knowing your onions

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knowing your onions

Post  syrah on Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:09 am

Hello All

When do you plant your onions and what variety do you grow?

I'm very interested because I want to get better at growing them, but I find it hard to determine if a particular variety is short day, medium day or long day. Here in Tas you can successfully grow long and medium day onions.

I find seed packets not very helpful. Most say to sow between July and September. However, I noticed that some of you start your seeds out in autumn. Which is when I start my medium day onions.

I know I have to do more research and I have got myself a list of onions and grouped them accordingly, but I would like to know what my fellow gardeners grow and why they chose that variety.

Helen

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Re: knowing your onions

Post  Blossom on Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:11 am

I plant at the winter solstice or thereabouts. 21st June. But that's seedlings which I have started about 4 to 6 weeks earlier. You can still plant right through to September though because they seem to catch up as the daylight lengthens. Sometimes I cheat and buy healthy seedlings. The white salad ones ( Lockyer) are ready by Christmas as are the reds ( Red Brunswick) and I grow brown skinned ones ( CreamGold) for keepers. They take until January and last us right through winter. In fact we store the reds in the spare frisge and have just eaten the last one. Loose, friable soil if poss, not too clay-ey and limed well. A couple of feeds of sulphate of potash during the growing period, but don;t over fertilise and I get a good crop most years even though we have clay soil. I dig in compost and it seems to do the trick. You should grow them OK on your block because it's fairly sandy there isn't it? I tried Borettano little Italian ones last year from seed but only got about 6 as the others squeezed them out and they got lost. If you want to plant seeds, I suggest you add a tablespoon of flour or sand to the seeds so they don't get too thickly sown and you don't have to thin them later.


Last edited by Blossom on Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To add the varieties)
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Re: knowing your onions

Post  Raymondo on Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:15 am

I've grown Creamgold for the last couple of years as they're reliable and keep well. In the past I've grown from purchased seedlings as one of nurseries in town sources them locally. This year I've planted the usual Creamgold, an unnamed red onion (purchased seedlings) and, from seed, an Italian brown onion called Globruna and a few Creamgold. I actually sowed a lot more but got extremely poor germination except for some fresh Creamgold seed (harvested last year). I don't have any information on day length sensitivities for the varieties I've grown.
I also aim to plant around the winter solstice though I've just finished planting out the last of the Globrunas. As mentioned on another thread, I intend sowing some in August as an experiment, but perhaps I should do more research on day length sensitivities first. (Helen, perhaps once we've found useful information on this we could set up a thread here and post it.)
This year I've obtained three varieties of very hardy bunching onions which develop quite thick stems, up to an inch, so I'm going to try them as alternatives to onions. They have the advantage of multiplying, in the manner of so-called perpetual leeks, so once sown you just lift and separate.


Last edited by Raymondo on Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:51 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: knowing your onions

Post  me2u on Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:52 am

Hi all,
I have been thinking about trying tree onions has anyone tried these.
Last year I planted out some french shallots from the fruit and vege market they clumped up to huge bulbs and then we went away for a few months and when we returned they had all disintergrated all gone I expect that all the rain we had over that time was a bit too much for them anyway none of the self sewn seed has emerged .
I had a look at diggers they were listed as not in stock so I will keep looking out for some.
Cheers J
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Re: knowing your onions

Post  Mad Gnome on Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:40 am

I am growing Gladalan White and Red Brunswick. The former planted at around 21st June. The later some time after as I had some germination problem. So they were later. I plan to sow more onions (Creamgold) in the next few weeks and plant them out as soon as they are big enough. Then I'll sow Peal Onions (white) and Purplette. I will try to set a patch aside just for the pearl onions as I'd love to pickle them. So I need to grow quite a lot of them.

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Re: knowing your onions

Post  syrah on Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:50 am

I love those multiplier onions. They die back in summer and I lift some of them, just in case the rest rot in the ground. I lift them the same time I do the garlic and shallots.

This is the information I have collected so far with the onion varieties:

Onion Info

The only variety I know of that can be fall-planted and overwinter in the colder zones, to make bulbs in early summer, is Walla-Walla.

Long day Onions

Ailsa Craig
Red Wethershield
Cream Gold
Borrettana Cippollini
Sweet Spanish
White spanish
Palma Yellow Globe
Red Brunswick
Red odourless globe
Sweet sandwich
Red Wethersfield


Intermediate day Onions
Walla Walla
Red Topedo
Rossa di Milano


Short day Onions

Early short day onions are planted in autumn 10-12hrs sunlight

Intermediate are grown in early winter.. 12-14 hrs sunlight

Long day are grown in later winter/early spring > 14 hrs sunlight

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