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Onion Talk for year 2022

HU-422368488
7 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

It's getting about time to get the itch for early spring onion planting. I'm scratching already.

Here's a few old Dawn threads about onions , growing them , varieties and such" :

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2097224/onion-question

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2099892/okiedawn

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2056032/when-to-plant-onion-sets

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2092832/onion-advice

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/4443186/onions-holding-or-planting

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2078514/storm-flattened-onions

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2080038/how-do-you-know-when-onions-are-ready-to-pull

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/4420742/growing-onions-sets-or-those-bundles-of-shriveled-up-dry-onions

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2062873/existing-onions-out-of-hand

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2102981/growing-onions-in-oklahoma

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2103701/are-homegrown-onions-better-than-store-bought

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2052143/my-onion-order-should-be-here

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/4372366/i-m-ready-to-talk-onions

https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2048465/too-many-onions

Showing results for This is long, but so much good information here.DAWN ON ONIONS WHEN TO HARVEST There will be a couple of signs. First, the growth of the onions, which should have been pretty obvious lately, will begin to slow down until it almost halts. Once the growth slows down, withhold water. This helps them dry up a little and reduces the chance they'll rot from excess moisture after being pulled. Once you notice they are no longer enlarging, watch the necks. The necks will begin to soften and eventually fall over while they are still green. Once this happens, you can pull them and cure them for a few days in a sheltered location. Then, process as desired. I always put some of the shorter-keeping types in the pantry to use in the next couple of months, and put some of the long-keeping types in the tornado shelter where they will keep for many months. The rest of the onions I either chop or slice and freeze in ziplock bags for future use in cooking. Oh, and once they are cured, you can clip off the roots and all but about an inch of the neck if you want. It helps keep rot from infiltrating the onions. Or, some people braid them the way you braid garlic and hang them in their kitchen or pantry, snipping one off when they want it. They say that well-cured sweet onions will store for at least 2 months and I have had them last up to twice that long. BIG ONIONSWater, water, water. The more water, the bigger the onions. In most cases, though, it is the water early on in the growing cycle that determines the ultimate size of the onions. The size of your onions is determined by the number of green leaves on the plant BEFORE bulbing begins, as well as the size of those leaves. So, to get large onions, you have to have a lot of water and a good amount of nitrogen from the time they are planted until they begin to bulb up. In our part of the state (and it varies from onion to onion), short-day onions usually begin to bulb up in early to mid-May, and intermediate-day and day-neutral onions begin to bulb up in mid- to late-May or earliest June. Since you are in a colder zone, I assume your onions start bulbing a little later than ours. HARVESTINGOnions grown from seedling plants or sets should be harvested the same season they are planted, except for the perennial types like Egyptian Onions or Walking Onions, which you can harvest for years and years. Once your onions flower, their quality really isn't good enough for eating. Here in southern Oklahoma, if I plant my onions seedlings somewhere between mid-Feburary and mid-March, I will harvest full-sized onions in late June to mid July of most years. In a good year, I can start harvesting green onions in April. I do always leave some in the garden to flower the following year. They are pretty and the tiny beneficial insects and bees love to visit their flowers. [She grew in far south central Oklahoma] Your planting times and harvesting times should run only 2 to 4 weeks later than mine most years. In a really mild winter, you could plant about the same time I do.COMPANION PLANTINGWith companion planting, I sometimes use "extra" onions as a border along the beds the tomatoes are in, but don't worry about whether those onions make a good crop--they are important as companions and secondary as a crop where used as companions. Those onions are smaller, but just as good as onions grown in their "own" bed (which, as you'll learn in a minute, isn't really their "own" bed at all). In the main onion bed, I planted my onions in an alternating grid pattern this year with every onion 6" away from every other onion. Those onions got all the water they wanted (for the first two months, about an inch or two a week from the hose if rain didn't fall that week), and two feedings with Vegetable-Tone organic plant food. I had enriched their bed with a lot of compost and some manure before planting. This is the bed where I have the huge onions.....maybe the best onion crop I've had since we moved here. Everything was growing so well in this bed that I couldn't let well enough alone, so..... In early May, right after our last freezing night here, I interplanted three kinds of bush beans, placing plants started in tiny bathroom-sized paper cups in between each onion plant. It was an attempt to get better use of the space AND to keep the rabbits from getting the beans if the snuck into the garden. (Last year I had a lot of trouble with everything....rabbits, pillbugs and sowbugs, deer, etc. getting the bean plants.) I had to water the beans several times in May to get them growing, so the onions benefitted from that. MORE ON HARVESTINGplant them shallowly and you won't have to pull the soil back in order to see the bulb. I plant them just deeply enough that they don't fall over when I let go of the plant that I've just planted. As they grow and enlarge the bulbs emerge above ground on their own. This