first in front of a south facing window. Its usually around 64 at night and 70 during the day. I got a small stand alone greenhouse, 5' tall, 24" wide and 19" deep and mounted two grow lights over the top two shelves. Even more seedlings have popped through since I put them. I would have mounted a grow light over them if I'd left them in the window. I only bottom water and only when I think the mix is drying out. They will not be transplanted (there's at least 100 of them) into individual pots. I will keep them under the light and trimmed to 3" tall until time to harden them off and transplant them into the garden. By then they should have really grown great roots and probably a nice sized little bulb. I'm not an onion expert, but maybe yours are a little too cold or not getting enough light. Is the light a grow light? Are you overwatering? I wouldn't be fertilizing every time I watered, but that's just me. I hope someone with more experience with starting onions will have the answer to your problems. I just know my seedlings are coming up strong and healthy and I have just about 100% germination at this time.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Great Job! You should ensure that the onion must not sit in still water and rot or develop mold. You need to add some compost to your soil before you plant anything. Work the compost into the soil using a tiller. The onions need some good amount of organic matter in the soil.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:17AM
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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

I start my onions in a flat and usually use about 200 seeds. I don't transplant until they're ready for the garden beds. At that time I use a large spatula and dig them out of the flat and everything goes into a 5 gallon bucket of water. The onions are then easy to separate and into the beds they go.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 5:49PM
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gjcore - how early do you start them before planting them out? Maybe my problem is that I transplanted them really young?, that usually works best for me since there is little root development to disturb.

It was suggested to me that I could plant onions out as early as mid-March (in zone 4), but I still have over a foot of snow on all of my raised beds - so it will be a while.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 7:09AM
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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

I've been starting mine in early February. Will transplant about April 7th if the 5 day forecast doesn't include something nasty. Maybe later though as I hopefully should have a coldframe becoming available then. Last year I planted out in late March which seemed good as I really needed to get them out of my indoor grow area. Maybe it was a bit early as about 10% of one bed wanted to go to seed in late June.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:45PM
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I need the key to starting onion seeds. They NEVER spout for me. New seeds always used. I have Kale going but for some reason I can not get Onion seeds to sprout. Any ideas? I'm not using a heat mat, temp. about 65-68. 3-4 weeks and nothing.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 3:32PM
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I'm not having trouble sprouting them. I sowed another batch March 21st, and they started coming up in 5 days, a few are still continuing to emerge. I sprinkle the seed on top of the damp potting mix, spray it good with a mister, sprinkle a bit more soil over them and mist that good too. I dont have a heat mat either, I put the domed tray on top of one of the sets of lights so it gets a little bottom heat from that. The room is kept at 60, but I curtain off the shelves with growing lights most of the time and that brings the temp there closer to 70.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 3:55PM
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dsb22(z7 VA)

Tommyr, I'm using a heat mat set at 75 degrees and spring onions started coming up in 4-5 days.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:24PM
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Thanks for the tip dsb!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 6:36AM
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