One of my veggie gardening books says you can plant onions in custers and they grow in groups of 7-8, and they grow fine. Im not so sure about this. Anyone do this? Maybe should I try a trial of a few of my seedlings? -Cassie
if you are growing bulb onions then that is not a good idea. i space onions at 6" on center but 4" works. if you planted 7-8 in a spot say 1" or 3" across you'd get very small bulbs i'd guess like a marble.
i don't know about bunching or potato onions as i never grew these, this is why i said bulb type onions. what variety (name of the onion) are you going to grow?
I know very little about onion theory (or practice, for that matter), but I bought onion transplants last May in a couple of six-packs and there were 3-5 plants in each of the six little containers. I just planted them as they were, and never thinned them (was I supposed to?), but they seemed to do just fine. Basically they pushed upwards and away from one another just enough for the bulbs to make room for themselves. The bulbs ended up about the size of a raquet ball, some larger, some smaller. About 50% of each bulb became exposed above ground after reaching some size, but they didn't seem to mind. A few were rubbery, particularly later in the season (maybe Octoberish and onward?), but most were not. Growing in improved soil (30-40% organic matter), but watering via drip, so the soil was somewhat hard on the side of the bulbs opposite the emitter, if I remember correctly. In other words, this wasn't a nice, soft, moist onion bed like what I assume it should have been.
I don't remember the exact variety other than that the label said Spanish Onion. They were white, not yellow or red. I told you I didn't know much. ;-)
Was I just lucky?
I have successfully (3-4" bulbs) grown nine in 1 sq ft in the past.
I think what you are saying is moreso that you can grow onions in patches or blocks instead of having to grow in long rows.
I wasn't sure of how to group mine either. Mine I started from seed did not work out & I don't know why. So, I went to Home Depot and grabbed a set of Texas sweet seedlings/bulbs. I planted them somewhat far apart from each other. Things seem to be going great so far...the next day I had mini-sprouts about 3-4 inches long growing out of the middle of them! They must grow at an amazing rate or something. Anyways, here's a pic to show you how I have them spaced. This is about a 16 or 20 inch diameter pot (bout 1 ft deep). I have one more pot with 8 in it, I believe.
That should work out fine. And contrary to popular belief, onions should be fed nitrogen fertilizer. Big green growth in onions means big onions because the leaf is the top part of the onion layer. More leaves equals more onion. This isn't true for most root crops but it is for alliums.
Also don't trim bunching onions because it makes for small onions. But on the upside......they recover if you stop.
cool...thanks for the info...any recommended fertilizers? I have MG Tomato Food already, but that might not be proper for the onions.
So I planted over 100 seedlings today!!! Copra, Red Zepplin, and Cippolini...I grouped some of them, and row-planted the others as a little experiment, -we shall see!!!
Steve's Garden is becoming so beautiful...