works best with proper spacing so the shade from the green onion tops shades the bulbs so they don't sunburn in strong sunlight. If the green leaves on your onions are still strongly upright, they aren't ready to harvest yet. If you check and the neck of the onion, right where the green leaves come out of the bulb, is softening up and the green tops are falling over and lying on the ground, then they are beginning to mature. What you want to do, then, is wait and watch. The necks thin out as the carbohydrates from the leaves move into the bulbs. Once you think the necks have thinned out enough (which is to say "a lot"), check the leaves. Look at the youngest, smallest leaf. If it is dry and dessicated, the onions are ready to pull. It is best to leave them in the ground until they reach this point because during the time the necks are softening and the carbs are moving into the bulb, the onions also are developing a thicker skin that will help them to store well long-term. Then, you harvest them, leave the leaves on them, and lay them out someplace in the shade to dry out more and to cure. I have cured them in many places....on a bookshelf placed on the house's wraparound porch, on tables on the covered patio, on tables on the screened in porch, and on the large potting table/shelf in my potting shed. This is a very important time for them. You want them to dry adequately so they won't mold or rot in storage. I usually cure mine for a couple of weeks, or even longer if they were really wet when harvested. It is important to cure them in the shade. You also can place them in multiple single rows on the flat surface where you're curing them, with the leaves of each onion covering the onion on the row next to it. That keeps the sunshine from sunburning and ruining the onions. I store them several ways. My favorite way is to store them in mesh onion tubes I bought from Dixondale Farms, but I've also stored them in nylon stocking legs. You put an onion in the stocking, then use a rubber band, zip tie or bread bag twisty to tie the stocking above that onion, then put in another onion and repeat the process. By having some separation between each onion, you keep them from touching each other. They are prone to rot where they touch, especially if they were high in water content when harvested. I store some of mine in the darkest back corner of our walk-in pantry, which is underneath the staircase. I store the rest of them in the tornado shelter. Some years, if it is a very dry year, I've stored them in a cool, dark corner of the garage. Different varieties store for different lengths of time. Here in OK, we mostly grow either short day-length or intermediate day-length onions that are sweet. Sweet onions only store reliably for 2-4 months, but I've had some last 6 months or more if I cured them really well and stored them well. The long day-length type onions that are grown farther north often are the more pungent onions instead of the sweet types and store much longer.
Search instead for [This is long, but so much good information here.DAWN ON ONIONSWHEN TO HARVESTThere will be a couple of signs. First, the growth of the onions, which should have been pretty obvious lately, will begin to slow down until it almost halts. Once the growth slows down, withhold water. This helps them dry up a little and reduces the chance they'll rot from excess moisture after being pulled. Once you notice they are no longer enlarging, watch the necks. The necks will begin to soften and eventually fall over while they are still green. Once this happens, you can pull them and cure them for a few days in a sheltered location. Then, process as desired. I always put some of the shorter-keeping types in the pantry to use in the next couple of months, and put some of the long-keeping types in the tornado shelter where they will keep for many months. The rest of the onions I either chop or slice and freeze in ziplock bags for future use in cooking. Oh, and once they are cured, you can clip off the roots and all but about an inch of the neck if you want. It helps keep rot from infiltrating the onions. Or, some people braid them the way you braid garlic and hang them in their kitchen or pantry, snipping one off when they want it. They say that well-cured sweet onions will store for at least 2 months and I have had them last up to twice that long. BIG ONIONSWater, water, water. The more water, the bigger the onions. In most cases, though, it is the water early on in the growing cycle that determines the ultimate size of the onions. The size of your onions is determined by the number of green leaves on the plant BEFORE bulbing begins, as well as the size of those leaves. So, to get large onions, you have to have a lot of water and a good amount of nitrogen from the time they are planted until they begin to bulb up. In our part of the state (and it varies from onion to onion), short-day onions usually begin to bulb up in early to mid-May, and intermediate-day and day-neutral onions begin to bulb up in mid- to late-May or earliest June. Since you are in a colder zone, I assume your onions start bulbing a little later than ours. HARVESTINGOnions grown from seedling plants or sets should be harvested the same season they are planted, except for the perennial types like Egyptian Onions or Walking Onions, which you can harvest for years and years. Once your onions flower, their quality really isn't good enough for eating. Here in southern Oklahoma, if I plant my onions seedlings somewhere between mid-Feburary and mid-March, I will harvest full-sized onions in late June to mid July of most years. In a good year, I can start harvesting green onions in April. I do always leave some in the garden to flower the following year. They are pretty and the tiny beneficial insects and bees love to visit their flowers. [She grew in far south central Oklahoma] Your planting times and harvesting times should run only 2 to 4 weeks later than mine most years. In a really mild winter, you could plant about the same time I do.COMPANION PLANTINGWith companion planting, I sometimes use "extra" onions as a border along the beds the tomatoes are in, but don't worry about whether those onions make a good crop--they are important as companions and secondary as a crop where used as companions. Those onions are smaller, but just as good as onions grown in their "own" bed (which, as you'll learn in a minute, isn't

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