Are my onion seedlings bulbing already?

johnnycom_gwMarch 6, 2013

I started several varieties of onions indoors about 5 weeks ago and have been growing them under lights with about 15 hours a day of light. They are planted 80 or so to a 4 inch pot.

I noticed on one variety, Candy, that some of the seedlings look like they are starting to bulb already. Could this be possible? Is 15 hours of light too much for onion seedlings? Candy is supposed to be a "day neutral" variety.

Wondering if it is too soon to plant them out. They look strong and healthy, but are nowhere near pencil sized. Most have three true leaves at this point. They have been trimmed back a couple of times.

I am just north of the San Francisco bay. There may be a couple of light frosts still - but nothing that onions couldn't handle. I am wondering what the pros and cons would be for making the decision as to when to plant them out.

thanks for any thoughts on this!

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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

I think you're fine with most, but that little one in the photo might have been triggered by the 15 hours of artificial light. Day neutral onions bulb from 12-14 hours light, so you probably should have been giving them more.

Regardless, forget the pencil sized nonsense, it's absolutely not necessary to get them that big before transplant. You live just north of SF and this is a great time to get them in the ground. Harden them off for a week first and then go for it.

-Mark

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 11:42AM
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AiliDeSpain(6a - Utah)

Your onion seedlings make mine look sad. Lol

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 4:50PM
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johnnycom_gw

Thanks for the info. I've already started to harden them off, so they'll be in the ground in a couple of days!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:45PM
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