When do you sow Cipollini onion seed????? Should I sow now? or wait until fall? thanks :)
I think it's too late for direct sowing seed in your zone ... not enough time for the plants to get big enough before the day length triggers them to start bulbing. You might be able to direct sow in fall and get enough growing days but I think you'd be better sowing inside 10 or so weeks before your last frost free date and transplanting a month before the last frost.
I answered this in the garden forum, so you might want to check back where you asked it there.
Makalu is right, however, about it being too late this year.
Gardenlad, which one is "the garden forum"? While I think you are too late for seeds, fall vs. (earlier) spring sowing might depend on the variety, of which there are several. Most are "long day" and mine do best with sowing indoors in the fall and transplanting out in early spring, but there are a few short day that I direct seed in the fall here in N. Cal, and this is much easier for me.
Whoops! Sometimes the fingers outrun the brain. What I'd meant to say was vegetable gardening forum.
At any rate, here's what I posted there:
.Onion seed of any kind is sown early, in flats, indoors. Seedlings should grow about two months before transplant.
Here, in zone 6B Kentucky, seed is typically set in Janurary or February, and seedlings transplanted in March or April.
I've seen numerous recommendations as to how long before last-frost to plant onions. In my experience, you can plant them as soon as the ground can be worked. Onion withstand lots of frost, so long as their roots have had a chance to take hold.
Our average last frost is May 10. My onions were planted March 15, and are doing just fine.
BTW, cipollini is a long-day-length onion, and you may be disappointed with results. I'm growing it this year, for the first time, experimentally. But I'm on the border between long-day and neutral-day varieties, so am confident I'll get something. We'll see.
Are they ALL long day? I've bought a few varieties at growitalian.com or felcopruners.com that claim to be short dry. Granted, they overwinter we fine, but I'm not sure when the start bulling. They seem to take longer they they are worth.
Please excuse my typos. I'm using a tablet! check my pics from '03 & 04 in the gallery.
Onion, Piatta of Bergamo. From the hometown of Franchi Sementi. Small very flat brown/red cipolla type onion. Medium/long day. For cooking or salads.
BORETTANA YELLOW CIPPOLLINI (105 days) Gourmet Italian Small and flat yellow onions. Shaped much like a button. A neutral day type with average storage ability of around 4 months. Mild well developed flavor making it our number one recommended and requested yellow cippolini. 1,000 seeds - $2.15
POMPEI (85 days) Wonderful Italian flat cipollini type with excellent flesh and flavor. Short day type that is for fresh use and not storage. Very tasty! 1,000 seeds - $2.15
When do you plant the cipolla listed above?
Thanks for your help.
Roseville, CA Zone 9
Nanelle, thanks for doing that research. Let us know how the short- and intermediate-day length varieties work out for you. I might give them a try.
I'm not sure I like the idea of a thousand seed, though. Onion seed only remains viable for a year, and I surely won't be growing out that many.
Maybe grow a regular crop and keep the seed in the fridge until August, though, and then grow my own sets? Might be worth a try.
That's interesting on the Borettana Cippolini being day neutral - Dixondale has them as long-day so I wonder if they are right on the edge? I grew them last year and they sized up in the 2 to 2 1/2 inch range (about the same as Candy) and I'm in long-day territory. Definitely worth a try though since they were very tasty in salads.
I'm no expert but I have been trying for several years. Mostly I've been direct sowing in November herein N. California. I've tried four or five varieties, and have looked for "short day" because I was reading about onions that overwinter in the south. Since then I have come to understand that because I am at along day latitude (?) this may not work for me. Still, I've read since we are looking for small onions, this my be less of an issue. I'm trying to link to some pictures of my current cipolinis about the ones in the gallery are better.
Here is a link that might be useful: early Bianca di Maggio
A few more listings....DN = day neutral, SD: short day, ID: intermediate day, etc.
Bianca di Maggio (ID, 80 days) Â Flat, white, midsize (2-3 inches) mild-tasting Cipollini type. Good storage (5Â6 months).
Blanc Hatif de Paris (SD, 90 days) Â White, flattened, mild, sweet Cipollini type
Gold Coin (ID, 80 days) Â Small to medium yellow-gold bulb (1-2 inches) flattened like Cipollini types. Both pungent and sweet. Good storage (4-6 months).
What would be my best chance for growing these in metro Atlanta? Thanks!