Onion Question

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IronKnees

New Member
Hi all... Hope your weekend is going well... I have an onion question... As many of you know, I have grown red, white, and yellow onions for years and years... I always grow them from sets that I purchase at the local farm store... The catalog seed companies don't ship them early enough for me to get them in the round and grown before our county fair, so I get them locally.. This year the store had sets for the large, round sweet onions... It didn't give the variety but they look to be Vidalia or something very similar...
As usual, my red, white and yellow onions are nice and tall by now, but the big sweet onions are much smaller and growing slowly... It seems that I recall reading somewhere (years ago) that there are different categories of onions, like northern, southern, or long day vs. short day onions... Can anybody fill me in on this...??? I'm starting to wonder if these will work properly in my location... Thanks. Dave
 
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Dale

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi Dave I live in SC and we grow a Vidalia type onion but can't be called Vidalia unless they are grown in a 20 county area of Ga. When I did some research, Vidalia is a short-day variety. Here is a link I found that gave some good info. I would think you could grow them in your area. http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/C821.htm
 

IronKnees

New Member
Yeah... I found that link too... Just would like to be able to grow them regardless of what I can call them...
 

IronKnees

New Member
I guess what I am asking is what geographical areas are considered long day and short day areas if that makes any sense, and what, if any, diference is there in growing these large onions?
 

Dale

Super Moderator
Staff member
I did some digging (hehehe) (pun intended) on onions. There are actually Long day mid day and short day onions. Vidalia type onions are short day onions. Here is a site your northern area grows long day onions the best. http://www.iserv.net/~wmize/onion.htm

Part of the article states, "Now, what happens if you plant a short day onion in a long day climate? Well, suppose the short day onion's internal clock is set for 13 hour days. Instead of fully developing it's vegetative growth, the onion senses that it is time to form a bulb while the plant is still very young. The result? You get a small onion, often referred to as pearl onions or cocktail onions."

This may be why your onions are growing small.
 

IronKnees

New Member
the onion senses that it is time to form a bulb while the plant is still very young. The result? You get a small onion, often referred to as pearl onions or cocktail onions."

This may be why your onions are growing small.
Yep, that is EXACTLY what is happening... I went out and pulled weeds a couple hours ago, (AKA getting away from nine screaming, fighting grandkids) and sure enough, with leaves only six to eight inches tall, they are already forming bulbs... Problem solved, and thanks so much for taking time to help me... By the way, I know now why lions EAT THEIR YOUNG!!! :eek: :mad: :( :confused:
 

Dale

Super Moderator
Staff member
Ironknees glad I could help. I never had children hence no grandchildren. Count your blessings name all nine of them. I know you love them.
 

IronKnees

New Member
Hold on y'all... I may have asked this question a few days too soon... It's been so wet here that I had not been able to get into those onions to weed them, but day before yesterday I did, and with only a couple of exceptions, these onions have shot up and seem to be growing normally... The two exceptions seem to have set on their bulb and are not following the others in growing... I guess now it's a wait and see game... Dave
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
Dave,
I also grow onions only in the south;) anyway what I have experienced this year in my onions is that even though all sets cam from the same bag some produced normally and some did exactly as you said , formed bulbs early and went to seed. I can't figure that out. We had over 20 inches of rain in 6 days and it saturated the ground and after a week with little to no rain is still soggy. I had to pull a lot of onions to keep them from rotting. It was so odd that some looked like they would mature nice and others looked so small almost still like sets. I will ask some of our old timers about the onions. IF I find an answer I'll post back here.
 

IronKnees

New Member
I think rot WILL be a problem with onions here as well this year... Any wet spring will do that... I always pull my onions two weeks before the fair and let them cure on the front porch... This year, with the exception of the ones I enter in the competition, I think I will give them an extra week or two...
 

IronKnees

New Member
Update on my big sweet onions... Just within the past week, they have started growing (the bulb) and now are the largest onions I have ever grown... The tops are still tall and green showing no sign of wilting yet, so I'm letting them alone... It's possible that they will be the yellow skin onions that I enter in the fair IF I can find three that are uniform in size...
 

Randy

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'm glad your garden is doing okay, Dave. A lot of our estern friends are having a terrible time. My biggest problem is not the weather, but the moles in the garden.
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
Dave,
Glad you won't lose them to rot. I lost many of mine but am getting ready to replant.
LOL! I bought tomato plants this morning before work. Hope to get them in the ground tonight!
 

palmettogal

New Member
I pulled up a couple of bad looking onions last week and the bulbs were pure mush. I think it's from too much rain. Hey Crabber...I bought more tomato plants the other day, too!
 

Crabbergirl

Super Moderator
Staff member
LOL! It is an addiction. I can't not have tomatoes in the garden. Yep rain will do that to the onions. I pulled a lot of mine imature and let them dry . I will replant them now.
 


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